Jacob Rohrbach Inn (Sharpsburg, Maryland)

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John Schildt – “Roads to Gettysburg”

June 11, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Rev. John Schildt (photo credit: fredericknewspost.com)

John Schildt hardly needs an introduction. He is well known for his many books relating the various aspects of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and local history. Reverend Schildt graduated from Shepherd College, Wesley Theological Seminary and has studied at Western Maryland College, Gettysburg Seminary and West Virginia University.

Rev. Schildt was introduced to Civil War history by his great-grandmother who fed Union troops on the way to Gettysburg when she was a little girl. John has been a lecturer and guide for the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, Bud Robertson’s “Campaigning with Lee”, the Chicago Civil War Round Table, and many other groups. He was the main speaker at the 125th anniversary of Antietam. Outside of Civil War history, John has led three educational excursions to Normandy and took part in the American and French commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the D-day landing in 1994. While leading explorations, he likes to make history come alive by sharing human interest stories about people and places. Having been a lifelong student of Antietam, John has written many books on the subject, including “September Echoes,” “Drums along the Antietam,” “Roads to Antietam,” and several others.

Lee crossing the Potomac

Lee crossing the Potomac into Maryland, 1863

Rev. John Schildt will present “Roads to Gettysburg” on Wednesday, August 4th.  Everyone know s about Gettysburg. But how did the troops get there? This is an epic story of 175,000 men and all the equipment of war covering , in some cases, 200 miles in two weeks, from the Rappahannock River to the fields of Gettysburg.. 100,000 men, wagons and caissons crossed on two pontoon bridges, spanning 1600 feet, resting on 64 boats.  It is the story of rain , heat, thirst and sunstroke, as they marched through Maryland and Pennsylvania towns.

 

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 7:00 p.m.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Darin Wipperman – “‘Such a Bloody Set of Men:’ The 35th Massachusetts in the Antietam Campaign”

June 9, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Darin Wipperman

On Wednesday, August 18th, Darin Wipperman will present his Summer Lecture Series talk,  – “‘Such a Bloody Set of Men:’ The 35th Massachusetts in the Antietam Campaign”

The new soldiers of the 35th Massachusetts Infantry left Boston in late August 1862, not knowing how quickly their world would be shaken to the core. Joining Ferrero’s Brigade in the 2nd Division of the Ninth Corps, the 35th, under the command of Col. Edward Wild, moved up South Mountain in the late afternoon of September 14. Devastating events then occurred, impacting the regiment’s very foundations. Three days later, a far greater tribulation befell the unproven regiment west of Antietam Creek. In the same brigade as the 51st Pennsylvania and 51st New York — the troops who seized Burnside’s Bridge – the 35th Massachusetts suffered more casualties at Antietam than those two regiments combined. Somewhat forgotten today, the rookies’ stubborn stand north of the 40-acre cornfield did not go unnoticed at the time. After the engagement, a brigade comrade from New Hampshire, admiring the immortal bravery he saw from the rookies, noted that he had never seen “such a bloody set of men.”


This presentation, Darin Wipperman’s third for the Summer Lecture Series at the Rohrbach Inn, includes research used in his next book, currently titled Burnside’s Boys: The Union’s Ninth Corps and the Civil War in the East.  In December, Stackpole Books published First for the Union: Life and Death in a Civil War Army Corps from Antietam to Gettysburg, in which Darin focuses on the 11 months of the First Corps’ most intense service. In the 1990s, he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in political science. After nearly 17 years as a federal employee, Darin and his wife moved to northern New Hampshire, where he was a reporter and editor for weekly newspapers for more than four years. When not geeking out on the Civil War, Darin spends a great deal of time managing the 64-acre forested parcel he and his wife live on in Lancaster, NH.

