In support of the Institute’s mission, we are extremely proud to announce the establishment of an annual scholarship to provide financial assistance to a worthy Shepherd University student majoring in American history. This scholarship is to encourage and inspire future study of one of the most important military campaigns of the American Civil War. To be considered for selection of this $2,000 scholarship award, the undergraduate student has a major in Civil War/ Nineteenth Century America and must be in good standing with at least one year of study at Shepherd (2.0 or higher GPA).
Working through the Shephard Foundation and with Dr. James Broomall, Director of Shepherd University’s George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, this year’s recipient is Kierstyn Williams. Kierstyn and her family moved to the area from North Carolina specifically to attend Shepherd. She is a student in good-standing in the Civil War Concentration and is working toward a capstone presentation (next year) on field hospitals during the 1862 Maryland Campaign.
We wish Kierstyn all the best in her upcoming studies and are looking forward to her research on the hospitals.
A huge thanks goes out to Institute members Jack and Kathy Richer, who are not able to attend this year’s Fall Conference but donated funds to pay for a deserving Shepherd University student to attend. The Institute worked with the university’s George Tyler Moore Center to select one of their outstanding students, Jillian Black.
Jillian Black is a senior Civil War History major at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. As a lifelong Civil War reenactor with the 142nd PVI Co. F, Jill has garnered a deep interest in all things Civil War related. She has been employed through Eastern National in the Antietam Park Store since 2019 and has recently started working in Monocacy’s Park Store as well. Her dream is to be a Park Ranger in Alaska for a handful of years before returning east to be at a Civil War battlefield. Outside of history, Jill is an avid musician. She plays the oboe and English horn with the Shepherd University Wind Ensemble and is a sister of Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional music fraternity for women. She has held the positions of Treasurer, President, and Vice President Membership. Her favorite battlefields include Petersburg, Cedar Creek, and of course, Antietam.
Just before the 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam the American Battlefield Trust transferred a 7.6 acre tract to the National Park Service. Many of you know this property as the Katie Poffenberger farm which lies just opposite the Visitor Center and south of the Dunker Church. The Trust had originally purchased this property in 2016. Since that time, many of you have assisted the Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF) in clearing much of the non-historic trees out of the old pasture field.
This area is critical to understanding the fighting that took place there on September 17, 1862 around mid-day as men from the Union XII Corps held the ground just west of the Dunker Church. They would be force back by Confederates from Joseph Kershaw’s Brigade and then the 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas regiments attacking across this field.
On July 12, the Antietam Institute sent a $2,500 contribution to the American Battlefield Trust (ABT) specifically targeting removal of non-period structures on the Katie Poffenberger farm on the Antietam battlefield. The ABT had launched a campaign to raise funds for removal of structures from three different battlefields, one of which was this property at Antietam. The Institute’s donation was for 10% of the total cost of building removal and property reclamation for the Antietam Battlefield portion. The Finance Committee worked directly with Mr. Tom Moore, Lead Philanthropic Advisor for the ABT, who was most enthusiastic in receiving our donation. David Duncan, President of the Trust, sent a gracious letter thanking the Antietam Institute for its commitment and for working as a partner with shared preservation goals.
Even though this property belongs to the NPS, the ABT has committed to bringing it back to its wartime appearance. The removal of non-historic structures will be made possible through our donation and grants from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area.
The second annual appreciation event for members at the Honor Guard/Lifetime ($1,000) level was held on September 10. Noted historian and author Kevin Pawlak kicked off the event with a tour of the Battle of Shepherdstown. The excursion included a stop at the Osbourne Farm, an historic property encompassing the majority of the battlefield, yet rarely seen by the public and only recently rescued from developers. Wine, food and music at Antietam Creek Vineyards, located along the final attack route on Branch Avenue and owned by one of the Institute’s Corporate Sponsors, followed the tour.
Kevin Pawlak provided an excellent tour of the Battle of Shepherdstown and the conclusion of the Maryland Campaign. Here are some highlights of the tour at the Shepherdstown Ford and the Osbourne Farm.
It was a wonderful time at Antietam Creek Vineyards. Thanks to Joan, George and Kim.
The Antietam Institute has purchased a set of documents written more than a century ago by Jacob Duryee who led the 2nd Maryland Regiment at the battle, including a 53-page account of his unit’s attempt to take the Burnside Bridge.
“One of our members noticed that these were available the day before they went up for auction in New York and our board immediately approved supporting an online bid,” said Chris Vincent, the Institute president. “We were pleased that our bid was successful.”
The typewritten documents — apparently written by Duryee not long before his death in 1918 in hopes of publishing a memoir — describe not only the assault but also conditions in a farm building used as a field hospital for the regiment which suffered 44 percent casualties as it approached the bridge along the road from the south.
Duryee also explains his decision to resign his commission a few days later, incensed that the Maryland Governor Augustus Bradford did not visit the regiment when he came to Antietam a few days after the fighting.
