About Me

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I am a lifelong student of military history with particular interest in the Battle of Antietam. I work for the federal government in Washington DC and have two young adult children who I love very much. I currently volunteer at Antietam and devote much time to the study of this battle and the Maryland Campaign. I enjoy collecting notable contemporary quotations by and about the men of Antietam. Since 2013 I have been conducting in depth research on the regular artillery companies of the Union Army and their leaders. I hope to turn this into a book on this subject in the future. My perspective comes from a 28-year career in the U.S. Army. Travels took me to World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific where American valor ended the tyranny of Nazism and Empire. But our country faced its own greatest challenge 80 years earlier during the Civil War. And it was the critical late summer of 1862, when Robert E. Lee launched the Maryland Campaign. It is an incredible story of drama, carnage, bravery, and missed opportunities that culminated around the fields and woodlots of peaceful Sharpsburg MD. So join me as I make this journey South from the North Woods.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Battlefield Preservation at Antietam

The theme of the Antietam hikes this past weekend was Battlefield preservation. Kicking off the hikes was a very impressive presentation by Keith Snyder in the theater that addressed the topic in great detail. He had some amazing before and after shots of the battlefield and how it has changed (for the better) over the last 50 years.

On the trail, we learned about restoration efforts at two of the most significant farms on the battlefield. Ranger Kevin Walker gave us a rare inside look at the Mary Locher cabin, frequently referred to as the Alfred Poffenberger farm. One of the oldest structures in Washington County, it is being carefully restored by the men and women of the Cultural Resources Division.

Then at the Miller farmhouse, Ranger Jane Custer described the long term project to renovate that structure. The park is in year two of a six year program.

We then met Ranger Joe Calzarette from the Natural Resources Division who showed us the reforestation efforts in the East Woods. Joe later met us again on the Final Attack Trail and showed us how the ground there is being restored to its 1862 appearance by clearing trees and brush.

My hat is off to the rangers of the Cultural Resources and Natural Resources Divisions at Antietam National Battlefield. These are renown scientists, naturalists, and artisans that the public, on their visits to the park rarely see. But they are the men and women who lovingly care for the structures and land and make this battlefield the tremendous and beautiful asset that it is today. Thank you.

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