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Antietam National Battlefield 150th anniversary observance schedule of events

September 08, 2012

Friday, Sept. 14

10 a.m. — Opening program

10:30 a.m. — Stephen Potter, “Antietam and the Archeology of Tactics,” followed by an 11 a.m. hike to the north end of the battlefield

12 p.m. — C.W. Whitehair, “Escape Across The Potomac”

1 p.m. — Stephen Recker, “Rare Images of Antietam”

2:15 p.m. — Bob O’Connor, “A House Divided Against Itself”

3:30 p.m. — Nick Picerno, “10th Maine at Antietam”

4:30 p.m. — Benjamin Franklin Cooling, “Counter Thrust”


Saturday, Sept. 15

Sunday, Sept. 16

Family tent: A family and youth tent will feature hands-on activities for all ages. Decide which army you will join and discover the stories of the soldiers who fought here.

Living history: Living historians will provide interpretive programs throughout the weekend.

Virginia and Pennsylvania traveling exhibits: The Virginia History Mobile and the Pennsylvania Civil War Road Show will be on display over the weekend.

Touring the battlefield: Ongoing interpretation will be offered at the visitor center and many of the battlefield tour stops, providing overviews of the battle, the soldier and civilian experience and commemoration.

Hiking the battlefield: Experience the preserved landscape and walk in the footsteps of soldiers in a series of hikes designed for the first-time visitor and for discovering Antietam in detail. Hikers should dress for the weather, wear appropriate shoes, bring water and be prepared to hike across fields.

Overview hikes: Designed for the new visitor to Antietam, providing an opportunity to walk the park and get an overview of the most significant areas of the battlefield. Each hike is about one mile and will last approximately an hour and a half.

10 a.m. — Cornfield and West Woods, starting at the visitor center

12:30 p.m. — Bloody Lane, starting at the visitor center

2 p.m. — Burnside Bridge, starting at Tour Stop 9


Saturday, Sept. 15

Antietam in depth: Longer, more detailed hikes exploring significant parts of the battlefield. Each hike is approximately 2.5 miles and 3 hours.

9 a.m. — “A Great Tumbling Together of all Heaven and Earth” — The Fight for the Cornfield and the West Woods

2 p.m. — “The Adjacent Plains were Covered with a Carpet of Red, Blue and Gray” — The Attack and Defense of the Sunken Road.

Both hikes start at the visitor center.

Maryland Historical Society Players: 11 a.m., Living history interpreters bring to life Clara Barton, the “Angel of the Battlefield” and founder of the American Red Cross, and Christian Fleetwood, one of the first African-Americans to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery

Guest speakers

10 a.m. — Stephen Potter, “Archeological Perspective on the American Civil War”

12 p.m. — Drew Gilpin Faust, author of “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War”

2 p.m. — Perry Jamieson, “Death In September”

4 p.m. — James I. Robertson Jr., author of “Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend”



Sunday, Sept. 16

Antietam in depth: Longer, more detailed hikes exploring significant parts of the battlefield. Each hike is approximately 2.5 miles and 3 hours.

9 a.m. — “The Regiment Prepared for the Final Struggle” — Burnside Bridge and the Final Attack, starting at Tour Stop 9.

2 p.m. — “We knew that the Culmination of Another Great Tragedy was at Hand” — September 16: Prelude to Battle, starting at the visitor center

Guest Speakers

10 a.m. — Thomas Clemens, author of “The Maryland Campaign of September 1862”

12 p.m. — Dwight Pitcaithley, former NPS chief historian

2 p.m. — Kathleen Ernst, author of “Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign”

4 p.m. — Mark Neely, author of “Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War”

Maryland Campaign Sesquicentennial Evening Lecture Series

7 p.m. — Edwin C. Bearss, author of “Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War,” and James McPherson, author of “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era”


Monday, Sept. 17

6:30 a.m. — Sunrise in the Cornfield Program, meet at Tour Stop 4, The Cornfield, 1 hour

8:30 a.m. — All-Day Full Battlefield Hike: Rangers will lead two extended battlefield hikes. The morning hike starts at the visitor center at 8:30 a.m. and will explore the fighting in the Cornfield, West Woods and conclude at Bloody Lane in time to join the Commemorative Program at 12:30 p.m. The hike is approximately 3.5 miles.

2:30 p.m. — The afternoon hike starts at the National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. and will highlight the struggle for Burnside Bridge, the Union advance on Sharpsburg, and A.P. Hill’s decisive Confederate counterattack. This hike is approximately 4 miles across difficult terrain.

12:30 p.m. — Commemorative Program

Welcome, NPS representative; Presentation, James McPherson; Keynote speaker, to be announced

3 p.m. — Remembrance Ceremony: Antietam National Cemetery — The names of all soldiers killed or mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam, that are buried in the National Cemetery and three local Confederate cemeteries, will be read aloud in a tribute to their sacrifice. The public is encouraged to participate in this reading.


Tuesday, Sept. 18

7 p.m. — The Aftermath of Battle: program in the visitor center theater


Wednesday, Sept. 19

7 p.m. — Battle of Shepherdstown 150th Anniversary,  Maryland Campaign Sesquicentennial Evening Lecture Series, Thomas McGrath, author of “Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign, September 19-20, 1862”; at Antietam National Battlefield


Thursday, Sept. 20

7 p.m. — Commemoration and Memory at Antietam, program in the visitor center theater


Friday, Sept. 21

3 p.m. and 7 p.m. — Antietam in 3-D: A Civil War Stereographic Legacy, a 3-D journey into the bloodiest day of the Civil War. Author and Civil War photo authority Bob Zeller presents a slide show featuring the stereographs of the Antietam battlefield taken by photographer Alexander Gardner after the battle of September 17, 1862; at the visitor center.


Saturday, Sept. 22

150th Anniversary of the Issuance of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

2 p.m. — Commemorative Program Presentation, Robert G. Stanton, senior advisor to the secretary of the Department of Interior; Keynote speaker, David W. Blight, author of “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory”

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