For over three years, Aaron Holley, our cartographer, has been working on an Antietam Battlefield base map. Aaron Holley is a native of West Virginia and a lifetime student of the American Civil War. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and a Master of Science in Forestry from West Virginia University and has experience working on forest conservation projects worldwide. This professional experience has led Aaron to be intimately familiar with the practice of cartography and modern mapping techniques, which when paired with his passion for the American Civil War, results in this outstanding map.
The objective of this initiative is to recreate the 1862 landscape in three dimensions using a computer-based Geographic Information System (GIS), which utilizes modern data collected from such sources as satellites and aircraft combined with historical maps, ground-truthing in the field, and expert input. This results in a map that is true to scale and even usable in a GPS to compare the modern landscape to the 1862 landscape while in the field. For the last year, a committee of “experts”: Jim Rosebrock, Kevin Pawlak, Jim Buchanan, Steve Cowie and Chris Vincent, have reviewed every sector of the map, analyzing fence lines, roads, farmsteads, and the topography for accuracy. This base map is a “living” map that can be updated as new information is obtained, and it serves as the backdrop for Antietam Institute publications, such as Artillery of Antietam and The Antietam Journal.
Now that this initial phase is completed, the Institute is looking to print these base maps not only for members, but for purchase by the public with our vendors. The map will be 24×36 inches and in full color. A draft of the base map was revealed during the Honor Guard event to gather members’ interest and feedback. Based on that, we made some final edits and it was off to the printers!
Figuring in the printing costs, shipping and packaging, we estimate the map will retail for $30. The maps will be available for members to purchase at the fall conference. When members start to see the value of this new and improved battlefield map, and there is an interest for more, the mapping committee will begin looking at recreating the fourteen battlefield maps with the unit positions.
New Designation for a Church Destroyed by Civil War
On Thursday, August 24 members of the Antietam Institute helped hoist a new set of Civil War Trails signs into place where the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church once stood. This is the first Civil War Trails (CWT) site in downtown Sharpsburg officially adding the beautiful community to the multi-state program. The church was damaged beyond repair during the September 17, 1862 Battle of Antietam.
“We are extremely excited to have this first CWT sign installed at the site of the old Lutheran Church,” said Chris Vincent, President of the Antietam Institute. The Institute was the primary advocate for the project, envisioning how to tell this often overlooked story and covering the initial costs. They will also be the sustaining partner for the site enabling the Civil War Trails program and its partners to market the site internationally to visitors from around the world.
This project in Sharpsburg is the latest addition to the CWT program which offers over 1,500 sites across six states. As visitors travel to each site, utilizing the CWT brochures and directional signs to navigate they visit local restaurants, stay at local B&Bs, and enjoy museums, hikes, and other amenities. Daniel Spedden, President of the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau lauded the project. “As cultural and heritage tourists seek authentic experiences, they not only generate revenue, but also support countless small businesses, create employment opportunities, and preserve the unique history, traditions, and craftsmanship of our region.”
Across Maryland there are over 180 Civil War Trails sites, including over two-dozen stops associated with the 1862 Antietam Campaign. The popularity of the 1862 Antietam Campaign driving trail dovetails nicely with the mission of the Antietam Institute. The Institute is a member centered organization with a mission to educate the public on the critical importance of the Battle of Antietam and the campaign which was a major turning point of the Civil War which directly resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation.
The two organizations are optimistic about the ability to help promote travel to region and in telling new and varied stories. Vincent continued, “This is the first of many signs the Antietam Institute plans to sponsor around Sharpsburg to tell the story beyond the battlefield, of those civilians who experienced the tragedy of the bloodiest single day in American history.”
The new Civil War Trails site is located at 213 East Main Street, Sharpsburg located on top of the hill where the cemetery is now today. Be sure to snap a #signselfie and post it along with #mdinfocus. For more information about visiting or for a free map-guide shipped to your door visit civilwartrails.org. To find out more about the Antietam Institute, their programs, publications, and project visit their website at antietaminstitute.org and follow them @antietaminstitute on social media.
Editorial Note: We do not recommend publishing, printing, or posting a photo which shows the entire sign content. Doing so actually decreases visitation.
The Antietam Institute is sponsoring four lectures as part of the 2023 Sharpsburg Days on Saturday, October 7. Sharpsburg Days is a one-day event to commemorate the history and culture of Sharpsburg, Maryland which was founded in 1763. The four lectures will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church starting at 10am, until 3pm. Four local historians will discuss some of the unknown stories of Sharpsburg’s unique history. Institute publications will be available for purchase during the program. For more information about Sharpsburg Days go to the Sharpsburgh Museum of History.
