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Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign Hardcover – September 1, 1999
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We here in the 21st century cannot fathom what our ancestors went through - what they felt...the aptly titled "Too Afraid to Cry" will give the reader at least a tiny idea of what life was like for the folks living in Maryland in the early Fall of 1862.
Wow is right!
I, too, was born outside Maryland, but grew up in Frederick. I lived in the village of Middletown and was, from birth, imbued with deep respect for, and fascination with, the Civil War. The Battle of Antietam took place almost on my doorstep, and I was always fascinated with the town of Sharpsburg. The battle engulfed this small, ancient, and beautiful western Maryland town far longer and deeper than the fighting would suggest.
What happened inside all those stone houses and churches? How did the town survive to become such an important place of pilgrimage? Who was fighting whom OFF the battlefield? Maryland's position as a border state, and a slave state, had profound implications for its citizens. The author tells us the story of the people just looking for a better life, not driven to rage by unbending, blind commitment to abstract principles. At times, this story will move you to tears.
Using the Sharpsburg fabric as an image within Maryland's larger tapestry, the author takes on these questions with the skill of ANY history scholar. Exhaustively researched, and beautifully rendered, here is the story of how people with everything to lose survived the Civil War by living each day pragmatically, as if it could be the last. Marvelous work, recommended for all serious Civil War enthusiasts and local historians.