Barbara Fritchie

Barbara Fritchie was born a subject of the British Crown before there was a United States of America. She was ten years of age at the time of the signing of the declaration of Independence. In 1806, when she was 40, she married a glove maker fourteen years younger than herself. Her husband’s father had been involved in a loyalist plot during the Revolutionary War and was hanged as a traitor. At the time of her husband’s death, Barbara was 83 years old. During her long life she had owned and sold slaves. Just three months prior to her death at age 96, she became the heroine of a famous story. However, even if John Greenleaf Whittier had not immortalized “Dame Barbara” in an apocryphal poem, Barbara Fritchie would remain a very interesting historical figure in her own right. Join us on Monday, August 19 as historian Steve Stotelmyer explores “The Legend of Barbara Fritchie”.

Steve Stotelmyer

Steven R. Stotelmyer is a native of Hagerstown, Maryland. He first visited Antietam National Battlefield as a child and has been fascinated with it ever since. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Frostburg State College and a Master of Arts from Hood College in Frederick, MD. Before retirement, he was employed as a teacher, surveyor, and civil engineer. In 1989 Stotelmyer was a founding member of the Central Maryland Heritage League, a non-profit land trust which helped preserve some of the South Mountain Battlefield. During his tenure with CMHL he discovered significant information regarding the Battle of South Mountain and the Legend of Wise’s Well. This led to the publication of The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of Those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain (Toomey Press, 1992). In 2019 Stotelmyer authored Too Useful To Sacrifice, Reconsidering George B. McClellan’s Generalship in the Maryland Campaign from South Mountain to Antietam (Savas Beatie, 2019). Recently Steve wrote From Frederick To Sharpsburg; People, Places, and Events of the Maryland Campaign before Antietam (Antietam Institute, 2023). Currently, Steve is a National Park Service Volunteer as well as a NPS Certified Antietam and South Mountain Battlefield Tour Guide.

Come join leading historians and scholars as they discuss intriguing topics about their latest works and research on the Maryland Campaign and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These indoors programs are sponsored by the Jacob Rohrbach Inn and will be held in McKinley Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m.  The church is located at 209W Main Street with a small parking area off the alley. More parking is available on Main and Hall Streets. These lectures free and open to the public. Each week we hold a drawing in which the proceeds support the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. Be sure to check our Facebook page for updates and changes to the schedule.