Jacob Rohrbach Inn (Sharpsburg, Maryland)

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Five Reasons to Stay at our Maryland B & B

February 23, 2019 by jacobrohrbach

Inn Exterior

Hotels, motels, house rentals, Bed & Breakfasts…. Travelers today have more lodging options than ever before and trying to decide where to stay can be overwhelming. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, finding the right accommodation is important.  However, with so many choices, why should you consider a bed and breakfast over another accommodation type?   That’s easy – they’re great!  No seriously, they are so not what you expect.  B&B’s are experiencing a huge resurgence in popularity and they often provide better value compared to hotels and other types of accommodations

If you have never stayed in a Bed & Breakfast, you owe it to yourself to try it.  If you HAVE stayed in a Bed & Breakfast, you owe it to yourself to go back.  (And, if you stayed in one and thought it was ‘just ok’ you owe it to yourself to try ours!)  Here is our top 5 reasons why you should stay at a B&B, especially the Jacob Rohrbach Inn:

 

1 – A Personal Experience:

innkeepersYou can get good customer service at a hotel, but often you’re just a room number.  Here at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn you will get a personalized experience.  When you check in, you get to meet an Innkeeper, not an employee or just a book listing the rules and a few suggestions of things to do.  We actually know your name and where you are from, we know that it’s your birthday or anniversary and we even know if you want coffee or tea at breakfast.  We also know if it’s your first time to the area or your 20th and know just where to send you to find a great experience.  Want to go to a winery?  Let us know what type you are looking for and we can send you to just the right place.  Want a romantic dinner, or maybe just looking for a quick bite between activities – we know the perfect place for both.  Want to hang out on one of the porches with a book or just take a nap?  DO IT!  Want to sit down and chat with us about how we came to do this, or why you are here?  Great – we love to hear about you and your story.  Only want to see us at check-in and breakfast?  That is perfect too.  No judgment here- this is YOUR stay.  A stay designed by YOU!  Our goal is to make you feel comfortable and relaxed so that you leave with great memories.

 

2 – Affordable and All Inclusive

You may find some hotels or other rental accommodations appear cheaper but the value at a B&B is far better.  When you check into a hotel, you might get free parking and a so-so continental breakfast, Wi-Fi is almost always an extra cost and there might be an overpriced vending machine for late night munchies.  We recently went to a conference and learned that if we wanted a mini fridge in our room, we had to pay an additional fee each day.  Who does that?  At our bed and breakfast it’s all included!  Off-street parking – free, High speed internet – free, Mini-fridge in room – free, Soda, coffee or tea – free, Fresh, homemade goodies and snacks– free, Amazing multi-course breakfast – free.  (I feel like that tax commercial: free, free, free-free-free, free.)  But seriously, It’s all FREE!

 

3 – Breakfast to Remember

Banana BreakfastAt a hotel, you might get a disappointing grab-n-go cold breakfast, or maybe you will get lucky with a “hot” breakfast.  But should questionable eggs and a rubbery waffle sitting under a heat lamp be called breakfast?  You will find none of that when you stay at our Bed & Breakfast.  Wake up to the scent of locally roasted and fresh ground coffee brewing, or the aromas of thick Applewood-smoked slices of bacon sizzling in the oven.  That’s what you will find at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn.  A homemade, multi-course breakfast brimming with local products and flavors is simply the best way to start your day.  That wonderful coffee is out on the comfort station by 7:00am and breakfast is served in the dining room at 8:30. Our menu is ‘chef’s choice’ and alternates each day between sweet and savory.  If you don’t like making small talk in the morning – no worries.  At the Jacob Rohrbach Inn we don’t make you ‘sit with strangers’.  All of our tables are individual and allow you, the guest, to be in control of how interactive you are.  Remember this is YOUR stay, you get to decide.  Need an earlier start to the day?  We will be happy to provide you with a ‘road ready’ breakfast to get you on your way.  Don’t worry if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, just let us know ahead of time and we will be happy to accommodate them.