10:00am – Keith Snyder: “The Marines Land in Sharpsburg“ The largest event ever to take place in Sharpsburg, after the Battle of Antietam, was in 1924 when the Marine Expeditionary Force marched to Antietam for a twelve-day training encampment. They brought aircraft, tanks, balloons, machine guns plus their band and baseball team. Over 100,000 people visited the event. See numerous historic photos of this dramatic, yet somewhat unknown event in the history of the park.
Keith Snyder has worked for the National Park Service since 1985 at four National Parks. He is currently serving as the Chief of Resource Education and Visitor Services at Antietam National Battlefield. He is a graduate of Shepherd University and received his master’s degree from the U. S. Army War College. He retired from the United States Air Force and Air National Guard in 2016 after 40 years of service.
11:00am – Tim Snyder: “Drums Along the Towpath: The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal during the Maryland Campaign of 1862”
This presentation will look at how the Maryland Campaign of 1862 impacted the C&O Canal, beginning with the Confederate invasion of Maryland through the oft-overlooked service that the canal provided in resupplying McClellan’s army following the battle. It will also review the canal company’s efforts to recover from damages that the armies inflicted during the campaign.
Tim Snyder has an M.A. degree in history from Shippensburg (PA) University and is the author of the book, Trembling in the Balance: The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal during the Civil War, which was published in 2011 by Blue Mustang Press, as well as other articles published in historical journals, magazines and newsletters. Tim also recently completed a study of Stonewall Jackson’s raids on Dam No. 5, Dam No. 4, Bath, Hancock and Romney. He lives in Hagerstown, MD.
1:00 pm – Tim Ware: “Maryland in the French and Indian War“
In 1754, in the dense woodlands of Eastern North America, yet another colonial war ignited over the disputed Ohio Valley in present day western Pennsylvanian. Unknown at the time, the small frontier skirmish will grow into a global war for empire. Due to its location, the British colony of Maryland was open to frontier raids by Native American tribes aligned with France. Starting in 1755, and continuing for the next 3 years, Washington County, then part of Frederick County, was among the hardest hit areas in Colonial Maryland. Its inhabitants will suffer heavily and be among the first to fight back. Joseph Chapline, founder of Sharpsburg, will command a company of militia patrolling the frontier and colonial Governor Horatio Sharpe will choose the area as the site for Fort Frederick, the backbone of Maryland’s defense.
Tim Ware grew up outside Martinsburg, West Virginia, in a region filled with history spanning from the colonial period to the American Civil War and beyond. His passion for history pushed him to pursue an undergraduate degree in history from Shepherd University and a graduate degree in American history from American Public University. He has worked at several state and national parks in the tri-state region and currently works for Berkeley County Schools as a history teacher. He is the author of Maryland in the French and Indian War published by The History Press in February 2023.
2:00 pm – John Schildt: “Drums along the Antietam”.
This talk will discuss how the community around the Antietam Creek is steeped with history, not just from the bloody battle of September 1862, but for centuries before and after the Civil War. Drums Along the Antietam details the long and diverse history of Antietam from the pre-colonial days of the Catawba and Delaware Indian peoples, through the wars and settlement by Europeans in the 18th century, to the continued strength and relevance of the place after the Civil War. Few areas of the United States have seen as much history as the Valley of the Antietam.
Reverend John Schildt graduated from Shepherd College, Wesley Theological Seminary and has studied at Western Maryland College, Gettysburg Seminary and West Virginia University. John’s first book, September Echoes, published in 1960, was the first on Antietam since Francis Palfrey in 1887. This led to an appointment to the Maryland Centennial Committee. He wrote the account of the battle for the Official Centennial Program and was the guest speaker for the 125h anniversary. John has been a lecturer and guide for several Civil War organizations, Round Tables, and many other groups. John led his first tour of Antietam in 1958. Since then, 2,000 additional tours have followed. John has written over thirty-five books relating the various aspects of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and local history. This list includes Drums along the Antietam, Roads to Antietam, Four Days in October, Islands of Mercy, and Roads to Gettysburg. He and his wife and daughter live in Sharpsburg.
