This is the twenty-second essay in our monthly series “Finding Antietam – A Guide’s Story.” Each month, we’ll feature the story of one of our guides and what sparked their interest in Antietam and the Civil War, and why they became an Antietam Battlefield Guide. Antietam Battlefield Guide Mac Bryan shares his story this month.
Growing up a stone’s throw from the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia my family and I often visited the many sights of our Nation’s Capital. Trips to the National Mall with stops at the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln memorials were a regular summer diversion for me and my favorite museum remains the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
At an early age, Virginia history became all-consuming and luckily it was all around me too. Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg were only a few hours drive away but Civil War history were even closer. Manassas, Fredericksburg, Harper’s Ferry and Gettysburg were typical and frequent destinations for my family.
The arrival of its Centennial in the early 1960’s brought me featured articles about the Civil War in our local newspaper and some of those I still have to this day. On special dates our daily paper ran extended sections teaching me about the battles, the soldiers that fought them and the significant changes to our nation brought about by this brutal conflict. Continue reading →