 

4 – Unique and Authentic Experience

Harpers Ferry When you stay at many brand name hotels, they attempt to provide you the same experience in every location.  Which means no matter where you stay, NYC or Bali, you will find the exact same thing. Boring!  A Bed and Breakfast is owned by local residents and provides a unique and authentic experience. If you really want to ‘live like a local’, here is your chance!  Get the scoop on attractions and activities that are off the beaten path and find out where the hidden gems of the area are.  We know the best place to go to capture a sunrise/sunset.  We know where to send you for a short relaxing hike or where to go for a challenge.  Where is the best place to get your bike on or off the C & O canal? We can tell you that too.  Need to find a place to take the kids on a rainy afternoon, or a pet friendly restaurant?  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  At the Jacob Rohrbach Inn, you will find your Innkeepers are an outstanding source of local information.

 

5 – Historic Properties and Beautiful Rooms

Quite a few Bed and Breakfasts are historic buildings, architecturally distinctive and no two ever look alike.  Many of these are in restored buildings that are hundreds of years old and have played an important role in the history of their town.  The Jacob Rohrbach Inn also has a rich history and unique story.  Situated along the main street, our motto is “An Eyewitness to History Since 1804”. Be sure to ask us the story of our Inn during your stay.  Unlike small cookie-cutter hotel rooms, the Inn has five spacious and comfortable rooms.  All five have been thoughtfully restored to maintain their historic character.  But don’t let the word historic fool you, we’re not ‘Grandma’s house’ with plastic slip covers and doilies everywhere.  Our rooms and suites are individually furnished and come with all the modern amenities that will make you feel at home.   If you are traveling with another couple, check out their room.  You will be surprised at the differences between each one.  Our website allows you to view large pictures of each guest room and select the one that most appeals to you.  At the Jacob Rohrbach Inn you get to choose your room, not your room type.

 

Inn buttonSo, the next time you are traveling, or planning a vacation, don’t get overwhelmed by all the choices.  Choose a Bed and Breakfast. Come stay at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn for a great experience!

More Changes around the Inn

February 23, 2019 by jacobrohrbach

WOW! 2018 was a big year for changes around the Inn.  We did way more renovating, painting, landscaping, and expanding then we expected to do.

It all started toward the end of 2017 when we realized we had a great opportunity to expand the business (More on the expansion in just a bit).  First we had to renovate the Harpers Ferry Suite.  This suite was one of the original guest rooms when the house was turned into a bed and breakfast over thirty years ago and desperately needed some updating. Fortunately there was no carpet or wallpaper to remove so the project moved right along.  We are very pleased with the bathroom project and would like to thank Anne Marie & Marty of Uphome Renovations, LLC for the tremendous work they did.  Another ‘Thank you’ goes to Antietam Wood Floors for repairing and restoring the hardwood floors.

 

New vanity

Refinished hardwoods

Tiled shower

New sitting area of the Harpers Ferry Suite

Once the weather started to break we moved outside for some yard work.  We called in Jay’s Tree & Landscaping Service to remove some dying trees along the property line and we worked for over a month tearing out the old fence and brush that lined the back alley.  After adding several yards of top soil, the backyard is nicely sloped and the green grass has taken off.

Clearing out the old wire fence and putting in topsoil

Removing some of the trees along the alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

As most of you know, 2018 has gone down for being one of the wettest years in history.  We had 130 days of precipitation coming in at over 50 inches of rain.  Needless to say it was not a good year to decide to paint the Inn but we did.  We started in July… and we’re still not done.  We had to suspend operations by Thanksgiving as the temperatures began to drop, but as soon as weather warms up the last part of the Inn and spring house will be finished.  One of our local painters, Lucas Turner has done an outstanding job and was able to work around the weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Colonial Williamsburg colors have given the place a whole new look.  The body of the buildings are painted a  Tavern Gray.   We used Tyler Gray to distinguish the window slashes and Mopboard Black for the trim and accent areas.  All the porch ceilings have a traditional Pearl Blue shade to ward off insects and birds.  We can’t wait til spring to finish it up.

Fall at Inn

Back to the expansion of the business…  As this year came to a close we were able to focus on achieving one of our start up goals.  We are both big on planning and one of the objectives on our five year plan was to have a large space for a gift shop.

