Is this really the Bloody Lane?

Last week I had the privilege to accompany Ted Alexander to the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg where he was the special guest of the Harrisburg Civil War Round Table's book club. One of the perks of the trip was that we had been invited to spend some time in their vaults before the event. Wow.

The curator had already laid out some insanely cool Antietam artifacts that he was going to have out on a table during the event (talk about service) including an original Lincoln letter to Little Mac ("What's the news from the front?"); a beautiful letter from a soldier describing the battle (which I will be using in my book); and a tiny photo album with the entire Gardner death series. I also found a framed bullet from South Mountain with a note from the Yankee that took it off a dead Rebel in the vaults which was also put on the table.

But I was really there to see what Antietam images they had. Long story short, the most interesting to me was a glass plate negative of an image that appears in Scribners Magazine in 1903. It says that it a photograph of the Bloody Lane, but it has never looked to me like it.

The most glaring problem is the fence line on the left. If the camera is standing with the tower to its back, the fence on the left would be Virginia Worm. If the image is flipped horizontally, the fence on the right was a post fence by the 1870s, but it would have rails, not boards.

But with the mountains in the distance, the camera is looking East and would be up by the curve below the 130th PA monument. At that spot, I don't think there was ever a post and rail on the left, and again, if the image was flipped, the post and rail that was on the right for a while had rails, not boards.

And if this is looking East, what is that building on the horizon to the left? There is no building there and I don't think there ever was. There is a big tree where Richardson was putting a battery when he was wounded...but no building.

So, Bloody Lane? I'm not buying it.