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 7:00 p.m.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Steve Stotelmyer – “The Insolence of Epaulets”

June 9, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Steve Stotelmyer

Steven R. Stotelmyer, a lifetime student of the Maryland Campaign, is a native of Hagerstown, Maryland. After a stint in the U.S. Navy he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Frostburg State College and a Master of Arts from Hood College. Mr. Stotelmyer currently serves as a volunteer and tour guide at the Antietam National Battlefield. From time to time Mr. Stotelmyer has also served as a part-time volunteer and historical consultant for the South Mountain State Battlefield. In 1992 he published The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of Those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain, Toomey Press, Baltimore, MD. With the recent publication of Too Useful To Sacrifice: Reconsidering George B. McClellan’s Generalship in the Maryland Campaign from South Mountain to Antietam, Savas Beatie LLC, New York, NY, Steven R. Stotelmyer provides a fresh examination and debunking of the negative stereotypes surrounding this capable commander during one of most crucial phases of the Civil War.​

McClellan and Lincoln

On Wednesday, August 25, Steve will present his Summer Lecture Series talk – “The Insolence of Epaulets”. One of the most often cited criticisms of the Bad General consensus regarding George B. McClellan centers around personality and has absolutely nothing to do with military ability. As the story goes, McClellan purposely disrespected President Lincoln by ignoring him during an unannounced visit.  Steve will explore the context and circumstances surrounding one of Little Mac’s most famous peccadilloes.

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 7:00 p.m.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Kevin Pawlak and Joe Stahl – “Casualties and Chaos Command Attrition at Antietam”

May 22, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Mortuary cannon for Gen. Rodman

 

The Battle of Antietam produced casualties on an unprecedented scale in a single day of combat. Officers were a group of men that was particularly hit hard. When officers fell on a battlefield, it produced even more confusion and chaos. This talk will examine the effect of these officer casualties on the battle and its outcome. On Wednesday, July 28, Antietam Battlefield Guides –Kevin Pawlak and Joe Stahl will present, “Casualties and Chaos Command Attrition at Antietam”  

 

 

Kevin Pawlak

Kevin Pawlak is a Historic Site Manager for the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and works as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National National Battlefield. He graduated from Shepherd University in 2014, majoring in History with a concentration in Civil War and 19th Century America and minoring in Historic Preservation. Kevin previously worked at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. He is on the Board of Directors for the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association, the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, and the Friends of the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield. He is also a regular contributor to the Emerging Civil War online blog. Kevin is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital and co-author of To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862.

 

Joe Stahl

Joseph W. Stahl retired from the Institute for Defense Analyses where he authored or co-authored more that 50 reports on defense issues. Since his retirement he has become a volunteer and NPS Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam and Harpers Ferry. He grew up in St. Louis. He received BS and MS degrees from Missouri University of Science And Technology and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a member of the Company of Military Historians, Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF), Hagerstown Civil War Roundtable and is co-author of the first book on ID discs Identification Discs of Union Soldiers in the Civil War. His second book “Faces of Union Soldiers at Antietam will be published this summer. He has spoken to various Civil War groups including the Northern Virginia Relic Hunters, South Mountain Coin and Relic Club, Rappahannock, York, Chambersburg, and Hagerstown Round Tables, Chambersburg Civil War Tours, SHAF and the NPS Antietam. In addition Joe has authored more that two dozen articles about items in his collections for the Gettysburg Magazine, the Washington Times Civil War Page, Manuscripts, America’s Civil War, Military Collector & Historian: the Journal of the Company of Military Historians, the Civil War Historian and the Skirmish Line of the North-South Skirmish Association. Displays of items from of his collection have won awards at several Civil War shows.  He has been a member of the North-South Skirmish Association for more than 25 years and has shot civil war type muskets, carbines and revolvers in both individual and team competitions.

 

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.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Richard P. D’Ambrisi – “Military Board Games of the Maryland Campaign of 1862”

May 22, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Experience the American Civil War Maryland Campaign of 1862 from a different perspective. This presentation will review military strategy board games along with some digital versions published from 1972 to 2021. The South Mountain and Antietam battles will be discussed showing examples of original packaging and the contents used to recreate history on a game board. War game simulation that follows historical accuracy while incorporating elements of chance is a unique way to explore the battlefields. As a commander, you make decisions that can affect the outcome of the game.

