Thanks for considering a visit to Antietam! Considered by many to be the pivotal battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg as Southerners called it, proved to be one of the most dramatic and bloody clashes in American history. The pastoral beauty of the battlefield, set in the rolling hills of western Maryland, bears little resemblance to the blasted landscape and carnage that was the aftermath of the battle. It would be my pleasure to help re-create the scenes of the struggle for you and provide insight to the various aspects of the campaign.
I’ve been giving tours of Antietam for over 30 years. To me, every tour is a customized tour, as each person has his/her own questions and interests. The advantages of hiring a professional guide are having questions answered immediately, visiting places of special interest on the field, and having one’s desires catered to by a knowledgeable, professional authority. The topic of my doctoral dissertation was the history of the battle and I have been studying this campaign for nearly 40 years. I am a retired college professor, and devoted to stimulating intellectual curiosity, as well as creating an emotional bond with our history.
My publications include the three-volume Maryland Campaign of September 1862, by Ezra Carman which I spent many years type-scripting, editing and annotating. Ezra Carman was the first historian of the battlefield and wrote an 1,800 page narrative of the entire campaign. It is regarded as the most detailed study of the Maryland Campaign, and as such has been cited extensively by authors who have written about Antietam. I have also published a monograph In Corps Commanders in Blue on of the life of General Joseph K.F. Mansfield, who was killed at Antietam, and numerous articles about the campaign and Civil War in general. My latest article is about the newly discovered location of General McClellan’s true headquarters, printed in Civil War Times June 2016 edition. For many years I have volunteered as a costumed interpreter for nearly 30 years at Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg and many other historic sites.
Dedicated to not only interpreting the Civil War, I am also committed to preserving Civil War sites. Since 1989 I have been the President of Save Historic Antietam Foundation, Inc., an organization I helped found in 1986. We have helped preserve thousands of acres in the vicinity of Sharpsburg, and saved several key structures of historic importance as well. In the past two years, working with Civil War Trust, we have purchased over 60 acres within the core battlefield, and have spent over $2 million dollars, which includes demolishing and removing post-Civil War structures and land restoration.
I can also do tours of: Harpers Ferry; South Mountain; Shepherdstown Ford; hospital and headquarters sites of the Maryland Campaign; and I am willing to tailor a tour to any special sites or topic requests you might have.
It would be my pleasure to share my passion for history with you, your friends and family. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Tom Clemens