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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

30th Anniversary Milestones: Antietam

30th Anniversary Milestones: Antietam

This year marks an important milestone in the history of battlefield preservation: the Civil War Trust’s 30th anniversary. This month, however, marks another important anniversary: 155 years ago, on September 17, 1862, the Union Army of the Potomac halted Robert E. Lee’s offensive into Maryland with a day of brutal and bloody fighting beside Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg. With the Union’s victory, President Abraham Lincoln felt emboldened to issue his Emancipation Proclamation, setting the United States of America on the path to a “new birth of freedom.”

Thanks to your help, over the last three decades the Civil War Trust has been able to preserve 314 acres of hallowed ground at the site of one of our great nation’s most important turning points, including land just south of the Dunker Church, the Reel farm, and sections of the East and North Woods. Perhaps most importantly, in 2015, you helped us save Antietam’s “Epicenter,” a 44-acre tract of land that witnessed some of the fiercest combat in American history.

As you know, the Battle of Antietam was part of a larger campaign that saw fighting at South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, and Shepherdstown. Among other victories at Harpers Ferry, where the Trust has saved 342 acres, we led the successful effort to hold Jefferson Utilities to account for their unconscionable desecration of School House Ridge on the Harpers Ferry battlefield in 2006. You have also helped save 343 acres at Shepherdstown, including the old cement mill and adjoining lands. At South Mountain, we have saved 635 acres together — the majority of the land preserved at that battlefield!

In total, the Civil War Trust has preserved 46,355 acres of hallowed battlefield ground in the past 30 years. We are the most successful private heritage land organization in America, and none of these victories would have been possible without you.

The Civil War Trust