A separate manuscript tells of Duryee’s initial unit, the 7th New York, making its way to Washington via Annapolis just after the riots in Baltimore on April 19, 1861, becoming one of the first units to garrison the capital just after the bombardment of Fort Sumter. There is also a set of letters concerning a reunion of the 7th New York and a Duryee family genealogy.
“There are many interesting aspects to Duryee’s account of the fighting at the Burnside Bridge, including his claim that the 2nd Maryland attacked the bridge at 9 a.m. not 10 as the tablet written by Ezra Carmen states,” Vincent said. “Duryee also tells of being surprised to see a chaplain he knew from the 5th Corps who came to the field hospital to retrieve Duryee’s body, assuming he had been killed.”
After the war, Duryee received a brevet promotion to brigadier general of volunteers. When he died, his body was returned to Antietam, and he is the only general buried in the national cemetery.
“The Institute wants to make sure these important documents are available to students of this battle, both online and in person,” Vincent said. The manuscript will be donated to the Antietam National Battlefield Library later this year.
A special thank you to member – Michael Hill for leading the effort to acquire this unique item.
We are pleased to announce that our summer internship with Shepherd University has begun. Working with Dr. James Broomall, of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, we have selected Shane Allen to work as a Digital Archive Intern for the Historical Research Center (HRC). Shane hales from Paige, Texas and is a junior at Shepherd University pursuing a degree in Historic Preservation and Public History. Shane volunteers locally at the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum where he serves as a docent and assisted with the digital archiving of photos documenting the Wendish families and their cultural experiences.
This summer, Shane will be populating our HRC with digital copies of regimental histories, manuscripts, books, documents, maps, photographs, and other items related to Antietam and the Maryland Campaign. Board members, Brian Downey and Chris Vincent are overseeing this project. With this internship the HRC will grow exponentially, with over 600 items by September.
Completing our summer internship will also meet one of the Capstone requirements for Shane and provide an opportunity for him to grow and develop as an historian.
Update: Sept. 25, 2022. Shepherd University student Shane Allen completed a 400-hour summer internship with the Institute in August. Shane uploaded over 500 items to the Institute’s on-line Historic Research Center (HRC), including regimental histories, manuscripts, related works, battlefield drawings, photos and maps. Each entry is complete with detailed information, descriptions and biography links. The Institute developed this repository to collect and share digital copies of historical and contemporary materials on the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign of 1862.
Upon returning back to Shepherdstown in time to start back to school, Shane Allen was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from Institute President, Chris Vincent for his hard work over the summer.
Come to the Pry House to hear the contributors of the Brigades of Antietam discuss in detail some of the brigades that fought in the 1862 Maryland Campaign. This event is sponsored by the Antietam Institute and hosted by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. The presentation begins in the Pry Barn at 2:00 PM and is a pay-what-you-please event. There is a $3.00 suggested donation to tour the Pry House Field Hospital Museum.
The Pry House is open from 11 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays, from June 4 through October 29.
The Pry House Field Hospital Museum is located at 18906 Shepherdstown Pike, Keedysville, MD 21756.
June 4 — Jim Rosebrock discusses Buchanan’s Brigade
June 18 — Gary Rohrer discusses Law’s Brigade
July 2 — Kevin Pawlak discusses Hartsuff’s Brigade
July 16 — Tom Clemens discusses Phelp’s Brigade
August 6 — Joe Stahl discusses Christian’s Brigade
August 20 — Laura Marfut discusses Caldwell’s Brigade
September 3 — Jim Buchanan discusses Gorman’s Brigade
September 17 — Marty Pritchett discusses Gordon’s Brigade
October 1 — Jim Smith discusses Fairchild’s Brigade
October 15 — Matt Borders discusses Ransom’s Brigade
For more information, please contact Rachel Moses at Rachel.Moses@civilwarmed.org
The Brigades of Antietam offers a comprehensive treatment and fresh perspective for every one of the 112 infantry and cavalry brigades, North and South, that fought in the pivotal Maryland Campaign of 1862. The Brigades of Antietam is certain to be a classic and indispensable reference for the Maryland Campaign for years to come.
Join us at Antietam Creek Vineyard to meet some of these authors on May 1, 2022, for a discussion of the book which will be available for sale after the talk. Following the talk, one of the authors will lead a walk around the historic winery property of the southern end of Antietam National Battlefield.
The following authors are scheduled to appear, but others will be present to sign your book.
James Buchanan received his BA and MA in History from the University of Maryland and an MA in teaching from Antioch University. Jim spent his career as an educator, writer, and developer of leadership programs. Now retired, Jim has been a longtime volunteer at Antietam and is a certified Antietam Battlefield Guide. Jim’s writing focused on brigades that fought in the West Woods and includes essays about the brigades of Willis Gorman, Oliver Howard, Napoleon Dana, and Paul Semmes.