Gift shop hutch

After some packing and rearranging things in the old basement dress shop room we now have a large space to expand our gift shop. We gave this ground floor or sidewalk level of the Inn a new look with a fresh coat of paint and it looks great.

Antietam Mercantile Company at the Inn.

We look forward to having it completed and the shop operating sometime this Spring.  While you are here for your stay be sure to check out the new Antietam Mercantile Company at the Inn.

2019 Civil War Lecture Series

January 25, 2019 by jacobrohrbach

What an awesome lineup of  lectures for this summer at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn.  We have five new guest speakers on the schedule, so come hear leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Lecture Series.

2019 Speaker Schedule

June 5 – Gordon Dammann – “Birth of Nursing and Hospital Care as a result of the Civil War”

June 12 – Mark Dudrow – “Cole’s Cavalry”

June 19 – Joe Stahl – “Images from Meade’s Division: The Pennsylvania Reserves at Antietam”

June 26 – Darin Wipperman  “The Only Doubtful Ones: McClellan’s Least Favorite Corps During the Antietam Campaign”

July 3 – Tom Clemens – “Antietam in Their Own Words; Letters from the veterans describe the battle.“

July 10 – George Franks – “Battle of Falling Waters: Last Battle of the Gettysburg Campaign”

July 17 – Jim Buchanan – “Following footprints and memory: Reexamining assumptions about the fight for the West Woods”

July 24 – Jim Rosebrock – Confederate artillery commanders at Antietam

July 31 – Steve Stotelmyer – “John Pope at Antietam: His influence on the Maryland Campaign and the Final Attack at Antietam”

August 7 – Kevin Pawlak – “In the Wake of Antietam: The Loudoun Valley Campaign of 1862”

August 14 – Matt Borders – “A Last Roll of the Dice: The Third Confederate Invasion of the North – 1864”

August 21 – Alex Rossino – “The Tale Untwisted: George McClellan and the Discovery of Lee’s Lost Orders, September 13, 1862”

August 28 – John Schildt – “People and Places at Antietam”

 

These Wednesday evening programs are free and open to the public. They will be held outdoors on the grounds of the Inn at 7:oo p.m so bring a chair to sit around our event tent. In case of inclement weather the talks will be moved to the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed United Church of Christ on Main Street.  Check our Blog and Facebook page for weekly updates about the speakers and their topics.

 

Civil War Lecture Series Notice

Topics & Speakers

Captain Bender’s Tavern

November 7, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

If you’re looking for a great local restaurant near the Inn with AMAZING food then Captain Bender’s is the place.

About Captain Bender’s Tavern

Raleigh Bender was born in Sharpsburg in 1873.  Like many townsfolk in Sharpsburg, Raleigh worked on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal and would become the captain of Canal Boat No. 1.  Bender held several records during his time working on the canal.  He had also worked the longest on the canal, over 36 years; he “held the record of 62 hours for the fastest time for an unloaded boat from Georgetown to Cumberland; and brought the last load of coal from Cumberland through the Paw Paw Tunnel”.  In 1936, Raleigh opened Bender’s Tavern on Main Street in Sharpsburg and “reportedly told many stories about the canal and town”.  Since that time Captain Bender’s Tavern “has fed the hungry, quenched the thirsty, and served loyally, the historic community of Sharpsburg”.

Today, Captain Bender’s Tavern is owned and operated by Steve Kemmett.   Steve wanted the tavern “to be a fun place, a place where everybody can hang out and have fun” so in 2010 he began remodeling.  Steve turned the tavern into our towns version of “Cheers” (the 1980s sitcom where ‘everybody knows your name’).  He said he wanted “a place where customers can feel at home and feel welcome.”

The natural wood wainscoting, a tin ceiling and a long bar sets the atmosphere of a comfortable inviting pub.  The inside restaurant and bar area seat about 50 guests with an added 30-seat beer garden in the rear for outdoor dining and drinking in warmer weather.  Steve also added a dart tournament area and pool room for the Tavern Dart and Pool teams.

