Category Archives: Tours

Three Antietam Guides Now Harpers Ferry Certified

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

On Saturday, April 23, 2013, three Antietam Battlefield Guides sat for the first ever Harpers Ferry guide test for the 1862 Maryland Campaign certification.  In a move to establish a credible guide program, National Park Historian Dennis Frye developed a process and written test especially designed to attract qualified personnel to guide visitors desiring private tours.  Antietam Guides Jim Rosebrock, Justin Mayhue, and Gary Rohrer successfully completed the 2 ½ hour test which consisted of 16 essay questions.

The threesome finished the test within minutes of the time limit.  Justin observed that “there were often several questions within a question, which made it more like 40 essay questions.”  Essay booklets were provided and nearly filled by the applicants.  Gary remembered having writer’s cramps from writing so much in response.  Gary took the test to further expand his versatility.  “I wanted to be able to give the entire 1862 Maryland Campaign tour and passing this test makes that possible.” Jim Rosebrock welcomed the opportunity to become certified by Harpers Ferry.  “Formal National Park Service certification really adds credibility to our program and allows Gary, Justin and I  to provide historically accurately interpretation of another major Maryland Campaign battlefield. I encourage other Antietam guides to pursue this certification in the future.”

Dennis Frye said “we are very excited to have [Jim], Gary, and Justin certified Harpers Ferry Battlefield Guides.”  He continued by offering “congratulations on passing the test, and for making history at Harpers Ferry as the park’s first certified guides.”

The three guides may be booked by either WMIA or the Harpers Ferry Historical Association.

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Announcement of Antietam Battlefield Guide Examination

Antietam Battlefield Guides will be offering the written examination to individuals interested in becoming certified battlefield guides at 9AM on January 14, 2012 at the Sharpsburg Area Rescue Service, 110 1/2 West Chapline Street, Sharpsburg.  The first step in the process for signing up for this examination is to submit a guide application. Due to the great level of interest in this examination, we will be prescreening all applications prior to reserving a seat for you at the test site.
Attached is a copy of the guide application and guide agreement.  Please read the agreement carefully as it outlines your obligations and responsibilities as a battlefield guide after you have completed all examinations and training.
Complete the attached application paying particular attention to the areas where you address your current background and interests in the Civil War and the Maryland Campaign and why you want to become an Antietam Battlefield Guide.  Also be sure to include two references.  Submit your application no later than December 19, 2011.  You may drop it off at the Museum Bookstore at Antietam National Battlefield or mail it to Post Office Box 692, Sharpsburg, Maryland.
There is a $50 administrative charge associated with taking this examination.  This charge is waived for individuals who are re-testing.  Do not send money at this time.
Test Description: This examination evaluates your knowledge of the Maryland Campaign.  The test consists of five parts.  Part 1 contains 212 multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, timelines, and short answer (one or two-word) questions organized within the following topic areas:  Maryland Campaign, Harpers Ferry, South Mountain, Battle of Antietam (overall), Cornfield, West Woods,  Sunken Road, Middle Bridge, Burnside Bridge, Final Attack, Aftermath, Civilians, Medical, Park History (including monuments), and Historiography. Part 2 consists of four maps where you will identify key terrain, landmarks and troop dispositions.  Part 3 includes a number of period photographs where you will identify the location of the photograph.  Part 4 is a series of short answer questions. You should be able to answer these questions in two or three sentences. Part 5 consists of two essays.  There are two groups of possible essay questions.  Select one topic from each group.  Each of your essays should be about one page in length. You will have 2½ hours to complete the examination.
To be accepted as a guide candidate, you must score 85% overall on the objective questions of the examination and in each of the topic areas listed above (i.e. Harpers Ferry, Sunken Road, Medicine, Park History). Essay questions are GO or NO GO.  You must achieve a GO on both of your essay questions.
If you are ready to begin the process, we look forward to receiving your application.


Welcome to Antietam Battlefield Guides, the official blog for the Antietam Battlefield Guide Association.

Who are we? Antietam Battlefield Guides are a component of the Western Maryland Interpretive Association, a cooperating association of the Antietam and Monocacy National Battlefields.  We provide historically accurate and compelling interpretation of the events, personalities, and major themes of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 in a friendly and casual learning environment that meets the needs of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. We strongly support the historical preservation goals of the Western Maryland Interpretive Association, and work in partnership with the rangers and volunteers of Antietam National Battlefield to provide accurate historic interpretation and education programs.  We support all efforts to preserve and protect the landscape, historic structures, archeological sites and monuments at the battlefield sites of the Maryland Campaign.

Our guides are eager to share our knowledge, perspective and passion on this decisive moment in the American Civil War with you.  Our ranks include people from many different walks of life.  Among them are eminent Civil War scholars and authors, National Park Service rangers and volunteers, retired military officers, clergymen, public servants business professionals and community leaders.  All share a common avocation for the Maryland Campaign.  All of our guides complete a rigorous examination and mentoring process before they are certified by the National Park Service to provide formal interpretive programs. Check out the backgrounds of our guides here at this blog. We also offer links here to a number of Maryland Campaign blogs that are maintained by our guides.

This site will serve as a platform for you to learn more about the interpretive services offered by Antietam Battlefield Guides.  Our programs range from a 2½ private tour of Antietam National Battlefield for your family to specialized programs that could focus on one part of the battlefield, or to multi day tours of the Maryland Campaign that include the Battles at South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, and Shepherdstown. Whether by car, bus, bike, horseback or Segway, let us develop a program that fits your particular interests and needs.

With the observance of the 150th anniversary of the Maryland Campaign in 2012, we will be offering a number of specialized programs that should satisfy a wide range of interests.  Check back at this site often to learn more and “Like” our Facebook page as well to get updates.

We look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!

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