Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hats of Antietam

I simply never tire of this sight:

And I'm so grateful that one of them is mine!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Cannoneers Post!

Junior Ranger Day this past Saturday saw the first outing of the season for our all-volunteer gun detachment.

They're mighty good at what they do.

Come see for yourself...

just north of Sharpsburg.

Ranger Mannie

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Snow in the valley

A light dusting of...

Star of Bethelhem Ornithogalum umbellatum.

One of our most prolific and asked-about wildflowers.

You've go another week to catch them.

Just north of Sharpsburg.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Eventful Day at the Park

As I was driving into work I was listening to a radio report about obese and out of shape American youth, only to be greeted, upon pulling into the Visitor Center lot, by these very lean, very fit, young Americans against the skyline.

Oh, that explains everything, three busses of US Marines from the Marine barracks at Eighth and Eye in Washington DC were on the Battlefield for a staff ride.

Ranger Keith gave them one of his trademark outstanding tours of the field.

It was a big group and we were happy to have them aboard!

Later this morning I swung past the Joseph Poffenberger farm and got a gander of Keven, Eric, and Andy from the Cultural Resources Division with a slew of hard working volunteers...

constructing and painting many panels of  restored fence along the historic fence lines of the farm yard.

Such serious workers, these volunteers are very dedicated to the park and do an outstanding job.

And, just like the Marines, they had their own, equally distinctive bus, though perhaps a little more subdued.

Later, and I'm not at all sure how I did this, but somehow I caused Ranger Alann to annoy a Genie and get trapped in a bottle.

I do hope he manages to extricate himself from this pickle!

And finally a quiz for all lovers of our National Parks.  Examine the picture below and identify which National Park it was taken at:


Grand Canyon,




Good old Antietam National Battlefield!

the place I'm so happy to be hanging my Ranger hat.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Uniform Changeover Day!

This is the day that makes all the Rangers quite jolly.  The ties come off, and we go to short sleeves.  We also trade the felt campaign hat for the straw for the next six months.

Tis the season!


Friday, April 02, 2010

Stars and Stripes, Forever!

George B. McClellan's Headquarters Flag

Not too long ago the Park received a wonderful gift from a West Coast benefactor; George B, McClellan's personal headquarters flag, hand-sewn by his niece, Elizabeth and given to him as a token of her affection.

This flag was, in all likelihood with the General at Antietam.

This is the flag as we received it.  Though its colors are still incredibly vivid the fabric is quite gauzy, fragile, and damaged in some areas.

Damage included small charred areas...


and some severe tattering.  My first assignment was to bring my years as a museum curator into play and carefully stitch the flag to a backing, using all archival materials.

Once the flag was stitched to the unbleached muslin backing the whole unit was quite sturdy and ready for mounting in a large vertical case in the Visitor Center museum.

No weight or strain bears against the flag as it is the muslin backing that is sewn to the backing in the frame.  The flag is fully supported and gently going along for the ride.  In this instance the flag was hung with the field of stars to the right simply because young Elizabeth only appliqued the stars to one side of the flag.

Gloves?  not while stitching, thank you.  Lathered and scrubbed hands are the acceptable alternative in an instance like this.   Finally. as the last of the supporting stitches went into the Muslin backer, the framed plexiglass cover was brought into position...

and this is the spectacular sight that will greet visitors Saturday morning.

I have mentioned how much I love this job, haven't I?

Come see this wonderful artifact for yourself, just north of Sharpsburg.

Ranger Mannie