The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Family Outing at Antietam Battlefield

Posted on | March 18, 2012 | 8 Comments

President O’Bama celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at the Dubliner in D.C., but the unseasonably warm spring day took our family to Antietam National Battlefield Park, scene of The Battle of Sharpsburg.

Reagan, 9, and Emerson, 11, have a laugh at the expense of Yankee Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was ordered to cross Antietam Creek and got it into his head that the only way to do this was by capturing the bridge. Burnside’s folly cost his IX Corps hundreds of casualties and four crucial hours, as some 500 Confederates held off more than 5,000 Union troops. In his memoir I Rode With Stonewall, Confederate officer Henry Kyd Douglas, a native of Sharpsburg, wrote of the creek: “Go and look at it, and tell me if you don’t think Burnside and his corps might have executed a hop, skip, and jump and landed on the other side. One thing is certain, they might have waded it that day without getting their waist belts wet in any place.”

The family picnicked at the McKinley Monument.

Despite the hat, nobody offered to kiss 13-year-old Jefferson. He blames this on anti-ginger prejudice.

Reagan poses at the McKinley Monument with her green shoes.

Another picture of Reagan, just because she’s so cute.

The 19-year-old twins, James and Bob, with their girlfriends Danielle and Mercedes.

Old guy at the bridge. On the way back home, we stopped in Boonsboro and got ice cream for the kids. Being the Best Dad Ever™ is a cool job.


8 Responses to “Family Outing at Antietam Battlefield”

  1. Adjoran
    March 18th, 2012 @ 3:19 am

    Adorable kids – and what a blessing they favor Mom!

    James & Bob:  cool.  Dad:  well . . . he has the fedora.

    Quite tangentially related – American chess grandmaster John Fedorowitz at one point in his progress to the top of US chess decided his lineage was Russian, not Polish, and began pronouncing his name “fed-or-ROE-vich” – and people went along with it for a while.  He’s a cool guy anyway, but never wore a fedora that I saw.

  2. rosalie
    March 18th, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    Very nice.  The younger kids are still at that wonderful age when they’re only too happy to strike a pose or act silly as soon as the camera appears.  

  3. Stogie Chomper
    March 18th, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Ah, if only the Yankees had a few more generals like Burnside, the right side might have won that war.

  4. Charles
    March 18th, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    What the CSA generals had in tactics, they lacked in strategy. What did they think they were doing invading Maryland?

  5. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 18th, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    Glad you had a good trip.  Looks like everyone had fun.  

  6. Dianna Deeley
    March 18th, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    It looks like a lot of fun, and your family is charming. 

  7. richard mcenroe
    March 19th, 2012 @ 12:37 am

     That was our fault, we couldn’t give it to them fast enough.  Now we’re stuck with Baltimore.

  8. Andrew Patrick
    March 19th, 2012 @ 9:16 am

     You speak the truth. Both of Lee’s invasions of the North were raids, undertaken mostly for propaganda effect. They were never going to seize a major Northern city, and even if they did, they weren’t going to be able to DO anything with it. After Chancellorsville, Hooker was perfectly willing to “swap queens” with Lee: i.e. let him menace Washington while he marched on Richmond.

    Lee could undo the tactical intent of his opponents every day of the week. That’s about all he could do, and when Grant showed up he had the bad manners to not care about that.