 

Unique Menu Items  at Captain Bender’s Tavern

Captain Bender’s has a great menu filled with appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and speciality drinks.  We have tried almost everything on the menu, but here are a few of our favorites…

For starters you have to try the Pickle Fries.  If you have never had these you’re in for a treat, cut like french fries they stay really crispy and are served with a zesty dipping sauce.  If pickles aren’t your thing, then go for the Hog Wings.  Yep that’s right, Hog Wings.  Tender pieces of pork smothered in your choice of wing sauce.  YUMMY!   Everyday there is a new soup du jour, our top picks are the cream of crab and the french onion soup.

The Hub City Salad is chopped romaine, garden vegetables, bacon and shredded cheese topped with a blackened chicken breast.   This is served with  Steve’s own amazing honey/lime/pistachio dressing.

One of our ‘go to’ menu items is the Fish & Chips.  This freshly beer battered Tilapia is flash fried and served with coleslaw and some of the best seasoned hand-cut fries we’ve ever had.

The Monument – Tower of Death

The Monument – Tower of Death

If your hungry for a burger, and I mean HUNGRY, you need to order The Monument – Tower of Death
Not one, not two, but three 8 ounce Black Angus burger patties stacked high on a Ciabatta roll with lettuce and tomato.  Then it is layered with chili, cheese, death sauce, fried pickles, onion rings and spicy dipping sauce.   To top it off it is served with a dill pickle spear and cheese fries topped with bacon and sour cream.  The best part is, IF you finish it all in 30 minutes, it’s FREE!

 

While visiting this area and staying at the Inn, we highly recommend stopping in Captain Bender’s.  If you’re able to plan your stay when Steve and his culinary crew are hosting one of their Speciality Dinners you’re definitely in for an incredible treat.  These ticketed events feature a four course dinner paired with some of the finest local wines or spirits.

For more information about Captain Bender’s Tavern, menu items and future events you can check out their Facebook  Page or their Website

 Directions

Walking from the Inn the tavern is just a block past the Town Square on the left.   Driving, Captain Bender’s is along Main Street or MD Route 34.  Parking is available along the street or in a parking lot off N. Mechanic Street. (Click here for Google Maps)

Captain Benders Tavern
111 E. Main Street
Sharpsburg, Maryland

Weekly Events & Specials

On Saturday nights you can stay out for LIVE music or karaoke at Bender’s and if you plan to take a ghost tour with the Sharpsburg Civil War Ghost Tours, your tour begins and ends  at the tavern.

Monday night – Flagship Trivia

Tuesday night  – Crab Cake Dinner: 5 oz Lump Crab Cake served with choice of 2 sides.

Wednesday night – AYCE Wings and Narragansett drafts or Baltimore Martini’s

Friday night – Prime Rib Dinner Special

Saturday night – dinner specials

Sunday all day – Build your burger

 

 

 

 

Apple Cider Scones

November 3, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Our favorite time of year at the Inn is Fall.  Not only are the leaves changing colors but the cooler temperatures bring out some of our favorite recipes.  One of those fall favorites is our Apple Cider Scones.  The best part is they are made with apples and cider from a local cidery – Distillery Lane Ciderworks in Burkittsville.

 

Apple Cider Scones  – serves 8

Apple Cider Scones

You will need:

6 TB butter (3/4 stick)
1/8 C buttermilk
6 TB of apple cider
1 bag of Original or Oatmeal Recipe mix
1/4 C  raisins or dried apples
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cinnamon Butter
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 – 2/3 C powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Place 1/2 tsp vanilla in measuring cup. Add 6 TBs of apple cider and enough buttermilk to equal 1/2 C. Keep chilled until ready for use.

Pour contents of bag into mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 tsp of  cinnamon. Cut in 6T chilled butter until mixture is fine and crumbly.

Add raisins or dried apples (diced) to mixture and stir to distribute.

Stir in buttermilk/cider blend. Dough will form a soft ball. Turn dough out onto floured board, and turn gently 3-4 times to lightly coat the ball with flour. (If needed, 1 – 2 TB of extra buttermilk may be added to obtain proper dough consistency.)

