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Education Programs

Antietam History on Tap @ Thick-N-Thin Brewery Co.

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.

Categories
Publications

From Frederick to Sharpsburg: People, Places, and Events of the Maryland Campaign Before Antietam

We are pleased to announce that the Institute’s member incentive publication for 2023 is From Frederick to Sharpsburg: People, Places, and Events of the Maryland Campaign Before Antietam, by Steven R. Stotelmyer. Steve is a distinguished author of the Maryland Campaign. He is a native of Hagerstown, Maryland, served in the U.S. Navy and holds a master’s degree from Hood College. Steve helped form the Central Maryland Heritage League in 1989 which was successful in preserving part of the South Mountain Battlefield.  He is the author of The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of Those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain, and most recently Too Useful To Sacrifice: Reconsidering George B. McClellan’s Generalship in the Maryland Campaign from South Mountain to Antietam.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the essays in From Frederick to Sharpsburg.
The Battle of Antietam stands out as the single bloodiest day’s combat in American history. More people were killed or injured on September 17, 1862, than any other day in our nation’s entire history. With 23,000 casualties it is understandable that this single event tends to take the spotlight in the Maryland Campaign of 1862. However, Robert E. Lee did not begin crossing the Potomac on September 4. 1862, just so he could fight at Sharpsburg 13 days later with his back to that same river. From Frederick to Sharpsburg sheds light on some of the other participants and events long obscured in the shadow cast by America’s bloodiest day.

The seminal event of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 was the Confederate occupation of Frederick, Maryland. Between September 6 and September 11 Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia occupied the town. In the popular histories of the event the people of Maryland are portrayed as turning a cold shoulder towards the Confederates and their cause. Using primary accounts, Stotelmyer provides an exploration of the Confederate reception in Frederick in the early days of the Maryland Campaign and concludes it was not as unfriendly as traditionally portrayed.

Barbara Fritchie was a real person living in Frederick during the Maryland Campaign. She was made famous by a poem published in 1863 by John Greenleaf Whittier. Because she passed away shortly after the Maryland Campaign, Barbara never knew any of the fame generated by Whittier’s pen. As the story goes the 96-year-old Barbara defiantly waved an American flag in the face of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. In truth however, A Quaker poet who likely never saw the city or old lady, and a Confederate general who never saw either, poet or lady, made as fine an advertising project as any city could desire.

Sugar Loaf Mountain, located near the southern border of Montgomery and Frederick Counties, absolutely dominates the surrounding Maryland countryside. During the Maryland Campaign, from September 6 through September 11, Confederate Signalmen occupied the mountain top. On September 9 Robert E. Lee issued the orders dividing his army for the Harpers Ferry operation under the belief that his enemy was still concentrated at Rockville, 25 miles southeast of Frederick. Obviously, Lee believed he had ample time for the Harpers Ferry operation. A simple observation from Sugar Loaf should have shown otherwise. From Frederick to Sharpsburg explores the conditions and circumstances surrounding this apparent intelligence failure on the part of the Confederates atop Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Major General Jesse Lee Reno was a promising 39-year-old Union career officer who perished before his time on the slopes of South Mountain at day’s end on September 14, 1862. Although most histories of the Maryland Campaign treat General Reno’s death as an isolated event, his absence at Antietam three days later may have cost General McClellan the decisive victory he so earnestly sought to achieve. Nonetheless, the nature of Reno’s death is not without its share of controversy. Almost from the time of his death, there has been speculation and controversy as to whose bullet, Union, or Confederate brought an end to the promising military career of Jesse Lee Reno. Stotelmyer not only explores the circumstances and the various claims surrounding Reno’s death, but also the apparent dysfunction in the Ninth Corps high command which resulted from the premature loss of this capable commander.

They were thrown into a well instead of receiving a proper burial on September 15, 1862. They were dead Confederate soldiers, and as the legend goes, they were thrown into an abandoned well by a crafty old codger named Daniel Wise who had contracted with none other than Major General Ambrose Burnside to bury the rebels for a dollar a body. The story of Wise’s Well has become cemented as fact in the history of the Maryland Campaign, and unfortunately, much of it is myth. While it is true that the well became a mass grave for 58 dead Confederate soldiers, Daniel Wise never had the opportunity to correct the historical record as to how they were placed in such an unusual sepulcher. The civilians of South Mountain were affected by that battle just as much, if not more so, as their fellow citizens at Sharpsburg. From Frederick to Sharpsburg explores the facts behind this long-accepted legend and not only clears the name of Daniel Wise, but sheds light on the real human drama at Fox’s Gap after the Battle of South Mountain.

There is an overlooked aspect of Confederate operations in Maryland during September of 1862 that often remains unmentioned in popular history. General Robert E. Lee, one of the most iconic figures of the Civil War, suffered a debilitating physical injury just prior to his entry into Maryland. If Lee’s injuries are mentioned at all in the popular histories of the campaign, they are usually given short shrift. One of the results of this perfunctory treatment is that the popular image of the bold audacious Confederate general remains largely intact, while the actual picture of an aging disabled invalid, unable to take care of himself, mostly remains overlooked. Using primary sources Stotelmyer explores the circumstances of Lee’s injuries and how his condition may have affected decisions and controversial actions during the campaign.

