Education Philanthropy Research

2024 Summer Internship

Sarah Sofsky

We are excited to announce the start of a new internship with Shepherd University at the Antietam National Battlefield. The intern will be assigned to the Resource Education and Visitor Services Division at Antietam National Battlefield under the direct supervision of the Division Chief, Park Ranger Keith Snyder.

Working with Dr. James Broomall, Director of the George Tylor Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War at Shepherd University and Keith Snyder, we’ve selected Sarah Sofsky. Sarah is a Maryland native, but has lived in many places in the United States. She is currently a junior at Shepherd University and a proud member of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. Sarah says her “time at Shepherd University has been phenomenal, the last three years of seminars, research and projects have propelled my love for all things historical farther than I ever imagined.” Sarah’s goal is to work for the National Park Service and ultimately become an archaeologist.

Sarah duties will include working at the park visitor center assisting visitors; performing roving/informal interpretation at various sites on the battlefield; and presenting the 30-minute battlefield orientation program. During her three-month internship, Sarah will also be conducting some transcription of over sixty Civil War letters related to Antietam and the Maryland Campaign soldiers that will be posted on our Historical Research Center. These documents have been provided to the Institute by William “Griff” Griffing, owner and transcriber at Spared & Shared. Board members, Brian Downey and Chris Vincent are overseeing this portion of the internship. 


My Experience at the Fall Conference

  Once again, we were fortunate to have a sponsored student attend our Fall Conference, October 27-29. This year, Roy McCord a freshman at Shepherd University was selected and we asked him to tell us about his experience of the weekend.


Roy McCord with Jack Richer

This weekend was the best one that I have had in a while. Before I even start this summary of the event I would like to thank both Mr. and Mrs. Richer, along with Dr. Broomall for the opportunity I was given.

Throughout my personal studies and excursions to Civil War Battlefields, I have yet to have the same experience that the Institute had to offer. Everyone I talked to greeted me warmly and with respect, although I am a young man, I was treated as an equal by all of my fellow Historians. Within my area a Civil War battlefield is only about fifthteen minutes away, and I have been to every one of them. Yet, I had not had the chance to go to South Mountain until the offer was given to me by the Institute and its generous members. It was there and in my opinion only with the guides of the Institute that I was able to understand the battleground in such great detail among the surrounding confusing terrain.

We started our weekend Friday night with simple but well detailed presentations. One in relation to the overall battle itself, those blasted missing Special Orders 191, and the roles of the Cavalry during the Maryland Campaign. Now I found the discussion on the missing orders to be the most interesting. As we truly don’t know who exactly lost them, yet the speaker Dr. Alex Rossino, whose very own research was displayed personally for everyone in that room. It was him who was the most energetic and really brought you in on a closer level, my own regret was not having the chance to speak to him one-on-one.

After the presentations we took a short break for dinner, and I had the chance to meet and eat with both Mr. and Mrs. Richer. The meal was amazing with some form of grilled chicken meal, which I wasn’t too particularly fond of, so instead I dug-into the bread instead. Which may table, including Mr. and Mrs. Richer who found it most hilarious when I returned with my ten bread rolls. In that moment the smiles on everyone’s faces, the joyous conversations, I could not have had it any better!

After dinner we had several break-out sessions. I attended the legend of Wise’s Well, a great and interesting presentation given by Mr. Steve Stotelmyer. After watching the whole thing I can truly say with everything that goes on, it must feel amazing when you are also added into the mix; being now connected to the legend of the well via your family; congratulations Mr. Stotelmyer.

It was after that great speech that the day was done, and we were left to our own devices. Many, including new friends I had made, went to their homes and or hotel rooms away from the Retreat Center. (Shepherd Springs Retreat Center in Sharpsburg Maryland) I on the other hand had been given a room at the retreat center, which I graciously accepted. The bed was comfortable and I quickly fell asleep, greatly satisfied for the day.

Even with twelve hours of sleep, I still am not a morning person. I woke up late and went out in the lobby and greeted those I knew from the day before. I am not a breakfast person, but for anyone who is, the assorted muffins and pastries looked really good; but I did not partake. It was soon after that we boarded a charter bus, making our short journey towards the mountain battlefield seen in the distance. I had a seatmate, I can only remember his first name, Wayne. When it was quiet on the bus and no one was speaking over the intercom, we had a great time talking to each other. It goes to show that the pleasant actions the institute shows is still prevalent even down to the single member level. I tip my hat to all of those I spoke to who were kind, and if I’m right that is everyone!

The battlefields themself were confusing to traverse, the rough terrain made it very easy to get lost, even I did at times; trying to figure out where we were or who was in command of the troops in the area. My favorite was probably Fox’s Gap, the presentation given by Mr. Stotelmyer was very engaging. His imagery and portrayal of the Confederate positions, what they were up against, and even describing the charge Billy Yank and the Seventeen Michigan across the field we stood in was like. Fire from all sides, hell and damnation, all for Reno to fall at the end of it all; very moving.

Crampton’s Gap was great as well, we hiked along the very same path that the Union forces had to ascend in order to push Johnny Reb’ from their positions. Being in those fortifications, the drop was straight down, being there yourself, seeing what the men had to climb is one of the most wonderful moments just to be struck by pure awe.

After the day of excursions was over, and the sun began to set, we returned back to the Retreat Center for dinner. This time I did not eat the bread, instead it was a mountain of rice. Another day, another wonderful experience. I ended that night not by going right to bed, but instead helping the men move boxes into a car. I lent a hand and was happy to, and I would like to think I was appreciated for helping; the smiles on the guys faces at least told me that.