Pat out the ball of dough into a flattened circle, 6-7” in diameter, approximately 3/4- 1” thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut circle into eighths.

At this point you may freeze the dough to be used later.

Place scones on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 13-18 minutes (time will vary with scone size). Top should be light golden brown when done.

As the scones are baking prepare your cinnamon butter.  Combined 1/2 C butter, 1/2C powdered sugar. Then add 1 tsp cinnamon.  Add more powdered sugar if needed to taste.  Chill in refrigerator.

Lightly powder scones and serve warm with a to small scoop of cinnamon butter.

Tips:
– Butter should be really cold, the colder the better
– Treat scones like biscuits, the less you play with them the better
– Place cut scones on parchment/wax paper and freeze, then store in a plastic bag in the freezer. This allows you to remove and bake only what you need.
– Bake from frozen, no need to thaw

(Recipe adopted from our friends at Victorian House Scones)

Download our Apple Cider Scone Recipe

SHAF Donation

October 3, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Save Historic Antietam Foundation, or SHAF, is a nonprofit organization that was created in 1986 when there was a threat of development which would destroy the scenic and historic significance of the area.  Since that time, SHAF has been working to promote the preservation and restoration of the scenic area in and around the Antietam Battlefield.

There are still some remaining properties that are very significant to the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign.  With the ever rising cost of land and battlefield restoration, we wanted to help.  So, one of the first things we established upon taking over the Inn was a donation fund directly for SHAF.   Throughout the year the proceeds from the sale of our Antietam Battlefield postcards in our gift shop went directly to SHAF along with any guest donations.  This was a great start, but that alone just wasn’t enough. After much brainstorming we decided that during our annual Civil War Summer Lecture Series we would hold a raffle.

Winners of this years raffle.

This year proved to be a great success.  On the last Wednesday of this year’s lecture series, Rev. John Schildt drew the names of our five lucky winners.  Prizes include a framed print of the Battle of South Mountain, SHAF polo shirts, breakfast for two at the Inn, a SHAF hat & t-shirt, and a dozen homemade scones.  But more importantly we were able to raise $500 for the Save Historic Antietam Foundation!

 

We would like to thank all the outstanding guest speakers who have volunteered their time to provide  great, informative presentations.  Special thank you to Rev. Delancy Catlett and the Christ Reformed Church for being able to use the church in case of inclement weather (and this year we were there often). Finally, THANK YOU to our guests and all the faithful attendees of the lectures.  Without you and your donations none of this would be possible.  To date, we have raised over $1000 for SHAF!

Presenting Rev. John Schildt a check for this year’s SHAF donation.

We look forward to seeing you next summer for another year of new and exciting Civil War Lectures!

 

 

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

August 1, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Peaches on our tree

August is National Peach Month.  That’s right, peaches are so fabulous that they get to have their very own month!

Peaches are so popular in our area that the Annual Leitersburg Peach Festival  is held every August.  Not only can you get your fill of fresh, local peaches, there are craft vendors, demonstrations, music, a tractor show and of course the crowning of the Peach Princess.

We are so lucky that we have two mature peach trees in our garden.  The good news is that they did great this year and the bad news is that they did great this year.   It seemed like everyday we were picking peaches, and now what do you do with all those peaches??   Peach pie, peach cobbler, peach cakes… those are all delicious but not necessarily for breakfast.  (Well….not GUEST breakfast!)

Peach Chai Scones

Of course we used the peaches to make a few different types of scones and we did a few peach tarts, and just cut up some fresh.  Naturally I made some jam, (actually lots of jam, 30 pints to be exact) but I really wanted to try something different for our returning guests.  So I racked my brain and scoured good ole Google and after a few trials and errors I created a chilled peach soup!  It is amazing and so easy to make, I feel like that mom from the old rice krispies commercials.  (You know, where you throw some flour on your face like you’ve been working for hours but were really just watching HGTV/Food Network)  I’ll post the recipe below – it really is simple!

