I took these at the beautiful historical resort known as Sweet Springs in Monroe County West Virginia.
The mineral spring water is absolutely breathtaking. The spring bath house is decaying around the pool but the beauty reflecting off the water takes me to a time long gone.
These photos were taken by Cindie Harper during her most recent trip to Antietam Battlefield. Photos are copyrighted.
The Battle of Antietam /ænˈtiːtəm/, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South, was fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland Campaign. It was the first field army-level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil and is the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.
After pursuing the Confederate general Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan of the Union Army launched attacks against Lee’s army, in defensive positions behind Antietam Creek. At dawn on September 17, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee’s left flank. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller’s Cornfield, and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. In the afternoon, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s corps entered the action, capturing a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and advancing against the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, Confederate Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill’s division arrived from Harpers Ferry and launched a surprise counterattack, driving back Burnside and ending the battle. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout September 18, while removing his battered army south of the Potomac River.
Despite having superiority of numbers, McClellan’s attacks failed to achieve force concentration, which allowed Lee to counter by shifting forces and moving interior lines to meet each challenge. Therefore, despite ample reserve forces that could have been deployed to exploit localized successes, McClellan failed to destroy Lee’s army.
McClellan had halted Lee’s invasion of Maryland, but Lee was able to withdraw his army back to Virginia without interference from the cautious McClellan. McClellan’s refusal to pursue Lee’s army led to his removal from command by President Abraham Lincoln in November. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, the Confederate troops had withdrawn first from the battlefield, making it, in military terms, a Union victory. It was a sufficiently significant victory to give Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from pursuing any potential plans to recognize the Confederacy.
New River Gorge National River protects and preserves 53 miles of the New River as well as over 70,000 acres of the magnificent gorge that this river created.
The park is 53 miles long and has two visitor centers. Food, lodging, and full service campgrounds are available. Primitive camping is also available at no extra charge but it is available on a first come – first serve basis.
By: Cindie Harper
Lynnside Manor is located in Monroe County, West Virginia and is the main building of the Lynnside Historic District. Lynnside is a Greek Revival structure built in Jeffersonian style. It was built in 1845 and was the ancestral home of the Lewis family of Virginia. The Lewis family founded the Sweet Springs Resort and St. John’s Catholic Church. St. John’s was the first Catholic Church in the area.
During the Civil War, General David Hunter and his Union soldiers raided the mansion and the General ordered the mansion to be burned. It is believed that General Hunter’s harsh treatment toward the Lewis family was because Mrs. Lewis was the daughter of Confederate General John Floyd. According to local folklore, Mrs. Lewis was a brave and resourceful woman who repeatedly put out the fires set by the drunken Union soldiers until they left. The soldiers left very little food or fuel for the family and the livestock had been destroyed or driven off. Despite the devastation and obstacles to overcome, the family made the best of the situation. The manor remained home to the Lewis family and later the Floyd family.
In 1933, there was a fire that gutted the mansion. Partial restoration was initiated by the family in the 1950’s but they were forced to abandon the project when they ran out of money for the project. The red brick Greek Revival home has sat vacant ever since.
Lynnside is about a mile away from the historic “Old Sweet Springs Resort” and St. John’s Church.
At the top of the hill toward the rear of the house is the Lewis Family Cemetery and the Catholic Cemetery.
Virginia Governor John Floyd and his wife Letitia Preston Floyd are buried on the hill beyond the house. He died here in 1837 while visiting his daughter Letitia Preston Lewis. His wife Letitia Preston died in 1853 at her home in Burke’s Garden, and her body was brought here to lie beside her husband’s.
The governor was supportive of the Catholic Church. Letitia converted to Catholicism very late in life. Many relatives were active church members. There is still an association between the Catholic Church and Lynnside even today.
By: Cindie Harper