Richard D`Ambrisi

On Wednesday, July 7th, Richard P. D’Ambrisi will present his Summer Lecture Series talk “Military Board Games of the Maryland Campaign of 1862”.  Richard D’Ambrisi has been a Civil War civilian living historian since 1986 and is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation. He has developed characterizations of a mid-19th Century ballist, apothecary, phrenologist, and railroad employee.

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.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.   Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Sharon Murray – “The Union Cavalry During the Maryland Campaign”

May 22, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

B. F. Davis spearheaded a “valiant coup that compared favorably with anything” his classmate JEB “Stuart had ever done” when he instigated and helped lead the breakout of Union Cavalry from Harpers Ferry on  Sept. 14, 1862.  This presentation will address the status of the Union Cavalry at the start of the Maryland Campaign, their activities prior to the Battle of Antietam, their actions on September 17, 1862 and a brief overview of the cavalry breakout and capture of Longstreet’s Train near Williamsport, on September 15.
On Wednesday, July 14, Antietam Battlefield Guide Sharon Murray will discuss – “The Union Cavalry During the Maryland Campaign”
 

Sharon Murray

As a native Idahoan, Sharon Murray moved east in 2010 to volunteer at Antietam National Battlefield.  She has multiple degrees in mining engineering and history from the University of Idaho. Sharon has published a number of articles on Idaho mining history and won awards for photographs from the International California Mining Journal and the American Battlefield Trust. She is currently working on a book about a career army officer Colonel Benjamin Franklin Davis and has been a guide at Antietam since 2014.

 

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.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Brad Gottfried – “The Confederate Cavalry During the Maryland Campaign”

May 4, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

JEB Stuart

On Wednesday, June 30th, Antietam Battlefield Guide and renowned author, Brad Gottfried will present his Summer Lecture Series talk – “The Confederate Cavalry During the Maryland Campaign”.

Jeb Stuart has become a legend among the leaders of the Civil War and he and his three brigades were tasked with important functions during, before, and after the battle of Antietam. Brad’s presentation will cover Stuart’s responsibilities and how well he and his men accomplished them. The fights prior to the battle of Antietam– along National Road (Wade Hampton’s brigade), the battle in the streets of Boonsboro (Fitz Lee’s brigade), and at Crampton’s Gap (Thomas Munford’s brigade)– will be covered.

 

Brad Gottfried

After receiving his doctorate in 1976, Brad Gottfried worked in higher education for over 40, retiring as the President of the College of Southern Maryland in 2017. He has written 13 books on the Civil War, including the Maps of Antietam. Brad became an Antietam Battlefield Guide in 2019 and also serves as a Gettysburg Town Guide. He is married and has four children and six grandchildren.

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.   Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Gary Rohrer – “William B. Franklin and his impact on the 1862 MD Campaign.”

May 4, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

William B. Franklin

On Wednesday, June 23rd, Antietam Battlefield Guide, Gary Rohrer will present his Summer Lecture Series talk, “William B. Franklin and his impact on the 1862 MD Campaign.” Gary’s presentation will focus on what drove Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin’s decisions throughout the 1862 MD Campaign. While it will touch on his early life and education the focus will be on his pre-war experiences with government bureaucracy, the early years of his army career and  especially those leading up to and through Antietam.

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 Rohrer

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.

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 7:00 p.m.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Tom Clemens – “Meet the Original Iron Brigade“

May 4, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Dr. Tom Clemens

 

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.

Eastern Iron Brigade medallion

 

Most Civil War buffs can identify the famous Iron Brigade, and are familiar with their record of valor and loss in the various battle of the eastern theater. Much less heralded is the “original” Iron Brigade which was using that sobriquet long before the Maryland Campaign of 1862, and continued to use it through their enlistment. Who were they, how did they earn this nickname, and why are there, in fact, several “Iron Brigades,” not only in the Army of the Potomac, but in the Maryland Campaign too?  Tom will answer these questions, and many other points of contention about the nickname. Find out “the rest of the story” on Wednesday, June 9th when Dr. Clemens will present his Summer Lecture Series talk -“Meet the Original Iron Brigade

 

