150 Years Ago Today: Looking down from South Mountain

If you were atop this monument to the nation’s first president 150 years ago today…

Washington Monument 21 July 020

…you’d see parts of two armies preparing for battle…

Washington Monument 21 July 017

… in the valley drained by Antietam Creek.

But, if you were in downtown Washington (as I will be today due to some work commitments), you might have picked up a copy of the Washington Star. Somewhere on the second page of that paper would be an article describing “Rebel Order No. 119” which was found by a soldier from “Colonel Colgrove’s” regiment. The misidentified orders, according to the paper indicated the Confederates planned to attack Harpers Ferry and concentrate at Hagerstown, Maryland.*

Security managers would die a fright at the laxness of operational security, on both sides of the line, on this day in 1862.

* From The Lost Order and the Press, by Scott M. Sherlock, Civil War Regiments, Volume Six, No. 2, pages 174-76.

Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

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