Did General Lee climb onto a rock?

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Sergeant Major
Apr 1, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia
150 yrs. ago today, June 17, 1868: In Atlanta, GA, today’s “Intelligencer” has this technical news: “Artificial Ice.—They have, says the New York “Express”, artificial works in full operation near New Orleans, and thousands flock to them daily to see the process, which bids fair to obviate entirely the necessity for importing Northern ice. The artificial ice is sold at ¾ of a cent per pound. T...he manufacture is said to be peculiarly attractive, from the pumping of the water from the turbid river, near at hand, to the slipping out of the polished, glistening slabs of alabaster-looking ice from the tin molds, in which they are congealed. Artificial ice as there produced is a French discovery.—The first works, upon a small scale, were established in Augusta, Ga., during the war.”…………………………

Near Sharpsburg, Maryland, in September of 1862, at the battlefield along Antietam Creek, did General Lee climb onto a rock to better see the relative positions of his troops?...Probably not, but local legend has it that he did, and the rock has become a part of local lore and an interesting feature in the National Cemetery there. So much so that a special pathway is created so the interested guests can see and climb on the rock…..For two years there has been much debate on whether to remove the rock, a symbol of Southern “pollution” within the Union soldiers’ cemetery, or to keep it as a “Feature of historic interest”…..It has to go. Today, a measure is passed by the Board of Trustees of the Cemetery to, “remove all fixed rocks from the cemetery grounds which project above the surface at least one foot”… According to Confederate Generals who have visited the battlefield, General Lee never came within eyeshot of that rock, and even if he had, it wouldn’t be much of an honor to Southerners. The real tribute to Southern courage and tenacity is the rows of dead Yankees beautifying the grounds.

In this drawing of 1867 of the Cemetery, the rock location is still shown, in this center of this snip.

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