Shooting for Hallowed Ground has been one of my favorite projects to work on. This is the shot I took of Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The single bloodies battle in American History. The Civil War Trust has done an amazing job of rescuing and preserving these amazing places of American History.
23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
This photo is specifically of Bloody Lane. The Sunken Road was a small lane for farmers and wagons to pass. During the Battle of Antietam, soldiers used the road as fortifications making the road the earliest form of trenches. As Union soldiers crossed the cornfields, the Rebels tore them down with gunfire. The Rebels leveled the whole cornfield. The bodies did pile up on the road. When I was out there the top of the road would be as tall as your shoulders on the highest mark. At one point during the battle, bodies piled up so high on the road that the pile of bodies was level with the top of the road. Scarry.
On a personal story, I am not a 100% convinced of ghosts or spirits. Bloody was the first location I shot that day when I arrived at like 5 in the morning. The sun hadn’t risen yet and I was really excited to be there. I had that photographers high. The second I stepped onto that road, I felt the overwhelming ghostly wight of sadness. It was so tangible. I mean it almost put me to tears as the feeling was so heavy.