Kevin Pawlak

In September 1862, the landscape of Western Maryland became the focus of a nation divided in two, the focus of a nation that held its breath as Robert E. Lee’s thus far victorious Confederate army advanced north across the Potomac River to deal the final blow to a United States that seemed to be on its last leg.  Lee began his campaign with the goal of defeating a Union army on northern soil and gaining independence for the eleven states of the Confederacy while Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States, and George McClellan, commanding the Union Army of the Potomac, struggled to keep the young United States as one nation instead of two.  This decisive campaign culminated along the banks of Antietam Creek in western Maryland and stopped the Confederacy’s quest for independence while helping to grant freedom to a whole race of people and changing the course of the Civil War and of the United States itself.  The importance of the Maryland Campaign cannot be fully understood unless you join me in seeing one of the best preserved battlefields in the United States and walking in the footsteps of the soldiers and civilians who experienced the bloodiest single day in American history.

I became a student of America’s greatest struggle after my first trip to the Gettysburg battlefield in southern Pennsylvania when I was nine years old.  There, a licensed battlefield guide sparked my interest in the Civil War and it has grown ever since.  I hope that as a guide, I too can inspire others to find their passion and realize how important the Civil War was in shaping the United States that we know today.  Currently, I am a college student at Shepherd University studying the Civil War and Nineteenth Century America.  Please join me as we traverse the fields of Antietam that were marred by the horrors of war and forever changed the lives of not only the soldiers but also the civilians that lived around the once peaceful town of Sharpsburg, Maryland.  Come with me to the iconic Dunker Church, walk with me through the infamous Cornfield, step into the Bloody Lane, and cross the Burnside Bridge and experience one of the most important days in American history with me at Antietam National Battlefield.

I can accommodate tours of any size and can personalize your tour to fit a particular interest that you may have in the battle.  You can book a tour with me by calling the Antietam Museum Bookstore at 301-432-4329 or 866-461-5180.  Also, feel free to email me at 16kpawlak1829@gmail.com.

4 responses

  1. Welcome to the guide service, Kevin; looks good, You’ll do a great job!

  2. Kevin, congratulations on joining the Battlefield Guides! I hope to be following you soon.

    I just discovered your blog and enjoyed your description of Lawton’s Division. One question: in regard to your statement: “…After suffering heavily from a stand-up brawl with Duryee, the 38th Georgia, to the 61st’s right, advanced to utilize the cover of a rock ledge that lay in their front but were bloodily repulsed by the fire of the 97th New York and 107th Pennsylvania…”, I’m trying to picture the troop positions on the field, particularly the “rocky ledge”. My first thought was the rocky ledge west of the Hagerstown Pike and north of Starke Avenue, but that’s too far west and north of the area you are referring to, correct?

  3. Gerald,
    I’m glad you enjoy the blog. As for this rock ledge used by the 38th and 61st Georgia, I could not find the location, which were based mainly on Carman’s description of the fighting in that end of the battlefield. It is definitely not the famous rocky ledge west of the Hagerstown Pike and north of Starke Avenue. The Carman-Cope maps show many rock ledges in the triangular field formed by the Hagerstown Pike, modern Cornfield Ave., and Smoketown Road. As I’m sure you know, that field is privately owned today and so I was not able to find its exact location but just by looking at the field from any vantage point, many small rock ledges can be seen throughout the field. Unfortunately, this rock ledge used by the Georgians may actually be gone or underneath either Cornfield Ave. or the post-battle house and barn that sits near the intersection of Cornfield Ave. and the Hagerstown Pike.

  4. Thanks for looking into that. There certainly could be a few topographic adjustments in the last 150 years either by park improvements or agricultural activities.

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