Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Antietam Pronunciations

As the ink dried on the September 25, 1862, edition of the Louisville Daily Democrat, the word "Antietam" was still a new edition to the American lexicon. The battle was just eight days old and still occupied plenty of space in newspapers around the United States and the Confederate States.

Courtesy of
The Louisville Daily Democrat's editors wanted to ensure that its readers could spell and pronounce "the name of the creek on the banks of which McClellan fought the greatest battle and gained the most glorious victory of the war." After all, they had to make up for the earlier misspelling of the word, which "the telegraph has shockingly mutilated."

"[T]he name is destined to be a household word in all time to come," they wrote. "The name is Antietam--pronounced An-tee-tam, with the accent on the second syllable."

Since people of many different backgrounds populated and fought on the Antietam battlefield and the others of the Maryland Campaign, here is a short pronunciation guide to some of the campaign's toughest words and names:

Alpheus (Williams): al-FEE-us
(Lewis) Armistead: ARM-sted
Bolivar: BAHL-i-vur
Boteler (Boteler's Ford): BOHT-ler or BOT-ler
(John Bowyer) Brockenbrough: BRO-ken-bro
(John) Buford: BYOO-furd
(Alfred) Colquitt: KOL-kwit
Darius Couch: duh-RI-us kowch
(William D.) DeSaussure: DES-ses-soh or DES-suh-soh
(Abram and Jacob) Duryee: dur-YAY
(Frederick) D'Utassy: doo-TASSY
Evander (Law): i-VAN-der
(Richard) Garnett: GAHR-nit
(John) Hartranft: HAHRT-ranft
(Joseph) Knipe: nipe
Lafayette (McLaws): luh-FAY-et
(Albert) Magilton: muh-JIL-tun or MAHJ-ul-tun
(Thomas) Meagher: marr or muh-HAR
Mumma: MOO-maw
(William) Pegram: PEE-grum
(John) Semmes: semz
(Moxley) Sorrel: sor-RELL
Little Sorrel: SOR-ul
(Alexander) Taliaferro: TAHL-i-vur
(Charles) Urquhart: UHR-kut
(William) Wofford: WAH-furd

Comment below if you have any names and pronunciations you want to add to the list.

*Thanks to Tom Clemens and Robert Quigley's Civil War Spoken Here for assistance with this post.

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