September Mourn by Alann Schmidt and Terry Barkley

The Dunker Church at Antietam is one of the most famous battlefield church’s in history. Alann Schmidt and Terry Barkley have written a history of the church in September Mourn: The Dunker Church of Antietam Battlefield.

Although I am not normally drawn to histories of churches or buildings, Schmidt and Barkley write in a manner that keeps the reader interested in it. They not only write about the church, but also about the history of the Church of the Brethren (Dunkers) in America. The authors center the history around the pivotal days in September when the Union thwarted the efforts of Lee and the Confederates in their invasion of the North.

Antietam (and almost every battle in the Civil War) has been analyzed and written about ad nauseam. The authors find another angle to look at the Union victory that led to the release of the Emancipation Proclamation. This angle is thought-provoking by looking at the costs of the battle not only on the combat troops that fought, but also on the civilians who were left to pick up the pieces of their shattered homes and lives. The authors pay due respects to the hardy men and women of the Church who cared for the wounded while piecing their lives back together.

The book is an excellent history of the Dunkers and the church that they called home at the Battle of Antietam.


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