Antietam National Cemetery, part 2
Private Soldier Monument
On September 17, 1880, the statue was finally in place where it was formally dedicated. The journey of "Old Simon," as he is known locally, had been delayed for several months when the section from the waist up fell into the river at Washington, D.C. When retrieved, it was transported on the C&O Canal, and dragged by using huge, wooden rollers through Sharpsburg to the cemetery. The inscription on the monument reads, "Not for themselves, but for their country."
The Cemetery Today
In addition, more than 200 non-Civil War dead are also buried here. Veterans and their wives from the Spanish-American War, World War I and II, and Korea were buried here until the cemetery closed in 1953. Recently an exception to the closure was made for the burial of Keedysville resident Patrick Howard Roy, United States Navy. Fireman Roy was killed during the attack on the USS COLE and was buried in the Cemetery on October 29, 2000.
If you walk to the back of the cemetery you will notice a few separate graves. Ironically, on the battlefield that led directly to Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, African-American graves from WWI were segregated to this out-of-the-way corner.
Map of the National Cemetery
Did You Know?
Alexander Gardner's photographs of Antietam were the first ever images to show dead soldiers on the field of battle. A New York Times article about the photographs said it was if the "dead had been laid at our doorsteps." More...