Oh listen all foes who glory in war,
September day ripe with patriot gore.
Through South Mountain Pass from dawn to dusk,
Late summer sun the color of rust.
Rows of men rising up from the fields,
Banners of glory refusing to yield.
Sun ripened corn, white church in the morning,
This harvest of men serves as a warning.
Bearded generals in boots order ENGAGE!
Black powdered faces filled with rage.
The rebel yell now a dying refrain,
But the boys in blue cannot sustain.
A farmer's lane sunken with use,
Roar of a thousand muskets let loose.
Over rolling hills they slowly advance,
Eternity in an instant in this tragic war dance.
Cauldron of death compressed by stone,
A bridge to oblivion and thoughts of home.
Pushed to the limit like a long speeding train,
The water moves swiftly with the blood of the slain.
Tall man in black hallowed by war,
Asks in the stillness, what is it for?
His "terrible swift sword" will set men free,
The shadows now cast under the dying tree.
Black and white images convey the color of death,
For those who here breathed their last final breath.
The valley now rests with somber mystique,
For those who come visit Antietam Creek.
The Battle of Antietam, September 19, 1862, remains the single bloodiest day in United States history.