 

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.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

 Jim Smith – “The most successful in its work”: Orlando Willcox’s division in the Maryland Campaign”

May 4, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Orlando B. Willcox

Battlefield Guide Jim Smith will be our first speaker of the season on Wednesday, June 2nd.  Jim will present his Summer Lecture Series talk – “The most successful in its work”: Orlando Willcox’s division in the Maryland Campaign”.  Newly released from a Confederate prison, West Point graduate Orlando Willcox took command of a division in the IX Corps less than a week before the Battle of South Mountain. His troops fought hard at Fox’s Gap and formed the right end of the Final Attack at Antietam, falling back under orders that Willcox received three times before obeying.

Jim Smith

 

 

A native of Miami, FL, Jim Smith is a lifelong student of the Civil War. He has volunteered at Antietam National Battlefield since 2017 and has been a certified battlefield guide since 2018. Jim is a member of the Antietam Institute and lives with his family in Millersville, MD.

 

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.  Even though those programs are outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance as much as possible. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

The Farmsteads of Antietam – Samuel Poffenberger Farm

April 30, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

Sam Poffenberger farm in distance

Sam Poffenberger farm in distance, looking east across the Smoketown Road. 1891

On the late afternoon of September 16, 1862 Union soldiers pushed down the Smoketown Road as they pursued Confederate cavalry. Upon reaching the Samuel Poffenberger farm the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves, the “Bucktails”, deployed as skirmishers and crossed his fields meeting stiff resistance from John Bell Hood’s Confederates.  The Bucktails continued to advance to the edge of the woods exchanging volleys with Hood’s men.  Colonel Hugh McNeil, commander of the Bucktails, stood to encourage his men to push into the woodlot, “Forward, Bucktails, Forward!” just then he was shot through the heart and died. His angry men jumped over the fence rail into the woods but were checked by the stubborn Rebel battle line.  Other Pennsylvania Reserve regiments moved into the East Woods as support, but as darkness set in both sides settled in just yards apart from each other laying on their arms.  Just north of the house and barn Union soldiers from Brigadier General James Ricketts Division bivouacked for the evening.

The Battle of Antietam started on the Samuel Poffenberger farm in what is known today as the East Woods. The farmstead is still a working farm on private property and it remains in the stewardship of the descendants of the Poffenberger family. 

1803 Tax Assessment

1803 Tax Assessment for Sharpsburg Hundred

In 1791, German-born immigrant, John Miller arrival in Washington County, Maryland.  Miller was part of the wave of German farmers that moved from south central Pennsylvania into the area. According to the tax assessment for Sharpsburg Hundred, by 1803  John Miller owned 632 acres of “Alese [Ellwick’s] Dwelling” and “Joe’s Farm,” both located north of the town of Sharpsburg.

Land Patents around sharpsburg

Land Patents around the John Miller farm

Stone house

Stone house the John Miller built

Most of the acreage from Ellwick’s Dwelling would later be know as the Samuel Poffenberger Farm.  John and Catherine Miller first built a log house on the property, then a stone house was built between 1802 and 1804.  The 2 1/2 story field stone house had five bays with a wing built over the spring and contains the kitchen with a massive cooking fireplace.  Under the main house the cellar has three rooms and another large service fireplace. 

 

Like the other early farmers in the Antietam Valley, the Miller’s cleared more and more of the land for farming.   When John Miller died in 1821, his extensive land holdings were divided among several of his children.  Daniel Miller, the oldest son was living on a new farmstead to the east of his father (listed as D. Miller on the 1859 Map of Washington Co.). John Miller’s other son Abraham, received full interest in this farm.  After thirty years improving the farmstead, Abraham moved west to Illinois.  During this period a large stone bank barn was built, a number of dependencies, including a wagon shed and a fenced orchard north of the barn along the farm lane leading out to the Smoketown Road.

