Monday, June 12, 2006

Ka-BLAM!: Artillery weekend at Antietam National Battlefield

Once a year at Antietam National Battlefield the sound and fury of "Artillery Weekend' unfolds. this year a Confederate four-gun battery assembled 100 yards north of the visitor center and for two days recreated the sights and sounds of Civil War artillery in action!Members of the Baltimore Light Artillery manhandle a gun into position.

Park rangers, specially trained in black powder safety, inspect all guns and supervise the gun crews. This is serious business and these professionals make sure the event goes off without a hitch or a hazard.

A gunner brings up water buckets to swab out the guns between each volley to insure that all sparks and embers are extinguished.

A batteryman inspects the ammunition chest on the limber to make sure that all charges and primers are safely stowed and ready for action.

The charge is rammed home, and the order is given to...

"...FIRE... section!"

The grime of a hot day's work.

You shoulda' been there.

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