Nearly a century ago, as World War I was entering its final stages, a couple from South Carolina made a journey north to perhaps put to rest a ghost of another bloody conflict, one that had ended more than five decades prior.
Mr. and Mrs. Wattie Gaillard Smith of Columbia traveled to Shepherdstown, WV, to visit sisters Annie Licklider and Bettie Licklider Rentch, and to pay their respects at the grave of Smith’s father, Capt. Henry Julius Smith, who had fallen at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862.
Wounded during the bloodiest battle on American soil, Smith, a captain with South Carolina’s Hampton Legion, was evacuated with many other injured men, according to the June 6, 1918, edition of the Shepherdstown Register, in a story titled ‘A Reminder of the Battle of Antietam’.
“Shepherdstown … indeed, was one great hospital, where the churches, public buildings and private homes…
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