Celebrating 20 Years!

Celebrating 20 Years!

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) is a group of more than 1,000 individuals, age 50 and over, who learn together through three distinct programs: OLLI Classes, OLLI Learning Trips, and OLLI Study Groups.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Civil War Tour, Day 6 -- May 3, 2010

On Sunday, May 2, we departed from Gettysburg and stopped the bus for a moment of silence to remember the people who were affected by the fighting. We then moved south for our tours - Antietam in the morning and Harper’s Ferry in the afternoon.

Lt. Col. (ret) Jim Rosebrock met us at the visitors’ center and gave us an overview of the Battle of Antietam before taking us out to the site. The battle, which was the bloodiest day in U. S. history, occurred on September 17, 1862, about nine months prior to the three-day battle at Gettysburg. The military leaders included Union General George McClellan of the Army of the Potomac and Confederate General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.
McClellan was known to be a procrastinator in battle. We learned that he was well versed in battle strategies but was not as aggressive as President Abraham Lincoln would have liked; consequently, Lincoln and McClellan were sometimes at odds.

The Battle of Antietam yielded over 26,000 casualties for that one day. We visited The Cornfield, where 8000 soldiers were wounded, killed, or considered missing early that morning. The area around the Sunken Road added to that number.

Our afternoon was spent at the area around Harper’s Ferry, which was a booming metropolis in its day. Sitting at the point where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac River, Harper’s Ferry was highly prized for the supplies that were available there, particularly munitions. Bolivar Heights offers spectacular views and three states – Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia come together there. We also visited the Murphy farm, from which we were able to look down on the Shenandoah River. Upon arrival in lower town Harper’s Ferry, we walked the brick streets and enjoyed ice cream on a hot day.

On our way to Hagerstown, Maryland, we stopped in Boonsboro for dinner at the Old South Mountain Inn.

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