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Couple ties the knot at Antietam National Battlefield

July 10, 2010|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI
  • Lindsay Miles and Corey Wolfensberger held their wedding Saturday at Antietam National Battlefield.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

SHARPSBURG -- When Lindsay Miles and Corey Wolfensberger told their pastor they wanted to get married at Antietam National Battlefield, he took pause.

"He said it was ironic because marriage can end up being kind of a battle," Lindsay said.

The engagement at Antietam during the Civil War is known as the bloodiest one-day battle in American history. It left 23,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing after 12 hours of savage combat.

But the couple viewed the venue in a different light.

Lindsay said she was sure she wanted to be married outdoors.

Corey works as a budget analyst at the battlefield, and battlefield Superintendent John Howard offered that the couple could be married there.

"It was an offer we couldn't refuse," Lindsay said. "I think of it from the tourist, happy side, and of the beauty of it."

So Saturday afternoon, Lindsay and Corey, both 27, of Williamsport, walked down the paved aisle from Dunker Church to a tall white tent across the road, where 14 attendants and 135 guests awaited.

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The grand Maryland Monument served as a backdrop. A couple of uniformed re-enactors peered over the snake-rail fencing to observe the event.

"We are standing on hallowed ground," the Rev. Brian Moore said. "Thousands of visitors, historians and photographers come to pay their respects here each year. But today, this ground is hallowed for another reason. What was indescribably ugly back there in 1862 is transformed today into a place of love, life and laughter."

Moore said like the grounds they graced, the union of Lindsay and Corey was sacred. But he contrasted the service of soldiers with the commitment of marriage.

"The soldiers who fought here enlisted for a few months or years, some even for a career," Moore said. "But after some years, they retired. Marriage is unlike that. Marriage is for life. It marches on."

Moore told the couple that in marriage, they might experience "friendly fire."

"You will even at times find yourself wounded," he said. "But you have a field hospital surrounding you in family, friends, and always in our God, and you will recover."

Corey said he thought some people had been married at Dunker Church before, but he didn't know of any other couples being married outside in the fields. He said he was glad that many of his friends and family were exposed to the battlefield because of the wedding.

"A lot of times, this place is forgotten," he said. "Today, a lot of people came to the battlefield who otherwise wouldn't even have known it was here."

Lindsay's cousin, Katie Coffman, said, "It's such a nice venue for this. It's just beautiful landscape."

Female attendants wore espresso-hued dresses, while the groomsmen donned ivory tuxedos. Inside the tent, white pillars topped with ferns and ivy made a simple and elegant altar that blended with the surrounding hills.

"Earth tones happen to be my favorite colors," Lindsay said. "It just worked."

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