Civil War Projects: Bloody Lane and Burnside’s Bridge

So, one of my students doing this Civil War project just discovered that his soldier fought at the Roulette Farm at Antietam. He advanced from Roulette Farm across the fields to “Bloody Lane“, where he was probably injured with a bullet wound to the neck.

The guy’s buddies carried him off the battlefield, before being ordered to dump his body in a pile of mortally wounded men, and return to the battlefield. This soldier then realized he was in a stack of the dying, and picked himself up, and walked eight miles to the hospital, occasionally passing out from blood loss along the way.

He made it to the hospital, and lingered eight days under the uncertain care of surgeons, alternately writing to his wife that he was near death and feeling better, before actually dying. The letter from his best friend to his wife survives, and gives us a sense of the funeral arrangements — as it was September and relatively warm, the friend arranged for a funeral with money sent from home, and this soldier is buried in Clarksburg, MD somewhere, rather than at Antietam National Cemetery.

Another kid, working at the next computer as it happened, learned that his person had fought at Antietam… But he was quite disappointed to learn that it wasn’t on Bloody Lane. He wasn’t in the right Connecticut regiment. Alas.

Then we checked out the Antietam Union order of battle article on Wikipedia. And it turns out this guy fought at Burnside’s Bridge, before being detached to go the long way around to Shapsey’s Ford. Then he was part of the contingent that tried to advance to cut off Lee in Sharpsburg, but was driven back.

Fascinating stories emerging!

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