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Battle of Antietam 150th anniversary event moved to larger venue

April 25, 2012
  • Katherine Ecker, her grandson Landon Hutzell, 5, and husband Sam Ecker stand near the entrance to their Legacy Manor Farm near Sharpsburg, which will host the 150th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam planned for Sept. 14-16.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

SHARPSBURG — Organizers are still working out the logistics for the 150th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam planned for Sept. 14-16 on a private farm just north of Antietam National Battlefield.

The event — the second of two Antietam re-enactments planned for back-to-back weekends this September — was originally to be held at a different site, but was moved to Legacy Manor Farm on Bakersville Road  “due to larger than anticipated registrations,” according to the event website, www.150thantietamreenactment.com.

The nearly 400-acre farm is owned by Samuel and Katherine Ecker and their family. It includes a roughly 200-year-old house said to have been used as a hospital during the Civil War, according to the farm’s website, www.legacymanorfarm.com.

On the re-enactment website, organizers have also posted a schedule of events that includes a “school day” with demonstrations for local school groups on Friday, Sept. 14, and public events on Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16.

On both weekend days, gates will open at 8:30 a.m., with a “Living History Village” open to the public at 9 a.m., the schedule said.

On Saturday, the engagement at Dunker Church will be staged at 10 a.m.,  and the fight at Bloody Lane will be recreated at 3 p.m., the schedule said. That night there will be a camp dance featuring the 2nd Carolina String Band.

On Sunday, re-enactors will stage “U.S. Cavalry skirmishers looking for water and provisions” at 11 a.m., and the battle for Burnside Bridge at 2 p.m. There will also be a church service at 9 a.m. Sunday.

The actual Battle of Antietam took place in one day — Sept. 17, 1862 — which was the bloodiest single day in American history, with more than 23,000 American casualties.

More than two dozen organizers met at the re-enactment site Saturday, where they walked the staging area with maps of the actual battlefield in hand, organizers said in a news release.

“Preparations have been under way for about a year”, Kirk Davis, committee chairman of the 150th Antietam-Sharpsburg Committee, said in the release. “And we have a long way to go.”

Logistical challenges include portable toilets, trash removal, transportation of spectators to nearby events, emergency medical and police participation, registration of re-enactors, the building of the Dunker Church, the digging of the Sunken Road, parking, ticket sales, advertising, and “a slew of other items,” the release said.

Spectators interested in attending the event may purchase tickets by phone at 1-800-929-1862 or online at www.150thantietamreenactment.com, the release said.

Advance adult tickets will cost $18 for one day or $30 for two days. Advance tickets for those 12 and under will cost $8 for one day or $12 for two days. Ticket prices at the gate will be higher.

Re-enactors interested in participating may download the registration form from www.150thantietamreenactment.com.

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