Jason Campbell is a graduate of Hood College and was a long-time volunteering at Antietam becoming a certified Antietam Battlefield Guide and then a seasonal park Ranger for the National Park Service. Jason is currently a permanent park Ranger working in Washington DC on the National Mall and Memorial Park. Jason wrote about the Ninth Corps brigades of Edward Ferrero, Hugh Ewing, George Crook, and James Nagle.
Tom Clemens after earning a doctorate from George Mason University, where he studied under Dr. Joseph L Harsh, Tom taught for years at Hagerstown Community College, retiring as professor emeritus. He edited and annotated Ezra a Carman’s narrative of the Maryland Campaign of September 1862, which has received several awards. Tom is the founding member and current president of Save Historic Antietam Foundation Inc., a nonprofit battlefield preservation organization and is an Antietam Battlefield Guide. Tom wrote about Walter Phelps’ brigade, the original Iron Brigade.
Sharon Murray is a native Idahoan with degrees in History and Mining Engineering from the University of Idaho. She volunteers at Antietam National Battlefield in several capacities including Battlefield Ambassador, photographer, cannoneer and cleaning and repainting the park’s historic cast iron tablets. Sharon has been a Certified Battlefield Guide since 2014. Sharon is currently writing a biography of Colonel Benjamin Franklin “Grimes” Davis. Sharon wrote about John Gibbon’s “Black Hat” brigade.
Laura Marfut is a retired U.S. Army colonel with masters degrees in International Relations and Education, and a Master of Strategic Studies from U. S. Army War College. She became a certified Antietam Battlefield Guide in 2019 and added Harpers Ferry and South Mountain credentials the following year. Laura volunteers for Hospice of Washington County and as and Antietam battlefield ambassador. Laura wrote about the brigades of Truman Seymour, John Caldwell, Joseph Kershaw, and William Barksdale.
William Sagle was Antietam Battlefield Guide for 11 years and the 2016 recipient of the O. T. Reilly Guide of the Year for outstanding performance. Bill began conducting programs at the battlefield in 1981. His highly refined grasp of tactics and weaponry developed into unique perspectives on the battle. As a guide, Bill conducted hundreds of tours for groups ranging from military professionals to those with a more casual interest in the history of Antietam. Bill wrote about the brigades of Abram Duryee, Albert Magilton, Robert Anderson, and Marcellus Douglas.
The Antietam Institute Board of Directors approved its 2022 operating budget in February, including decisions for philanthropic donations. These donations will support the goals and objectives of the organization as found in our by-laws. The recipients for 2022 are:
The Burkittsville Preservation Association – The Antietam Institute presented a one-time $2,500 donation on February 26 toward restoration of the Willard Shafer farmhouse and barn. The Shafer House was the headquarters for Major General William B. Franklin, commander of the Union Sixth Corps on September 14, 1862 during the battle of Crampton’s Gap. Once restored, the circa 1830 farmhouse will house a museum dedicated to the Burkittsville area’s history during the Civil War. A video about the project produced by the Institute can be seen here.
Town of Sharpsburg Interpretive Plaza – The Institute has committed to a $2,000 annual contribution for three consecutive years for the development of an interpretive plaza in the green space at the corner of Main and Church Streets. Initiated by the Town of Sharpsburg, this project will tell the story of Sharpsburg and the people who have lived there, even prior to the founding of the town in 1763.
Civil War Trails– the Institute has approved funding for a one-time $2,600 payment for development of a Civil War Trails – Antietam Campaign marker in a to-be-determined location. Adding to the existing 33 markers associated with the Antietam Campaign, the new interpretive site in or around Sharpsburg would enable visitors to learn something unique to the town or the battlefield.
Also, our goal of creating a scholarship has become a reality. In collaboration with Shepherd University Foundation and the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War (GTMC), we are excited to announce that the first annual Institute scholarship will be awarded this fall. The recipient will be recognized at our Fall Conference in October. Additionally, our internship program will continue into its second year. This year’s GTMC intern will assist our Digital Archive team in adding more digital copies of historical and contemporary material to our Historical Research Center.
Your dues allow the Institute to financially support bona fide historical efforts in education, preservation and research. Keep an eye out for future announcements!
Among the Antietam Institute’s objectives are the support of other groups and nonprofit organizations with goals related to ours. On February 26, 2022, members of the Antietam Institute Board of Directors were honored to present the Burkittsville Preservation Association with a check for $2500 to support the restoration of the Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm, site of Major General William Franklin’s Sixth Corps headquarters during the Battle of Crampton’s Gap on September 14, 1862. The pristine view from the farm is virtually the same that General Franklin would have found it 160 years ago.
The ultimate goal of the Burkittsville Preservation Association is to transform the farm into a center for the interpretation of the history, culture, and architecture of the Burkittsville community. The Antietam Institute looks forward to identifying other opportunities to support and encourage the preservation and interpretation of this historic property with our friends at the Burkittsville Preservation Association.
After the presentation, the members of the Institute were given a tour of the house and we had a chance to talk with Paul Gilligan, of the Burkittsville Preservation Association.