 

 

Chilled Peach Soup

Serves 4-6

2 Lg Peaches – peaches and sliced/diced

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup of peach juice*

1 T honey/sugar (to taste)

* substitute orange juice if you can’t find peach

Add all of the above to a blender and puree until smooth.  Chill in fridge for at least an hour and can be made the night before.   I made a raspberry coulis for in ours but you could just garnish it with a raspberry, mint spring or slices of peach.

ENJOY!

Chilled Peach Soup Recipe

“Sumner and French at Antietam”

July 24, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Gary Rohrer at the Sunken Road

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Gary Rohrer was born and raised in Washington County, MD where his family has lived for at least 225 years. His interests in the Civil War and passion for the 1862 Maryland Campaign go back more than 50 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. Gary also attended Antietam’s Centennial events as a young Boy Scout passing out programs for the last re-enactment held on the battlefield.

Gary’s professional career spanned 34 years in the public works arena as a registered professional engineer with extensive experience in the restoration and preservation of historic 19th century transportation structures such as wooden covered bridges, wrought iron truss structures, and stone arch bridges. He spent the last 20 years of his career in the roll of Washington County’s first Public Works Director. In that capacity, he revamped an ineffective preservation program for restoring and preserving 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 NPS as a Battlefield Guide at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park for the 1862 Maryland Campaign. He has traveled to many of our country’s Civil War battlefields in the west and the south in an effort to further enhance his tours at Antietam. Gary 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 their students.

Today, Gary 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.

Gary’s presentation will center on a topic often debated by historians: the communications between II Corps Commander Edwin V. Sumner and the commander of his Third Division, Brigadier General William H. French. What caused French’s Division to attack the Sunken Road? Did his division arrive in the East Woods some 20 to 30 minutes after Major General John Sedgewick’s Second Division? Was he ordered to attack or was he drawn south across the Mumma and Roulette farms by Confederate fire emanating in that direction? Gary’s presentation will focus on a 2013 study conducted by historian Marion Vincent (Vince) Armstrong and published in Civil War History magazine.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

“Zouaves – the First and the Bravest”

July 24, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Dr. Tom Clemens

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Dr. Tom Clemens holds a Doctorate in College Education-History from George Mason University, Professor Emeritus from Hagerstown Community College. He is a Tour guide for the Maryland Campaign for the past 30 years. Tom is the Editor of Ezra Carman’s Maryland Campaign of September 1862, 3 Vols. 2010, 2012, 2016. Author of numerous essays and Magazine articles, appeared in several documentary films as on-screen historian, including the orientation film in the NPS Visitor Center.

On Wednesday, August 22nd, Dr. Clemens will present his Summer Lecture Series talk –  Zouaves – the First and the Bravest.  This presentation will cover everything you ever wanted to know about Zouaves!  Who were they, where did they come from, why did they wear those outlandish uniforms, and what role they played in the Civil War, etc. Tom will be attired in a zouave uniform, and will be happy to discuss the various parts of the uniform, and its usage. Special attention will be paid to prominent zouave regiments present at Antietam, the 5th, 9th & 10 New York volunteers.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

“Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney: Beyond Dred Scott” – Matt Borders

July 17, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Matt Borders is a 2004 graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in US History. While at MSU he was first an intern and then a seasonal ranger for the National Park Service at Antietam National Battlefield. Following his undergrad he immediately went to Eastern Michigan University for his MS in Historic Preservation, with a focus in Battlefield Interpretation, which he earned in 2006. While at Eastern Matt again worked at Antietam as a Seasonal Ranger.

Upon graduation he taught for a year at Kalamazoo Valley Community College before accepting a  position with the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. Moving to Maryland in 2007 with his wife Kira, Matt worked as the historian for the ABPP for the next four years, personally surveying over 100 different American Civil War battlefields in the deep south and western United States. In 2011 his job with the ABPP was expanded to include additional duties related to the program’s preservation grants. Over this period Matt also became involved with the Frederick County Historical Society, a member, later the President, of the Frederick County Civil War Round Table and as a volunteer and Certified Battlefield Guide for Antietam National Battlefield.

Currently Matt is a National Park Service Ranger at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, Maryland. His first book, written with fellow Certified Guide Joe Stahl, is due out this fall.