Poffenberger Farmstead

*Sam Poffenberger Farmstead

Poffenberger Barn

*Poffenberger Barn

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1854, the property was acquired by Jacob Poffenberger who sold it the following year to his son Henry Poffenberger.  It is possible that Henry and his family lived at the farm during this brief period. On the 1860 Census, there is a Henry Poffenberger listed next to Michael Miller (Daniel’s son).  Sometime before 1860, a tenant house was constructed  just south of the house along the road leading north out of the woods.  The farm hand living next to Henry was a David Jacobs.  According to the battlefield maps produced by Ezra Carmen in 1908, and post war photos, the tenant house was occupied by a Simon P. Morrison in 1862. 

tenant house

Poffenberger tenant house, 1893.

Poffenberger Farm in 1862

Samuel Poffenberger Farm in 1862

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approximate property boundary of the S. Poffenberger farm in 1862

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel and Catharine Poffenberger

*Samuel and Catharine Poffenberger

 

“On April 1, 1862, Samuel Doub bought the farm for his daughter Catharine and her husband, [Samuel Poffenberger] for $11,101.29”.  Samuel was one of several children of Jacob Poffenberger who lived east of Bakersville along the Hagerstown Pike.  At 24 years old, Samuel was still living and working on the family farm until he married Catherine on January 22, 1861. The following year, the young couple moved to the farm gifted to them from Samuel Doub.

 

The Samuel Doub farm was just off the Boonsboro Pike near Centerville or Keedysville (near Bonnie’s at the Red Byrd restaurant today).  At the time of the Battle of Antietam the Poffenberger’s did not have any children. Their first child was born in 1865  and they would have six children, unfortunately only three would survive to adulthood.  It is believed that the young couple went to Samuel’s parent’s farm north of the battle area for safety.

battlefield map

Carman-Cope Map at Daybreak, Sept. 17, 1862

 

At daybreak, the Battle of Antietam resumed in the woods south of the farmhouse and spread to the west to the Poffenberger’s neighbors, David R. and Margaret Miller. Union forces pushed south into the Confederate battle lines. Back and forth the sides pushed the other back through the East Woods. Finally, the Union Twelfth Corps, under Major General Joseph Mansfield arrived on the field near the East Woods.

 

 

Gould Map of the Antietam Battlefield

John Gould Map of the Antietam Battlefield where the 10th Maine fought and Mansfield wounded.

 

Being new to command and short staffed, Mansfield moved forward to deploy his infantry regiments into position when another Confederate attack struck.  Mansfield had mistakenly thought the troops to his front were Union, yelling out to his men, “You are firing on our own men!” But the soldiers from the 10th Maine try to convince him otherwise. Suddenly with a heavy volume of fire from the woods, Mansfield replied, “Yes, yes, you are right,”. Mansfield’s horse was hit and a bullet caught him squarely in the right chest. 

 

 

Mansfield cannon

Location of Gen. Mansfield wounding near the East Woods.

 

Mansfield was taken back up the Smoketown Road to the George Line farm when he would die the next day.  A division of the Twelfth Corps continued to push the Confederates through the woods, beyond the burning Samuel Mumma farm to the Dunker Church plateau. With no more threat from direct fire, the Samuel Poffenberger farm quickly became a field hospital and would be known as the “Stone House Hospital”.

 

Union and Confederate soldiers would be treated at the Stone House Hospital. Dr. Elisha Harris noted on one of his visits after the battle, that “75 soldiers were hospitalized, but the house had a capacity for 225”.  The Union surgeons were Dr. Chaddock and Dr. Young; Dr. Pierra, a Confederate surgeon, assisted the wounded.  Dr. Harris said that the Stone House hospital was “faithfully managed, every patient properly and kindly treated. Success good. No ambulances. Dr, C. has been overworked: he had but one assistant except a Confederate surgeon, he has taken care of his patients very faithfully”.

