Gary Rohrer

 

Gary was born and raised in Washington County, MD where his family has lived for at least 225 years. His interest in the Civil War and passion for the 1862 Maryland Campaign go back more than 55 years to his days as a Boy Scout camping on the battlefield in the final attack area near Burnside Bridge and at Crampton’s Gap on South Mountain. There, he listened to the true stories of E. Russell Hicks, noted county historian and himself acquainted with veterans of the battles. Gary also attended Antietam’s Centennial (1962) events as a young Boy Scout passing out brochures for the last re-enactment held on the battlefield. Those wonderful memories came flooding back as he worked alongside of the NPS Interpretive Rangers during the Sesquicentennial in 2012. Since his retirement, Gary has traveled to many of our country’s Civil War battlefields in the west and the south in an effort to be as well informed and knowledgeable as possible to further enhance his tours at Antietam. In recent years, he has toured numerous WWI and WWII battlefields in Belgium and France.

For nearly 36 years, Gary’s grandfather owned the South Mountain Tavern (House) and large tracts of land on top of the mountain in both directions (north and south) encompassing much of the original battlefield towards Foxes Gap. During his boyhood, he spent many summer days playing in this very historic area. These experiences, together with the Mountain House having served as Confederate Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill’s HQ eventually fueled his thirst to learn more about the events that took place in his backyard.

Gary’s professional career spanned 34 years in the public works arena as a registered professional engineer and Washington County’s first Public Works Director in the last 20 years of his career. In that capacity, he is credited for leading the restoration and preservation of many of the county’s 19th century stone arch bridges which are very much in tack and carrying modern traffic, today. Upon his retirement, he became involved as a Battlefield Ambassador while pursuing the National Park Certification for Battlefield Guide. In 2013, he became one of the first four guides ever certified by the National Park Service as a Battlefield Guide at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park for the 1862 Maryland Campaign. He has led hundreds of tours with clients ranging from the very young to the very seasoned students of the battle including retired officers of flag rank, college professors and war college students.

Today, Gary is actively involved with the Antietam Battlefield Guides in promoting the history and the true stories of the 1862 Maryland Campaign, particularly at Antietam. This eclectic and very collegial group of historians is dedicated to studying, sharing, and selflessly working closely with the National Park Service to preserve and protect this magnificent battlefield for this and future generations. He is a member of the Washington County Historic District Commission and Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF). He resides near Boonsboro, MD with his family. He is also a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Contact Info.: Phone: 301-667-7077; email: garyrohrer@ymail.com

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