I have an abnormal and morbid fascination with battlefields, which you may have noticed from my visit to the battlefield of Bila Hora. It all stems from a childhood vacation to Yorktown. I distinctly remember my dad buying a taped narrative of the battle and driving around the fields listening to the account of what had happened there. I also distinctly remember getting into a fight with my sister and my father threatening to turn the car around and leave, but that is a different story for another time.
There is something strangely odd about being in such a calm and beautiful place where so many people lost their lives. In a single day in 1862 in a field in rural Maryland 23,000 Americans lost their lives. Today it's just a quiet country lane about fifteen minutes off of the highway with gentle rolling hills on either side, but then it was the site of the bloodiest day the United States has ever seen.
Antietam happens to be off the highway between Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati, so my mother, sister, and I stopped on our way back from a visit with my brother, sister, and new niece Margaret. I really don't know what draws me to these places, but I am always glad when I get to see them.