Helen Plane

 

One of the Confederate soldiers that was treated at the Stone House hospital was Captain William F. Plane.  He was critically wounded while leading a company of the Sixth Georgia Infantry in the Cornfield.  On September 9, Captain Plane had written to his wife, Helen back in Baker County, Georgia just before leaving Frederick.  He had talked about the beginning days of their campaign into Maryland and that he would be sending “an enameled leather bag with shoes, button, needles, thread & pins” to her the first opportunity he had.  He closed with, “God bless you my dear, and our baby boy. Love to Ira & the children. I am hurried up & hardly have time to say a word more. God bless all & give us success and peace”. “Yr own Willie”

 

Capt. W.L. Plane on Bowie List

This was the last letter Captain Plane wrote to his wife. On September 21, Colonel Alfred Colquitt, the brigade commander and very good friend to the Planes, wrote to Helen to notify her of her husband’s death.  Col. Colquitt explained that her husband had been seriously wounded and fell while trying to carry Col. Newton from the field.  As much as Colquitt wished to believe  Capt. Plane was just wounded and in the enemy’s care, he had found out the he and another officer were buried.   According to the 1868, Bowie List, Capt. W. F. Plane, 6th Ga, was buried on the Samuel Poffenberger farm.

 

Edward N. Fulton jacket and photo

Edward N. Fulton’s jacket and photo

Private Edward N. Fulton of the 72nd Pennsylvania Volunteers was shot through both legs while fighting in the West Woods.  He was evacuated to the Stone House hospital for treatment.  On October 4, he wrote his mother from the Stone House hospital discussing his wounds and the care he is being given.  He closes with, “We are all to be moved to the General Hospital about 1 1/2 miles from here“. The next day, Fulton was moved to the General Hospital at Smoketown and the remaining wounded soldiers at Stone House hospital were moved to other locations as well.  The Samuel Poffenberger farm was appropriated for 19 days by the Union army and it is very possible that Clara Barton administered assistance to the soldiers there during her time at Antietam.

 

Poffenberger house

*Poffenberger house, ca. 1890’s
Samuel, Catharine and Edward on front porch

It is almost certain that claims were submitted for the use of the farm as a hospital and damage to the fields and fencing, but no record has been found. In 1868, Samuel paid $12,442 to his father-in-law,  Samuel Doub for the title to their property.  Over the next several years, the Poffenberger’s restored their farmstead as their family grew.  Around this time it is believe that a brick wing was added to the house, it may have encompassed a summer kitchen on that side of the home.

 

In 1870, Samuel Poffenberger’s farm of 178 acres was valued at $12,000.  They had “produced 1030 bushels of wheat, 57 bushels of rye, and 800 bushels of corn, with an annual labor cost of $500. Ten years later, even though Samuel had sold off a 12 acre section, the 165-acre farm saw an increase in production.  The farm “was valued at $10,000, produced 1,120 bushels of wheat, 75 bushels of rye, and 1,000 bushels of corn, with an annual labor cost of $60, and an additional cost of $125 for fertilizer”.

Samuel & Catharine Poffenberger grave

Samuel & Catharine Poffenberger grave in the Boonsboro Cemetery

 

 

 

By 1880, Samuel and Catharine’s son, Edward, took over the farm operations as his parents moved to Antietam Street in Sharpsburg.  Catharine passed away in 1897 and Samuel died in January, 1917. They are buried together in the Boonsboro Cemetery.

 

 

 

Edward & Bertha Poffenberger

*Edward & Bertha Poffenberger

Soon after the death of his father, Edward Poffenberger retired from farming.  Over the next thirty years he rented the farm out until his daughter, Erma U. Poffenberger Kefauver and her husband Millard bought the property in 1948. Erma and Millard completely restored the house and many of the “precious family heirlooms. Samuel Poffenberger’s rocker, dry sink, dining table and tall clock are still in use”.  (According to Nancy Kefauver, Samuel Poffenberger purchased the clock for $10. and it was a wedding gift to her and her husband.  It has always been in the corner of the dining room.)

 

clock and chair

*Sam Poffenberger’s Clock and rocker

Their son, Millard Kefauver, Jr., was raised on the farm and went off to Johns Hopkins to college.  It was here where Millard met his future wife, Nancy Neill. They were working on degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics. The couple married in 1956 and shortly after their wedding Millard convinced Nancy to move back to the dairy farm.    Growing up in the city, Nancy know nothing about farming but loved animals. Nancy said that her husband [Millard] never took to the cows and that the feeling was mutual among the cows, so she became the primary milker and she officially retired from the milking job four years ago.  Nancy still lives on the farm.

