For my listening assignment, I chose a story from “All Things Considered” on Sept. 17 called “Antietam Changed Nature of Civil War 150 Years Ago.” The story remembers the 150th anniversary of the battle, its players and the aftermath.
Tom Bowman reported the piece and he went to Sharpsburg, the site of the battle, to record his segment. Instead of running down stock gunfire and the sounds of the battlefield, Bowman starts his piece by walking through a cornfield. He gives the sound time to unfold; you can hear the stocks leaning against one another and twigs snapping underneath his feet. When Bowman gets around to his first interview, crickets can be heard in the background. He is clearly in the country, far removed from the commotion of Washington, D.C.
The rest of the 4-minute piece is pretty straight forward. There are interviews over the phone and breakdowns of causalities.
The setup is the most memorable part of the piece. The quiet evening and familiar country sounds are hard reconcile with the bloody battle that happened so many years ago.