Schedules for Sharpsburg Heritage Festival and Antietam reenactments this weekend

September 12, 2012
  • Members of the 2nd Maryland Fifes & Drum Corps perform at the Sharpsburg Heritage Festival during a past festival.
Herald-Mail file photo

On that terrible September day 150 years ago on farm fields near Sharpsburg, crowds of men marched and milled, advanced and retreated. Many lived, but many died. There was some order, but plenty of chaos.
This weekend, we remember the 23,000 dead, injured and missing that resulted from the Battle of Antietam, known to Southerners as the Battle of Sharpsburg. Venues and festivals around Sharpsburg will host hundreds of events big and small this weekend to commemorate the Battle of Antietam and its impact on the local and on the United States.
We include many of these anniversary events in our calendar, beginning on this page. But here we publish a more detailed list of events at three major sites on or near where the battle took place — the Town of Sharpsburg, Antietam National Battlefield and Legacy Manor Farm.
— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor

Sharpsburg Heritage Festival

Sharpsburg Heritage Festival, a two-day festival commemorating Sharpsburg’s history, will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16, on Main and Mechanic streets, in downtown Sharpsburg. For a complete schedule, go to

Saturday, Sept. 15
10 a.m. —  Opening remarks by Antietam National Battlefield Park Superintendent Susan Trail, town square
10 to 6 p.m. — Civil War-themed music, lectures, demonstrations, walking tours, living history, children’s activities
6 to 7 p.m. – Commemorative Alley Walk led by the 2nd Maryland Fifes & Drums
7 to 9 p.m. — Community Heritage Dance at the square
Sunday, Sept. 16
9 to 10 a.m. —  Civil War period Church Service on the square
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. —  Music, lectures, demonstrations and car show
5 p.m. — “Remembrance Walk” to Shepherdstown

Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Antietam Re-enactment site at Legacy Manor Farm

Thursday, Sept. 13
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Re-enactor registration

Friday, Sept. 14
8:30 a.m. — The Classroom Comes Alive!
Day set aside for Washington County history students. Students admitted free of charge and given demonstrations in artillery and infantry procedures. Talk one-on-one with Union and Confederate “generals.” Home school students are welcome with prior reservations.

Saturday, Sept. 15
Musical groups will perform throughout the weekend
8:30 a.m. — Gates Open
9 a.m.  — Living History Village opens to the public
9 a.m. — Medical insight into the Battle’s Carnage, Tent 1
10 a.m. — Battle, Dunker Church
11 a.m. — The Missing Orders No. 191 as explained by General D. H. Hill, Tent 1
11:30 a.m. — A time of reflection with the U.S. Generals, Tent 2
Noon — A look at Gen. Lee’s hopes for the battle, Tent 1
12:30 p.m. — Gen. Longstreet ponders the day’s battle strategy, Tent 2
1 p.m. — Meet the author: Jeff Shaara talks about his Civil War books, Tent 1
1:30 p.m. — Clara Barton tells of the hardships and fears she faced, Tent 2
2 p.m. — A.P. Hill, his greatest day as told by actor & historian Patrick Falci, Tent 1
2:30 p.m. — The Dixie Rose Relief Society tells their story of the 1860’s, Tent 2
3 p.m. — Battle, Bloody Lane, live mortar fire demonstration and field demonstration
4 p.m. — Civil War spies talk about their secret work, Tent 2
4:30 p.m. — Ghostly Encounters of Antietam with Johlene “Spooky” Riley and “Captain” Chris Taylor, Tent 1
7 p.m. — Remembrance Illumination honoring the 3,654 killed on Sept. 17, 1862
8 p.m. — Re-enactors Camp Dance with the 2nd South Carolina String Band, Tent 1

Sunday, Sept. 16
8:30 a.m. — Gates open
9 a.m. — Period Worship Service (Tent 1) or a Catholic Service (Tent 2)
10 a.m. — Gen. Longstreet and his staff, Tent 1
10:30 a.m. — Meet the Confederate generals and their staff, Tent 2
11 a.m. — Battle, “U.S. Cavalry Skirmishers Looking for Provisions”
Noon — A look at General Lee’s hopes for the Battle, Tent 1
12:30 p.m. — Discussion with the U.S. generals and their staffs, Tent 2
1 p.m. — The spies of the Civil War explain their importance, Tent 1
1:30 p.m. —  Medical insight into the Battle’s Carnage, Tent 2
2 p.m. —  Battle, “Burnside Bridge” and “Up Comes Hill,” live mortar fire demonstration. Field demonstration.
3:30 p.m. — Ghostly Encounters of Antietam with Johlene “Spooky” Riley and “Captain” Chris Taylor, Tent 1

Antietam National Battlefield’s sesquicentennial events schedule

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
Noon — 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 and 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”
Noon — 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”

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