For 166 years the farmstead has been in the Poffenberger-Kefauver family and will remain so as a great example of private stewardship of the land and an eyewitness to history.

 

Poffenberger-Kefauver Farm

The Poffenberger-Kefauver Farm                    (Nancy Kefauver standing just inside the door)

*We are very grateful to Nancy Kefauver for taking the time to talk we us about the history of the farm, her family and sharing the photos of the her family and Poffenberger-Kefauver Farm.

* Photos provided by Nancy Kefauver of the farm and family did not have dates when they were taken, most likely between 1885-1901.

Sources:
  • Ancestry.com, Jacob Miller Family, Samuel Poffenberger Family, Millard Kefauver Family, Census Data 1840-1940.  Retrieved from: https://www.ancestry.com\.
  • Banks, John, Antietam Time Travel: A Veteran of America’s Bloodiest Day Returns to Capture Photos of Scenes of Carnage. January 2019
      https://www.historynet.com/antietam-time-travel.htm.
  • Ernst, Kathleen A., Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign, Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1999.
  • Fulton, Edward A. Edward A. Fulton Collection, American Civil War Digital Collections: Letters, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware. Retrieved https://library.udel.edu/special/findaids/view?docId=ead/mss0218.xml;tab=print.
  • Goud, John M., Joseph K. F. Mansfield, Brigadier General of the U.S. Army A Narrative of Events Connected with His Mortal Wounding at Antietam, Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17, 1862. Portland, Stephen Berry, Printer 1895. retrieved: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32258/32258-h/32258-h.htm.
  • Kefauver, Nancy N. Personal Interview, 29 April 2021.
  • Lewis, S. Joseph. “Letters of William Fisher Plane, C. S. A. to his wife.” The Georgia Historical Quarterly 48, no. 2 (1964): 215-28. Accessed April 11, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40578464.
  • Maryland. Board of Trustees of the Antietam National Cemetery, and 1869-1873 (Oden Bowie) Maryland. Governor. A Descriptive List of the Burial Places of the Remains of Confederate Soldiers: Who Fell In the Battles of Antietam, South Mountain, Monocacy, And Other Points In Washington And Frederick Counties, In the State of Maryland. Hagerstown, Md.: “Free press” print, 1868.
  • Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records On-Line, Washington County, April 25, 2021. https://mdlandrec.net/main/dsp_search.cfm?cid=WA.
  • Maryland Historical Trust, Kef-Poff Farm (Kefauver-Poffenberger Farm), WA-II-346, Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties Form, 1976.
  • Nelson, John N.  “As Grain Fall Before the Reaper”, The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam.  Hagerstown, MD. 2004.
  • Recker, Stephen J. Rare Images of Antietam: And the Photographers Who Took Them Another Software Miracle; Sharpsburg, Maryland 2012.
  • Taggert, Thomas, Map of Washington County. L. McKee and C.G. Roberton, Hagerstown, Maryland 1859.
  • Troiani, Don. Edward A Fulton image, Don Troiani Historical Artist, Facebook. May 4, 20202. Retrieved https://www.face
  • book.com/104952196246190/photos/a.104962546245155/3626084537466254/.
  • Washington Historical Trust, Architectural & Historic Treasures: 95 – Kef-Poff Farm, circa 1802, Sharpsburg, MD Hagerstown, Maryland September 7, 1997.  Retrieved   http://washingtoncountyhistoricaltrust.org/95-kef-poff-farm-circa-1802-sharpsburg-md/.
  • Western Maryland’s Historical Library. Washington County, Maryland, Taxes 1803 Lower Anteatum Hundred, Washington County, Maryland, 1803 https://digital.whilbr.org/digital/collection/p16715coll46/id/82/rec/11.
  • U.S. War Department, Atlas of the battlefield of Antietam, prepared under the direction of the Antietam Battlefield Board, lieut. col. Geo. W. Davis, U.S.A., president, gen. E.A. Carman, U.S.V., gen. H Heth, C.S.A. Surveyed by lieut. col. E.B. Cope, engineer, H.W. Mattern, assistant engineer, of the Gettysburg National Park. Drawn by Charles H. Ourand, 1899. Position of troops by gen. E. A. Carman. Published by authority of the Secretary of War, under the direction of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army, 1908.” Washington, Government Printing Office, 1908.   Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3842am.gcw0248000/?sp=5.

