Antietam Under Blue Skies

“Antietam Under Blue Skies” … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

I guess most people, well in the US at least, are familiar with Antietam / Sharpsburg, Maryland, the scene of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. Fought on September 17, 1862, there was a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.

That’s pretty significant.

In one day.  22,717.

Every time I visit there I almost hesitate to get out of the car. I’m not being superstitious or overly reverent. Just … well … aware.

The image I’m including today is loosely based on a photo I took on my most recent visit, October 16, 2016. One day shy of one month to the date of the battle itself. It was a glorious autumn afternoon, warm sun pouring down, light breezes. But I couldn’t help wondering … was the glorious day, the light, the sun … a benediction over what had transpired 154 years previous … or was it a cover-up? A sort of cosmic “hush” … a “shhhh” from the Universe?

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” … loosely quoted from George Santayana … and my own father, Kenneth Nichols.

I added a different version of this particular image to my portfolio previously, with a more unusual sky … possibly the slightest bit more unsettling in nature … “Days Of Discontent.”  That was during the most recent Trump/Clinton presidential campaigns … an unsettling time, for sure.  


As always, thoughts and comments welcome in the spot below … don’t be shy.  And as always, clicking the image takes you to a better resolution version with less intrusive watermark … neither of which will ever appear on purchased items.



  1. Lois, I, not being an American, did not know of this battle but I can see that it had such an impact on your country. It’s a beautiful paintinig too. Thank you for sharing! 🙂 Maggie

    • Maggie, thank you so much. Old as I am, lol, I wasn’t there, so what I’m about to say is solely based on what I’ve read and conjecture, but it seems like prior to this particular battle, the war itself wasn’t taken terribly seriously by many. It was expected to be over in a few weeks or months. But the horror of Antietam / Sharpsburg put war and what war really is right in their faces.

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