Institute historian are back at the Pry House this summer for our “Artillery and Brigades of Antietam” speaker series. Come to the Pry House to hear the contributors of the Brigades of Antietam discuss in detail some of the brigades and the artillery that fought in the 1862 Maryland Campaign. The series 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 3 through October 28. The Pry House Field Hospital Museum is located at 18906 Shepherdstown Pike, Keedysville, MD 21756.
June 17 – Jim Rosebrock – The Union Artillery at Antietam. Jim Rosebrock served 28 years in the US Army, including combat operations with the 82nd Airborne in Grenada, retiring at the rank of Lt. Colonel. He holds a master’s degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Jim recently retired from the Department of Justice. He was the Chief of the Antietam Battlefield Guides from 2011 to 2018. He manages two blogs, Antietam Voices, and South from the North Woods. Jim is currently the Vice President of the Antietam Institute and the author of The Artillery of Antietam.
July 1 – Jim Buchanan – Napoleon J. T. Dana’s Brigade James M. Buchanan received his BA and MA (History) from University of Maryland, and an MA in teaching from Antioch University. He was also a teacher in the D.C. Public Schools and Emerson College Preparatory School. He served as Associate editor of the Documentary History of the Supreme Court, 1789-1800; Program Director, National Institute for Citizen Education in the Law; Education Specialist, Federal Judicial Center; and is a volunteer and Certified Antietam Guide.
July 15 – Jim Rosebrock – The Confederate Artillery at Antietam Jim Rosebrock served 28 years in the US Army, including combat operations with the 82nd Airborne in Grenada, retiring at the rank of Lt. Colonel. He holds a master’s degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Jim recently retired from the Department of Justice. He was the Chief of the Antietam Battlefield Guides from 2011 to 2018. He manages two blogs, Antietam Voices, and South from the North Woods. Jim is currently the Vice President of the Antietam Institute and the author of The Artillery of Antietam.
August 5 – Brad Gottfried – brigades of Richard Anderson’s division Brad Gottfried received his Ph.D. in Zoology and worked at seven colleges over a span of 40 years. He retired in 2017 as the President of the College of Southern Maryland. Brad became an Antietam Certified Battlefield Guide in 2019. He is the author of 18 books, including his most recent, The Maps of the Spotsylvania Through Cold Harbor Campaigns.
September 2 – Lucas Cade – Alfred Colquitt’s Brigade Lucas Cade. A native of Marietta, Georgia, Lucas developed an early interest in the Civil War. He received a BS in Secondary Education from Troy State University and a MS in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. He moved to Washington County, Maryland and has enjoyed a 30-year career in business development. Lucas has been a long-time advocate of battlefield preservation and has been active in the American Battlefield Trust and its predecessors for over two decades. A certified guide at Antietam National Battlefield, Lucas lives in Hagerstown with his wife, Julie.
September 16 – Laura Marfut – Truman Seymour’s Brigade Laura Marfut is a retired U.S. Army colonel with master’s degrees in International Relations and Education, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the 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. She volunteers for Hospice of Washington County and as an Antietam Battlefield Ambassador. She and her husband Ed live in Hagerstown, Maryland.
October 7 – Jim Smith – Max Weber’s Brigade J.O. Smith is a native of Miami, Florida. He has been a volunteer at Antietam National Battlefield since 2017 and a certified battlefield guide since 2018. He has a master’s degree in history from the University of Georgia and undergraduate and law degrees from Duke University. He is an attorney and lives with his family near Annapolis, Maryland.
October 21 – Marty Pritchett – George Gordon’s Brigade Martin Pritchett was born in Southern Kansas. Martin is a member of the Oklahoma Shawnee tribe. He grew up in a military family that took him from the Midwest to Europe. A veteran of 23 years in the United States Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office specializing in coastal search and rescue, environmental protection response, and maritime port safety. After seven years as an Antietam Battlefield Ambassador, Martin became a Certified Antietam Battlefield Guide.
The Antietam Institute recently helped facilitate the donation of four Confederate notes to the Sharpsburgh Museum of History. We received an email in late April from Mr. Larry Lauer stating that he had a number of Confederate notes and wanted to donate them to an organization for preservation. The notes he had were $100, $50 $10 and $5. They were dated from 1861 ($50) 1862 ($100) 1863 ($5) and 1864 ($10).
Mr. Lauer said the the notes had been given to him by an aunt in 1965 when he was 16 years old. April 9th of that year was the centennial anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. The centennial was a “big deal nationally with lots of activities around it”, he stated. Mr. Lauer was very interested in the Civil War reading books by historian Bruce Catton, who wrote “A Stillness at Appomattox” and others. His aunt also gave him a few older books about the Civil War to encourage his interest. Mr. Lauer donated a 1965 5¢ Appomattox commemorative stamp as well. It was one of the five Civil War Centennial Series stamps issued between 1961 and 1965.
