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Returning your call

October 04, 2007

Editor's Note: Each Friday, Herald-Mail reporters and editors will answer some of the questions that are called in by readers to Mail Call. Consider this us returning your call.

Q: "Looking over your historical timeline in the last edition here, it says, pertaining to the Battle of South Mountain, that it was the bloodiest day in American military history, with about 23,000 casualties, including more than 3,600 dead. I thought that it was like 23,000 that were killed in that battle. Can you confirm that, or correct it, or let me know one way or another? Thank you."

A: The timeline referenced the dates of both the Battle of South Mountain and the Battle of Antietam. It is the latter battle, the Battle of Antietam, in which so many soldiers were killed and injured. According to the National Park Service Web site, 2,100 Union soldiers and 1,550 Confederate soldiers died during the Battle of Antietam. According to the Web site, 9,550 Union soldiers and 7,750 Confederate soldiers were wounded. More than 1,700 soldiers on both sides were missing or captured. These are the approximate numbers for Sept. 17, 1862, according to the Web site. "No one knows the actual number of men who would later die of their wounds or the number of missing who had been killed," according to the Web site. "If you take a conservative estimate of 20 percent of the wounded dying of their wounds and 30 percent of the missing killed, the approximate number of soldiers that died as a result of this battle are 7,640." You can look up more information at www.nps.gov

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Q: "I think that in the future the newspaper should start printing weekly how our congressmen, senators, anybody votes on issues that are important to us in the country, and also the governor, what he stands for. I hear on TV where the governor of New York is going to issue illegal immigrants driver's licenses. Now how stupid could that be, when there's a law that says they're not supposed to be here? We have got to make these people accountable and let them know that we are their boss. We are the ones that vote for them, and I'll guarantee you it's time for us to start cleaning that bunch out down in Washington. Thank you."

A: When Congress is in session, The Herald-Mail runs National votes, which reports how local legislators voted on issues. It runs every Sunday. In the House of Representatives, we report the votes for Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.; Bill Shuster, R-Pa.; and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. In the Senate, we report the votes for Democratic senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, Robert Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Robert Byrd and John Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Republican senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Q: "Just curious why the breast cancer month awareness was made for local areas like Smithsburg, Hagerstown, all them ? they're all in Sunday's paper, but Hancock isn't included. I was curious whether or not Hancock didn't want to go along with it, or they were just excluded for an unknown reason ? the pink ribbon thing for the parking meters, to raise awareness of breast cancer. Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Boonsboro, Brunswick, Funkstown, Sharpsburg, Smithsburg, Williamsport, Greencastle, and Waynesboro. I'm just curious as to why Hancock was excluded, or like I say, maybe they didn't want to be in it. I'd like an answer in the paper if possible. Thank you."

A: Janet Lung, community liaison for Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley, Inc., said Hancock is participating. The town was inadvertently left out of a full page advertisement in Sunday's Herald-Mail on page B8. Volunteers in towns and communities around the area are tying pink ribbons on trees, light poles and parking meters as part of 2007 Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities. "We want to paint everything pink to help raise awareness," Lung said of the ribbon program. Two hundred pink ribbons were to be tied various places in Hancock Thursday and today.

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