Did battle, and US future, hang on thread of fate?
Originally Published on the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Antietam Creek.
SHARPSBURG, Md. – From as far away as Minnesota, Colorado and Ohio they came, more than 30 members of the Bloss and Mitchell families who converged on the hallowed Civil War fighting grounds of rural Maryland.
John McKnight Bloss, now 81, had just parked his RV at a campground when he tried to sum up what this gathering of his clan was about. He’s been researching his namesake great-grandfather, who was wounded four times during Civil War battles, including the epic fight along meandering Antietam Creek 150 years ago – and he wanted the younger generation to “understand the sacrifices that were made.”
Robert Mitchell Menuet spoke proudly of Barton Mitchell, his ancestor who served alongside John Bloss in the 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and suffered a life-shortening wound at Antietam – one of the 23,000 casualties that made the battle on Sept. 17, 1862, the single bloodiest day in U.S. history.
But something more particular drew the descendants to Maryland. Continue reading