The "Wildcats" at Burnside Bridge on the Antietam Battlefield

Antietam: A horrid day in history by JASON KRECOTA

Go to Wildcat Home page Marching across Antietam Bridge

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ANTIETAM -- On August 30, the Wildcat Band was invited to once again perform at the Antietam National Battlefield. One could not ask for a more beautiful day, as we gave two small lectures and concerts inside the Dunker Church, morning and afternoon.

These lectures covered the brass band movement and the different styles of music during the 19th Century. Each lecture was preceded by the band marching from the parking area to the church.

After breaking for dinner and relaxing a while, the band performed a Grand Concert on the lawn outside Dunker Church. The melodic sounds of grand marches, polkas, and quick steps echoed through the church and over portions of the battlefield.

I found a particular section of the concert very moving. When the "Dead March in Saul" and "Knights Templer" were played, I felt deeply for the men and boys who struggled on this battlefield, and how they breathed life's' last breath on the very grounds I stood. One cannot fathom the horrors on that day in 1862, when the bloodiest battle of the Civil War occurred.

After the concert, the band was treated to ice tea and cookies by Suzie Nalley. On behalf of the band, I would like to thank the Rangers, especially Colleen Mastrangelo, and the Antietam National Battlefield for the wonderful welcome that we received and for allowing us to play on one of the most sacred places on the battlefield.