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Historic barn opens to public at Antietam National Battlefield

May 03, 2008

SHARPSBURG -- A barn that served as a field hospital for 400 wounded Civil War soldiers is the latest attraction at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg.

The barn at the Philip Pry House, operated by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Md., opened to the public Saturday.

The museum invites battlefield visitors to stand on the site where the wounded were treated and learn about medical concepts that were pioneered during the war between the states.

Superintendent John Howard said the Save Historic Antietam Foundation has donated $10,000 to the battlefield to assist in the restoration of another building, the Joseph Poffenberger Farm House.

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That money will be matched by National Park Service funding to allow for the exterior painting of the Poffenberger house, which is near the North Woods.

Additional work scheduled at the Joseph Poffenberger Farm this year includes continued restoration of the barn and several outbuildings, and the construction of historically accurate fences.

"The Save Historic Antietam Foundation has been a reliable and dedicated partner in the preservation of the Sharpsburg battlefield," Howard said in a press release.

Howard said past donations have been used for preservation work on the Newcomer Barn, construction of historic fences on the Otto Farm and the restoration of Piper Lane.

The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War. Nearly 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured or declared missing on Sept. 17, 1862.

-- From AP and staff reports

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