Matt’s talk, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney: Beyond Dred Scott, looks at that enigmatic figure through his case work and whether or not it gives a deeper understanding for this much maligned historical figure. Chief Justice Taney will be forever remembered for the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857, but was this hard line opinion from the bench always the opinion of the man himself, or did it develop over time during the raucous antebellum years of the United States?

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

“‘The Heaviest Blow Yet Given the Confederacy’: The Emancipation Proclamation Changes the Civil War”

July 10, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Kevin Pawlak

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Kevin Pawlak is the Director of Education for the Mosby Heritage Area Association and an Antietam Battlefield Guide. He graduated in 2014 from Shepherd University with a major in Civil War and 19th Century America and a minor in Historic Preservation. Kevin has worked at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and completed internships with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Illinois, as well as at the Missouri Civil War Museum. He currently sits on the Boards of Directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.

Kevin wrote his first book, Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital, which was released in August 2015. He also authored: “The Heaviest Blow Yet Given the Confederacy”: The Emancipation Proclamation Changes the Civil War”, a part of the Engaging the Civil War’s Turning Points of the American Civil War. Kevin is a regular contributor to the Emerging Civil War blog and co-authored a book in the Emerging Civil War series, To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862.

The Emancipation Proclamation is one of our country’s most misinterpreted documents. Often seen as a bland and blank document of Lincoln’s lacking the flair of his Gettysburg Address or his Second Inaugural Address, the Emancipation Proclamation in fact proved to be one of the Civil War’s major turning points from a diplomatic and military standpoint. It also upped the ante on the war, for as of the Proclamation’s issuance on January 1, 1863, there were only two possible outcomes of the Civil War: either two separate nations would emerge, one with slavery and the other without, or there would be one reunited country without the institution of slavery.

On Wednesday, August 15th,  Kevin Pawlak will present his talk, “‘The Heaviest Blow Yet Given the Confederacy’: The Emancipation Proclamation Changes the Civil War”.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

“The Last Army of the Republic: the Myth of the Unused Reserves at the Battle of Antietam.”

July 4, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Steve Stotelmyer

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Always interested in local history, especially South Mountain and Antietam, Mr. Stotelmyer was a founding member of the Central Maryland Heritage League in 1989. The league gained a modest amount of success in preserving some of the lands of the South Mountain Battlefield. From 1989 through 1994 Mr. Stotelmyer served as a volunteer at the Antietam National Battlefield. In 1992 he published The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of Those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain, Toomey Press, Baltimore Maryland. From 2000 through 2005 Mr. Stotelmyer served as a part-time volunteer and historical consultant for the South Mountain State Battlefield. Steven currently enjoys being a National Park Service Certified Antietam and South Mountain Tour Guide.

It is another one of those familiar stories about Antietam that has been told so many times that it is accepted as fact. Allegedly, Gen. George B. McClellan stood idly near the end of the battle while thousands of reserve troops did nothing. In most versions, the reserve troops belonged to McClellan’s most trusted corps commander, Gen. Fitz-John Porter. For a brief moment McClellan seemed ready to commit these reserves and looked to Porter, his most trusted subordinate. Porter is said to have slowly shaken his head with disapproval and is purported to have said to. McClellan, “Remember, General! I command the last reserve of the last army of the Republic. In truth, this accusation against McClellan is a complete fabrication rooted in the intrigues of partisan politics rather than historical fact. Gen. Porter, was not only a hapless victim of the debacle at Second Manassas three weeks before, but also bears the responsibility for McClellan’s less than decisive victory at Antietam. The elephant in the room that remains unacknowledged is that Porter was unreasonably punished in both battles not for his military actions, but rather for his political affiliation and friendship with McClellan. It is my hope that this talk not only debunks the myth of the unused reserves, but also contributes to the redemption of Fitz-John Porter who was quite likely the most unjustly persecuted military figure in our nation’s history.

On Wednesday, August 1st,  Steve will present his talk, “The Last Army of the Republic: the Myth of the Unused Reserves at the Battle of Antietam”.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

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