Although he is not a collector, Mr. Lauer researched the notes and said from his understanding the bills from 1861 ($50) and 1862 ($100) are rarer because fewer of them were printed then in the later war years. All of the bills were printed in Richmond on rice paper which is thin and brittle. They are hand signed by different people and some are numbered and dated by hand.
The Confederate paper money was called “Graybacks” to distinguish them from the Union bills which were called “Greenbacks”. When the Army of Northern Virginia marched north, they gave these “Graybacks” to locals when they confiscated food and live stock to support the army on the move. These payments were essentially worthless, because they could not be redeemed for gold until after the war. The Union armies did the same thing. Maryland, being a border state, had soldiers from both armies fighting and marching through the region throughout the war, so both “Graybacks” and “Greenbacks” were not uncommon in local areas.
Once the Confederate notes arrived, the Institute coordinated with Ed Beeler, Executive Director of the Sharpsburgh Museum of History, to receive them. The museum will display the notes in a new exhibit interpreting the Civil War that emphasizes the struggle and hardships the civilians of Sharpsburg faced during the war.
We want to thank Larry Lauer for his generous donation to the Sharpsburgh Museum of History and are thrilled that the Institute was able to assist in making this happen. We look forward to seeing the exhibit at the museum.
Join the Antietam Institute for Antietam History on Tap at Thick-N-Thin Brewing Co. in Hagerstown! During the month of January, Institute members Matthew Borders, Gary Rohrer, Laura Marfut, Joseph Stahl, and Dr. Tom Clemens will share surprising insight about the Maryland Campaign and the Civil War. From spies to local lore, from South Mountain to Sharpsburg, these speakers will discuss aspects of the past that they find most compelling and significant. Join them at Thick-N-Thin Brewing Co. in Hagerstown each Tuesday night at 6pm for some good beer and Antietam History on Tap.
Jan. 3 – Matthew Borders The Spy Game in Civil War Maryland
Matt’s presentation will be on the important and influential use of spies in Maryland during the Civil War by both Union and Confederate forces. The presentation focuses primarily on central Maryland as it was the highway of three separate Confederate invasions and looks at some of the major personalities both in and out of uniform that were operating throughout the region. The Spy Game in Maryland during the Civil War was a microcosm of the war itself with people of all backgrounds becoming involved in this risky venture. Neighbor distrusted neighbor, and everyone was suspect. Come hear how these first steps in military intelligence gathering led to a professionalization of the practice as the war continued and why many of the nation’s players in intelligence today trace their origins to the Civil War.
A graduate of Michigan State and Eastern Michigan University, Matthew Borders holds a BA in United States History with a focus in the American Civil War and a MS in Historic Preservation. Following graduation, he taught at Kalamazoo Valley Community College before accepting a position with the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. He worked as the historian for the ABPP for six years, during which time he became a certified battlefield guide at Antietam National Battlefield and Harpers Ferry National Historical Site.
Currently, Matthew is a Park Ranger at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, Maryland, and president of the Frederick County Civil War Round Table. He, along with fellow guide, Joe Stahl, have published the Faces of Union Soldiers series, including their most recent work, Faces of Union Soldiers at Fredericksburg.
Jan. 10. – Gary Rohrer The Union VI Corps at Antietam
Many Civil War historians have conjectured on what might have been at Antietam had Major General William B. Franklin’s command decisions differed in the Battle of South Mountain. The central focus on this presentation pertained to the impact of the battle with the arrival of the VI Corps on the morning of September 17th as it gave critical support to the Federal position and bolstered its right.
Gary Rohrer was born and raised in Washington County, MD where his family has lived for more than 225 years. His interest in the Civil War and passion for the 1862 Maryland Campaign go back more than 60 years to his days as a Boy Scout camping on the battlefields of Antietam and South Mountain. Gary also attended Antietam’s Centennial events as a young Boy Scout passing out brochures for the last re-enactment held on the battlefield. Gary’s professional career spanned 34 years as a registered professional engineer with the last 20 years of his career in the role of Washington County’s first Public Works Director. Upon his retirement, he became a National Park Certified Antietam and South Mountain Battlefield Guide. In 2013, he became one of the first Battlefield Guides certified by the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park for the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Gary has visited many of our country’s Civil War battlefields to further enhance his understanding of the Civil War. He has led hundreds of tours with clients ranging from the very young to the very seasoned students of the battle including retired officers of flag rank, college professors and special interest groups.
