While other Confederate offensives in Kentucky, Mississippi and
Western Virginia were being conducted on a thousand mile front, General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, with
about 40,000 men, marched across central and western Maryland. Lee’s invasion
was the bloodiest and most decisive of these incursions.
Following the Second Battle
of Manassas, Lee wrote CSA President Jefferson Davis, “The present seems to be
the most propitious time since the commencement of the war for the Confederate
Army to enter Maryland. If it is ever desired to give material aid to Maryland and throw off the oppression to which she
is now subject, this would seem to most favorable.”
The Confederates, weakened in men, arms and material (especially
uniforms & shoes) could afford to be idle. The 85,000 man Union Army, led
by General George B. McClellan, was less than 25 miles away. While camped in
Frederick, MD., a few days later, Lee decided on a bold move. Due to the 12,000
man Federal garrison at Harpers Ferry which posed a threat to his lines of supply, communication and retreat, Lee divided his army,
directing General “Stonewall” Jackson to launch an envelopment of Harpers
Ferry; General Daniel H. Hill to guard Turner’s Gap at Boonsboro; General James
Longstreet to lead the rest of the army to Hagerstown and prepare to enter Pennsylvania.
This all changed when Lee’s
Special Orders #191 fell into Union hands, likely found on the Monocacy
Battlefield. McClellan’s army gave chase and forced the Confederates into a holding action
Sept 14th, in the South Mountain
gaps: Turner’s, Fox’s and Crampton’s. Lee gathered his army at Sharpsburg and
decided to make a stand northeast to town. Sept 17, the armies met in the bloodiest one-day
battle in history. Casualties: USA = 12,400 CSA = 10,320 Ttl = 22,720
Sights we will visit: Turner’s, Fox’s, Crampton’s Gaps; Gathland State Park, Boonsboro,
Burkittsville, Keedysville, Kennedy Farm, Antietam Battlefield & Visitor Center,
Sharpsburg, Shepherdstown, Bottler’s Ford, and numerous other places.
Our guide Stephen
the founder of the Antietem Battlefield Guides, and
as such he originated the tours, tests and qualifications.
When the National Park Service took over the batlefield
in 1933, there were no guides present or available.
Today, after rigorous examinations and a mentoring process,
their ranks include eminent battlefield scholars and
professionals. Steve set the standards for other South
Mountain/Antietem guides. We are especially pleased
to have him guide our tour. Among his battlefield talents,
he is the technician for the Top 100 Producers, a senior
web developer in Hagerstown, MD, and web site developer
at the White House in Washington D.C..
To register, complete the form below and mail it to Sheldon Munn,
HCWRT 1483 Maplewood Drive, New Cumberland, PA 17070. Your $25 deposit will
hold your seat with the balance due by April 2, 2016. Cancellations received before April
2, 2016 will receive a
full refund. Cancellations after April 2, 2016 will receive a refund ONLY if the
open seat(s) have been filled by another person.
check payable to Harrisburg CWRT. Questions/information to Sheldon
Munn (717) 512-1989 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org