Several appendices describe forgotten combat and casualties from Sugar Loaf to Patrick Street to Hagan’s Gap to Quebec School House. From Frederick to Sharpsburg: People, Places, and Events of the Maryland Campaign Before Antietam, will make a welcomed addition to the library of any student of Antietam, the Maryland Campaign, or the Civil War.

Categories
Philanthropy

Annual Scholarship with the GTMC

L-R: Institute president, Chris Vincent; Dr. James Broomall, Director of the GTMC; Kierstyn Williams, scholarship recipient; and Monica Lingenfelter, Executive Vice President, Shepherd Foundation. Photo credit – Cecelie Mason, SU.

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.

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Membership

2022 Honor Guard Event

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.

Starting the tour at Ferry Hill Place, the childhood home of Henry Kyd Douglas

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.

Group photo at the Osbourne Farm
L to R: Bill Lowe, Lucas Cade, Mike Crume, Darin & Jan Wipperman, Erin Short, Chris Vincent, Jim Rosebrock. Jim Buchanan, Kevin Pawlak, Laura & Ed Marfut, Joe Stahl, and Sharon Murray. Randy Short photographer. Also attending the event at the winery were Miriam Cunningham, Amy Vincent and Julie Cade

It was a wonderful time at Antietam Creek Vineyards. Thanks to Joan, George and Kim.

Laura thanks Kevin for a great hike.
President Chris Vincent highlighted some of the activities the Institute has been conducting over the summer.
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Programs

Brigades of Antietam speaker series

Brigades of Antietam

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.

2022 Schedule:

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

Pry House and Barn
Categories
Publications

Meet the Authors at Antietam Creek Vineyard

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 Antietam Creek Vineyard is a corporate member of the Antietam Institute and is located at 4835 Branch Ave. Sharpsburg, Maryland. The program will begin at 12pm.

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.

Categories
Philanthropy

Burkittsville Preservation Association Donation

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.

Shafer House

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.

In the photo (l-r) are Mac Bryan and Jim Rosebrock from the Antietam Institute and Paul Gilligan, Karen Koch, and Ronald Dustin from the Burkittsville Preservation Association. Also present from the Antietam Institute were Jim Buchanan and Randy Short.

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.

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!

Categories
Publications

Behind the “Brigades of Antietam”

We sat down with Brad Gottfried, the editor of the Brigades of Antietam and all the contributors of the book to give us a little insight in to their brigade. We asked them about the action the brigade was in during the 1862 Maryland Campaign, some of the interesting men that served in the brigade and what they learned during their research over the last several months.

Battlefield Guide, Laura Marfut sat down to discuss Joseph Kershaw’s South Carolina Brigade. This was one of the brigades Laura wrote about in the “Brigades of Antietam” that was published by the Antietam Institute.

Battlefield Guide, James Rosebrock discusses Robert Buchanan’s Brigade. This was one of the brigades Jim wrote about in the “Brigades of Antietam” that was published by the Antietam Institute.

Battlefield guide, Gary Rohrer joined us to talk about Evander Law’s Brigade, Hood’s Division, in Longstreet’s Command. Law’s Brigade was one of the brigades that Gary wrote about in the “Brigades of Antietam”.

Battlefield Guide and Park Ranger Matthew Borders sat down to tell us about Robert Ransom’s Confederate Brigade, of John Walker’s Division in Longstreet’s’ Command. The was one of the brigades that Matt wrote about in the “Brigades of Antietam”.

Battlefield Guide, Sharon Murray wrote about John Gibbon’s Brigade, Doubleday’s Division, in Hooker’s First Union Corps; as part of the “Brigades of Antietam”.

Historian and battlefield guide Steven Stotelmyer tells us more about Thomas Drayton’s Brigade which was in David R. Jones’ Division of Longstreet’s Command. Steve wrote about Drayton’s Brigade as part of the “Brigades of Antietam” book published by the Antietam Institute.

Historian and battlefield guide Joseph Stahl talks about Col. John Brooke’s Brigade which was in Richardson’s Division of Sumner’s Second Corps. Joe wrote about Brooke’s Brigade as part of the “Brigades of Antietam” book published by the Antietam Institute.

As part of the “Brigades of Antietam” book that was published by the Antietam Institute; retired Battlefield Guide, William Sagle discusses Robert Anderson’s Brigade, of the Pennsylvania Reserves, Meade’s Division, in Hooker’s First Union Corps.

Historian and battlefield guide, Dr. Thomas Clemens discusses Col. Walter Phelps Jr. and his “Iron Brigade” which was in Doubleday’s Division of Hooker’s First Corps. Tom wrote about Phelps’ Brigade as part of the “Brigades of Antietam” book published by the Antietam Institute.