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.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Artillery Relocation at Antietam

Antietam National Battlefield recently embarked on an ambitious relocation of a large number of artillery pieces.  The plan which was developed by Ranger Keith Snyder created a total of 16 positions.  All told, about 38 guns are involved in the move.  The plan was developed, approved and implemented in a very short amount of time and is really a tribute to the work of Keith in getting the plan approved and Antietam's Maintenance Division who did the heavy lifting in relocating the guns proper.  Now, they are all two-gun position and with the exception of one tube, every gun repositioned and added is the same type that was there during the battle.  Below are pictures of the new positions.  They are truly striking and worth a look the next time that you are at the park.

Looking west toward Nicodemus Heights
BATTERY D, 1st Rhode Island (U.S.) Captain J. Albert Monroe (Joseph Poffenberger Farm)
Looking north from Mansfield Ave.

Looking north from the North Woods
INDEPENDENT BATTERY C, Pennsylvania Light (U.S.) Captain James Thompson (North of the Cornfield)
Looking toward the East Woods

Looking south toward Cornfield Ave.
Looking north across the Cornfield

WOOLFOLK'S (ASHLAND) Virginia Battery (C.S.) Captain Pichegru Woolfolk, Jr. (Corner Mumma Farm Lane and Smoketown Road)
Looking southwest on Smoketown Rd

Looking east

Looking north toward the Cornfield

BATTERY K, 1st U.S. Artillery Captain William M. Graham (One gun added north of the Tower)
Looking southwest at Millers Battery
Looking south at the Tower

Looking northeast from the Tower

MILLERS BATTERY, 3rd COMPANY, WASHINGTON ARTILLERY Captain M.B. Miller (South of the Sunken Road in the Piper Orchard)
Looking south at Cemetery Hill
Looking north at Roulette Barn

Looking east toward Tower
BATTERY A, 2nd U.S. Artillery Captain John C. Tidball (On the Tidball trail, northwest of the Newcomer House)
Looking southwest

Looking east

Looking northwest

MCINTOSH'S (PEE DEE) SC BATTERY Captain David Gregg McIntosh (Off Harpers Ferry Road near the Zouave Monument)
Looking northeast
Looking southeast

Looking east

New two-gun positions (Photographs shown above:
Captain J. Albert Monroe's Battery D, 1st Rhode Island; Joseph Poffenberger Farm
Captain James Thompson's Independent Battery C, Pennsylvania Light Artillery; Cornfield
Captain Pichegru Woolfolk's Ashland Virginia Battery; Corner Mumma Lane & Smoketown Road
Captain M.B. Miller's 3rd Company, Washington Artillery;  Piper Orchard
Captain John C. Tidball's Battery A, 2nd U.S. Artillery; Tidball Trail near Newcomer House
Captain David Gregg McIntosh's Pee Dee South Carolina Battery; South of Hawkins Zouave Monument

Captain John A. Tompkin's Battery A, 1st Rhode Island; Behind Visitor's Center (2 of 4 guns relocated)
Captain William M. Graham's Battery K, 1st U.S. Artillery; North of Tower; (1 additional gun added)
Captain Charles W. Squires 1st Company, Washington Artillery; National Cemetery (1 gun switched)
Captain Hugh R. Garden's Palmetto South Carolina Battery; South of Cemetery (1 additional gun added)
Captain James S. Brown's Wise Virginia Artillery and Captain James Reilly's Rowan North Carolina Battery; Auto Stop 10 Branch Avenue (2 of 4 guns relocated)
Captain Joseph C. Clark's Battery E, 4th U.S. Artillery; Final Attack Trail; (1 additional gun added)
Captain William J. Pegram's Richmond "Purcell" Virginia Battery; Harpers Ferry Road at Branch Avenue; (2 guns replaced by correct types)

Captain Joseph B. Campbell's Battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery; West of Hagerstown Pike
Captain Bowyer Brokenbrough's 2nd Baltimore Maryland Battery; West Woods 
Colonel Stephen D. Lee's Battalion; Visitor's Center

Union Sixth Corps gun line; perpendicular to Cornfield Avenue (4 guns relocated)
Boyce's Battery; Piper field (4 guns relocated)
Simmond's Battery; Burnside Bridge (1 gun relocated)
Mumma Farm (1 gun relocated)

The 10-lb Parrot gun at the Visitor's Center was replaced with a 12-lb Napoleon.


  1. Many thanks - I was wondering what exactly had changed. This certainly presents a much richer interpretation of artillery at the battle, as well as what has become possible over the couple decades as the park footprint has grown so much.

  2. Three mighty "Huzzahs" to Kieth and the Antietam staff in this relocation project! It was long overdo and quite an improvement.

    Umm, in my tours, however the position of Thompson's Battery will be referred to as the position of Ransom's Battery C, of the 5th United States Artillery.


  3. As you know Williamus, Dunbar Ransom is getting plenty of recognition at another location in the park. You are right. Keith and the guys who moved the cannon to new positions deserve our thanks and appreciation. Jim