The Antietam Institute

April 25, 2021 by jacobrohrbach

We are excited to pass on some great news for all our Civil War enthusiastic guests – the Antietam Institute was established this year in Sharpsburg!

Now students and scholars of the 1862 Maryland Campaign have a resource that focuses solely on the education and scholarship of this important moment in America’s history.  The Antietam Institute is the leading member-based, educational, and philanthropic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to the education and scholarship of the Maryland Campaign. The Institute seeks to educate the public on the central role of the 1862 Maryland Campaign and Battle of Antietam as a major turning point of the Civil War that directly resulted in the issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Antietam Institute sponsored conferences, symposiums, publications, leadership forums, and other activities are designed to facilitate collaborative learning and knowledge exchange, creating unique opportunities for discovery and to inspire further historical research.  The Institute is developing new educational opportunity programs and scholarships for students and teachers.   Funding will allow the Institute to support and advance further historical research of the Campaign and provide a repository for the dissemination of historical information related to the 1862 Maryland Campaign.

Members will have opportunities to participate in a variety of educational activities. This year the Institute will hold it’s first Annual Fall Conference in October.  This weekend long event features several presentations, three battlefield excursions, and a panel discussion.  One of the highlights of the conference is the keynote address provided by a prominent authority on the campaign.  This year, retired Harpers Ferry historian, Dennis Frye will be the guest speaker.  Next spring the Institute is planning a one-day symposium that will be held in April. The symposium will showcase a number of presentations and discussions about the campaign. Both events will be informative, interactive, and thought-provoking.

A core activity of the Institute is the publication of materials that enhance the knowledge and understanding of the Maryland Campaign. This includes a bi-annual publication called the Antietam Journal: Perspectives on the 1862 Maryland Campaign.  The journal features the latest research, interpretation, and stories of the Maryland Campaign, and a variety of other sections, such as book reviews, interesting/unusual areas of the battlefields, stories about relics, and interviews. The first edition of the Antietam Journal will hit the street just before the 159th anniversary of the 1862 Maryland Campaign.

The Institute will also serve as a publishing house for other research and scholarship. Later this year the Institute will publish the The Brigades of Antietam, with a follow-up volume, The Artillery of Antietam coming in 2022.

The Antietam Institute will also house the Historical Research Center (HRC), an online locus for collecting, preserving, and disseminating in digital form, historical information related to the 1862 Maryland Campaign.  Institute members will have direct access to these unique source materials.

The Journal, other publications, and the HRC will advance the scholarship of the Maryland Campaign by inspiring historical research, creating unique opportunities of discovery, and by facilitating collaborative learning and knowledge exchange.

In partnership with the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War at Shepherd University, the Institute is sponsoring an academic internship for one of their outstanding undergraduate students. Working with the Institute’s staff, these interns will gain invaluable experience in journal editing and formatting, the development and implementation of educational programs, interacting with the Antietam Institute’s scholars and audiences, and researching a special topics project.

Each year the Institute will make donations to the battlefield parks, local preservation groups and other historical organizations that support the Institute’s goals. As a member-based organization, the new Antietam Institute needs the support of individuals interested in the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Membership levels begin as low as $25 a year and rise to a lifetime membership of only $1000. Each category has increasing levels of membership incentives.

The Antietam Institute is excited to offer these new educational opportunities to the public, students and scholars who wish to learn and participate in the scholarship of the 1862 Maryland Campaign. If you’re interested in joining or learning about the Institute, check out their website at antietaminstitute.org or email them at info@antietaminstitute.org.

The 93rd New York Infantry Regiment shortly after the Battle of Antietam. (AOTW)

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