He is a Antietam Battlefield Guide, a member of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF) and on the Board of Directors for the newly formed Antietam Institute. He resides near Boonsboro, MD with his family and is also a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Jan. 17 – Laura Marfut Prelude to the Battle of Antietam — A Skirmish and a Sleepless Night
Summary of talk: The stage was set for battle on the eve of the bloodiest single day in American history as ~10,000 Union troops crossed the Antietam Creek to probe for Robert E. Lee’s Confederate position. A clash was inevitable, as a brigade of well-armed Pennsylvanians led the way toward Lee’s left flank and his Confederate artillery belching out a warning. Laura will talk about how both armies got to this point, the importance of the resulting skirmish on September 16, 1862, and personal stories of those who fought there.
Laura Marfut is a retired U.S. Army colonel with master’s degrees in International Relations and Education, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. She is a certified Antietam Battlefield guide and also gives battlefield tours of South Mountain and Harpers Ferry. Laura lives in Hagerstown with her husband, Ed.
Jan. 24 – Joseph Stahl Union Soldiers in the First Corps
Battlefield Guide Joe Stahl will introduce you to a number of Union Soldiers who were members of the 1st Corps on September 17, 1862. This will be done through images (CDVs) of each soldier. His service record will be reviewed and in addition he’ll include maps showing where these soldiers were on the battlefield. Joe will also point out things that can be learned from the images themselves.
Joseph W. Stahl grew up in St. Louis and received BS, MS, and MBA degrees from Missouri University of Science and Technology and Washington University. After retiring from the Institute for Defense Analyses, he became a volunteer and NPS Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam and Harpers Ferry. Joe has authored more than two dozen articles and is co-author of several books, including: Identification Discs of Union Soldiers in the Civil War, Faces of Union Soldiers at Antietam, Faces of Union Soldiers at South Mountain and Harpers Ferry and the Faces of Union Soldiers at Fredericksburg.
Jan. 31 – Dr. Tom Clemens McClellan’s Headquarters- where it really was.
While the Pry House is well ingrained in local lore, the true location of his headquarters was not difficult to find, and upon reflection, makes much more sense. Dr. Thomas Clemens will focus on his search for the real headquarters of the army, and the evidence which disproves the Pry location and proves the actual location.
Dr. Tom Clemens earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in history from Salisbury University, and his Doctorate in History Education from George Mason University, studying under Dr. Joseph L. Harsh. He spent most of his career at Hagerstown Community College, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2012. He has authored many magazine articles and book reviews, and appeared in several documentary movies and television shows, including the introductory film shown in the Visitor’s Center at Antietam National Battlefield. He edited and annotated General Ezra A. Carman’s narrative of the Maryland Campaign of September 1862. Monographs written by him also appear in several books. He is a founding member and current president of Save Historic Antietam Foundation Inc., a non-profit preservation organization. He is also an Antietam Battlefield Guide, and 30+ year volunteer there.
The Antietam Institute has awarded an internship to Christian R. Webb of Winchester, Virginia. Christian is a lifelong enthusiast of the American Civil War and currently majoring in U.S. History at Shepherd University. He is looking to expand his experience in digital history and to broaden his research opportunities on the cultural and historical aspect of the 1862 MD Campaign.
Christian will assist the Institute by editing publications and writing articles and press releases. He will also support the institute’s annual Fall Conference and Spring Symposium as chronicler of events and presentations. We are looking forward to working with Christian and welcome him aboard.
The Antietam Institute is pleased to announce the formation of a unique three-party agreement that will create an Internship for work with the Institute. The Intern, a 3rd or 4th year Shepherd University U.S. history major will begin working with the Institute this August editing publications, writing articles and press releases, and support the Institute’s annual Fall Conference and Spring Symposium as chronicler of events and presentations.
Director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, Dr. James Broomall, stated “This special partnership will not only contribute to the success of the Antietam Institute but will advance the education and growth of one of our brightest students through practical experience and exposure to some of the nation’s leading experts on The Maryland Campaign of 1862”.
Working with the George Tyler Moore Center, and the Shepherd University Foundation, the Antietam Institute will fund 80-hours of scholastic work and study in furtherance of the Institute’s mission of educating the public on the central role of the Maryland Campaign of 1862.