Categories
Programs

2022 Fall Conference

Institute Members at the 2022 Fall Conference

Over the whole weekend with the Antietam Institute, I was amazed not only by the hauntingly beautiful landscape, but by the amount of knowledge these people had. The selected leaders for the weekend all held so much information that they were more than willing to share with everyone in attendance. As a history major and (hopefully) future NPS park ranger, I can only dream about knowing as much as these historians. I have been employed by Eastern National, starting in 2019 and breaking for COVID, and have had the honor of working alongside many of these people through our battlefield tour program or in general working in the visitor center. Seeing our guides directly working with their chosen interests was absolutely amazing and I know will help me in the future with scheduling special interest tours. I don’t believe I can pick out one single moment that blew me away more than the other. But I can confidently say that the weekend as a whole will stick with me for the rest of my life.

FRIDAY PROGRAM

Tour guide Gary Rohrer took us through Major General William B. Franklin and his contributions on South Mountain throughout the Battle of Antietam; especially at Lee’s left flank. Author Chris Bryan went in depth into why Cedar Mountain was detrimental to the Union XII Corps and how it impacted their performance at Antietam. Sarah Kay Bierle took us down the mysterious path of John Pelham’s life as well as his artillery troops. I can safely say that every person in attendance learned something from each wonderful program.

The night brought unique breakout sessions about topics that fully intrigued me to learn more. I went with Ranger Brian’s program on the Elliot burial map of Antietam, discovered in a NY library two years ago. I’ve been a long term fan of studying the Gettysburg one so to learn from an expert was amazing. Hearing about his efforts to research all aspects of the map was inspiring to say the least.

Brian Baracz

SATURDAY PROGRAM

The next two days were filled with hikes around the battlefield with tour guides and Rangers alike. Despite the rough terrain of Nicodemus Heights, I was amazed at the chance to explore this ground.

With every hike, I encountered a new part of the battlefield I had never stepped foot on. Seeing the field this way was beyond comprehensive and I will use what I learned whenever I am able to.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Tom Clemens concluded a long day on the field discussing where Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s HQ was really located.

SUNDAY PROGRAM

Going into the weekend, I was expecting to learn a handful of things and call it a day. What actually transpired was way beyond my wildest dreams. I am thankful for the chance to attend a weekend full of learning at a place I hold close to my heart. I hope to use everything I learned at some point in my career; either at the bookstore or in the future. Huge kudos go to
Chris Vincent for arranging this event as well as the other executive members of the Antietam Institute that helped coordinate this for members and non-members alike. I am looking forward to other events hosted by the Institute and look forward to meeting new people along the way.

Jill Black, Shepherd University (Read more about Jill)

Jillian Black is a senior Civil War History major at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV.  Jillian was selected to be our 2022 Fall Conference Scholarship Student.
Categories
Philanthropy

American Battlefield Trust donation for restoration of 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.

Katie Poffenberger buildings (Staff photo)

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.

Map of the Battlefield of Antietam, Sept. 17th – 12:00-12:15PM (LoC)

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.

Historic photograph taken by Alexander Gardner following the Battle of Antietam, featuring the land transferred to the National Park Service. Huntington Library (ABT)

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.

Categories
Publications

Antietam Journal-Volume 2 is here!

The second volume of the Antietam Journal is hot off the press.

This edition features a variety of stories and analysis about the events of September 1862 in Maryland, with many of the lesser-known ones that are nonetheless important.

The first titled “Davis’s ‘Valiant Coup’: Breaking the Union Cavalry out of Harpers Ferry, September 14, 1862” by Sharon Murray addresses the Federal cavalry’s escape from Harpers Ferry.

The second by Bradley M. Gottfried, fills the hole in Ezra Carmen manuscript detailing the charge of Van Manning’s brigade out of the West Woods.

The third featured article is by Phillip S. Greenwalt, who writes about the role that three Florida regiments played in the Maryland Campaign, specifically the fight for the Bloody Lane.

There are other great features and columns that you will not want to miss. Go to the issue Table of Contents to see all the featured essays and articles. A Journal subscription is a benefit for Antietam Institute members at the Corporal or higher membership level. Join today!