My first memorable visit to Antietam was during the 100th Anniversary celebration in 1962 as a young Boy Scout passing out programs near the Dunker Church for the reenactments that took place right on the battlefield. They continued with Boy Scout camperees at places like Burnside’s Bridge and Crampton’s Gap where noted historian, E. Russell Hicks had the riveted attention of 400 scouts at Saturday night campfires as he vividly described what occurred at these locations. My interest in the Civil War was also fanned by the fact that for many years, my grandfather owned much of South Mountain, between Fox’s and Turner’s Gaps including the Mountain House (D.H. Hill’s headquarters) where I spent many weekends during my youth.
Having been born, raised, lived and worked in the heart of the Maryland Campaign has meant so much to me and forged a deep interest in the Civil War inspiring much reading and study. Like many of my fellow guides, I have had the opportunity to visit numerous Civil War battlefields and related sites around the country and can assure you that Antietam is one of the most pristine battlefields in the Country – the surrounding area and view sheds still very much resemble those of September 1862.
Come visit and see why our passion and love for this region go far beyond words. We will walk into the cornfield at the heart of the bloodiest square mile in American history; trod the earthen road known as Bloody Lane; gaze from the incredible position overlooking Burnside’s Bridge where just 400 Georgians held off the entire IX Corps of 12,000 troops for more than three hours. Whatever you do, please do not neglect to visit the Antietam National Cemetery. A guided tour of this cemetery can be a moving experience that is often overlooked.
Along with Antietam, I am a National Park Certified Guide for Harpers Ferry and South Mountain Battlefields, offering the entire 1862 MD Campaign including the Battle of Shepherdstown.
Gary is a lifelong resident of the Washington County area. He and his wife live near Boonsboro; not far from the battlefield. You can book a tour with him by calling the Antietam Museum Bookstore at 301-432-4329 or 866-461-5180. Of course, you can email Gary at: firstname.lastname@example.org.