After the work was done the car pulled away. I sat down with a few gentlemen and we talked, we discussed several topics throughout the night as the moon rose higher and higher. We continued to talk, I had my fair bit of the stage, and I felt happy that I was listened to and engaged with fairly and not treated as less due to my young age. It wasn’t until the suggestion from the very kind Mr. Brian Downey, that I went inside and off to my room. Without his word I would have been out there with those gentlemen all night, and would have talked until the sun came up.

On the third and final day, although we put in for good weather, it started out as a rainy one. We drove independently or carpooled to the Pry House. It was not McCellan’s headquarters but rather Hooker’s, given in great detail by Dr. Tom Clemens. After the Pry House tour, we went down further to the Newcomer House, closer to the Antietam Battlefield. Luckily by this point the rain had stopped, but the ground was still wet.

Given another great presentation by Mr. Kevin Pawlak, and a hike up the rolling hills on the outskirts of Antietam. The sight from the Union Artillery position of Tidball’s guns was a sight to behold. The artillery commanders discussion delivered by Jim Rosebrock was very nice, I having worked with Civil War Artillery Pieces before enjoyed the discussion. Even with wet feet and being cold, I could not help but feel the warmth from the Institute and its members.

Kindness, engaging conversations, and the overall friendliness of the members is what the Antietam Institute offers, it is a must for anyone interested in Civil War History and discussion groups. This was one of the greatest weekends I have ever had, and I will happily join the next excursion if I will be available! A big thanks to everyone, especially the President of the Institute Chris Vincent and Dr. Broomall for selecting me to come on this adventure, and I couldn’t end with saying thank you again to both Mr. and Mrs Richer. I couldn’t have gone on this trip without your kindness, for that I am grateful.

-Roy McCord, Shepherd University.

Roy McCord

Roy McCord, a freshman at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown WV, is studying to become a History Teacher. A recent Civil War Reenactor, who participated with the BreadBasket Mess on the 160th Anniversary of Gettysburg doing artillery demonstrations at Lee’s Headquarters, has a fascination with the Civil War and the Antebellum Period. He was the President of the Musselman High School History Honors Society, member of Rho Kappa, and is now the President of the Living History Club at Shepherd University. After his studies Roy hopes to become a Highschool History Teacher, or work in the park service at Civil War Battlefields. His favorite battlefields include, 3rd Winchester, 1st Kernstown and 2nd Kernstown, and of course Gettysburg.

Philanthropy Publications Research

2023 Summer Internship

We are pleased to announce that our summer internship program with Shepherd University has begun. Working with Dr. James Broomall, Director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, we have selected Gareth Cushman-Reynolds to be a transcription intern for the Publications Committee.  Gareth is a local student, graduating from Boonsboro High School in 2019 and lives in Hagerstown, Maryland. Gareth will be a senior at Shepherd University pursuing a bachelors degree in History with a concentration in the American Civil War and 19th Century America.  He is passionate about history, and is excited to be working with the Antietam Institute to help bring historical documentation into the digital age. Gareth assisted in a separate transcription project at school, working on the Journal of Cotton Mathers, and is excited to continue with this line of work. In his free time he enjoys reading, writing, gaming, and traveling to explore new places.

Gareth Cushman-Reynolds

This summer, Gareth will be transcribing the Jacob Duryee manuscript and documents that the Institute acquired last year. He will also conduct research while transcribing and annotating the manuscript. The goal of Gareth’s work is to prepare the manuscript for future publication. Board members, Kevin Pawlak and Chris Vincent are overseeing this project. 

The internship will meet one of the requirements for Gareth’s Practicum in Civil War Studies course he is taking this summer and provide an opportunity for him to grow and develop as an historian.


Scholarship Donation

In late, rainy September 2022, a small group of Princeton University Alumni came to the Antietam National Battlefield with a special guide, Professor James M. McPherson.  They have previously been on a tour of Gettysburg with Professor McPherson and at the end of that tour, McPherson answered their question of what battlefield should we tour next: Antietam was his immediate answer.  The group all stayed at Antietam Institute’s corporate member the Inn at Antietam, and for with owner Miriam Cunningham, it was a bit of reunion with the professor, having previously worked with McPherson at the American Historical Association.

Back Row: Stephen McMaster, Clayton Ramsey, Josh Pollack, Jimmy Teti
Front Row/Couch: Christina McMaster, Jim McPherson, Len Teti

Instead of taking a speaker’s fee, McPherson suggested that the group donate to an organization in his name.  They were all taken by the work done by the Institute, the conferences, the journals, the Brigades of Antietam book all being discussed and perused.  It was decided that they would help support the Institute’s scholarship at Shepherd University, generously donating $2000 which will be matched to the $2000 the Institute provides.  This scholarship was awarded for the first time to Kierstyn Williams in 2022.  The goal of the Institute to maintain this scholarship with Shepherd University and increase it as funding allows.  The scholarship is to encourage and inspire future study of the American Civil War and the Maryland Campaign.   The Institute thanked the groups for their generosity and commitment to the study of history. 

Professor James M. McPherson and Institute Board Member, Miriam Cunningham

If you would like to donate to the Institute’s scholarship fund, click on


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.

Philanthropy Programs

Shepherd University Student selected to attend Fall Conference

Jillian Black

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.


Summer Internship

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.