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Discovery of a Forgotten Antietam Map Ignites Civil War Researchers!

In 1864, railroad engineer and cartographer Simon G. Elliott visited the battlefield of Antietam and prepared a detailed map that documented the burials of 5,844 soldiers—2,634 Union and 3,210 Confederate. After the war, Elliott’s map found its way to the archives of the New York Public Library (NYPL) where it remained largely forgotten.

Earlier this year, two Civil War researchers from the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg, Pa., were searching the NYPL digital archives for more information about Elliott (who had also created a well-known map for the Gettysburg battlefield), when they stumbled upon the Antietam map. Realizing the significance of their find, they immediately reached out to the American Battlefield Trust, who confirmed the importance of the map and shared it with rangers at Antietam National Battlefield Park. The Elliott map sheds new light into the Battle of Antietam where more than 23,000 men were killed, wounded, or listed as missing, in one day. In some instances, researchers can pinpoint the exact burial location of individual soldiers, regiments, and even horses.

As part of our Civil War Stories project, we’ve teamed up with the American Battlefield Trust to help tell the individual story of Civil War soldiers, the regiments they fought in, and the families and communities they left behind. The Elliott map is an amazing tool to help us do this!

In the days after the Battle of Antietam, the area surrounding Sharpsburg, Maryland, turned into a mass burial ground. Soldiers were buried in single graves or sometimes in long trenches turned mass grave. In 1864, the same year Elliott mapped the battlefield, efforts got underway to identify the gravesites. The State of Maryland purchased property nearby, and in 1867, the newly created Antietam National Cemetery was dedicated. Many of the soldiers’ remains were disinterred from the battlefield and reinterred in the Antietam Cemetery. Their original burial location became lost to time.  

The Elliott map helps tell the story of soldiers like Isaac Thurlow from the Third Wisconsin Infantry, Company C. On April 19, 1861, just four days after Abraham Lincoln sounded the call asking for 75,000 troops to enlist in the Civil War, residents of Green County, Wisconsin, gathered at the County Court House to discuss organizing a company of volunteers. During that patriotic meeting, hands shot up one by one as men volunteered to leave their homes and families to heed President Lincoln’s call. Within a short time, 83 men enrolled, including 24-year-old Isaac Thurlow. His 18-year-old brother Albion would follow in his footsteps just a month later.

On September 17, 1862, during the Battle of Antietam, the Third Wisconsin was just north of the Miller Cornfield in an open and exposed position when its men were attacked by Hood’s Division as they emerged from the corn about 7:30 a.m.

Elliott map notes position of the Third Wisconsin and location of graves

Lt. Warham Parks, recorded the following experience as Isaac Thurlow was hit by gunfire, “I caught him as he fell and his brother (Albion Thurlow) carried him to the rear. In a few moments, he came back saying his brother was dead, picked up his musket and resumed firing…but his courage never failed.” When the firing ceased, nearly two-thirds of the regiments 345 soldiers were either killed or wounded. Originally Isaac Thurlow was buried on the battlefield and using the Elliott map, we can pinpoint almost the exact spot. Later Isaac’s remains were reinterred in the Antietam National Cemetery.

Do you have ancestors who fought at Antietam? Search the Elliott map for the location of their regiment and head over to our Civil War Stories page to learn more. As part of our Civil War Stories project, Fold3 and the American Battlefield Trust are trying to research every soldier who fought in the Civil War. You can be a part of this massive effort by sharing your Civil War records, stories, journals, and documents. Just upload images using this tool. Alternatively, you can attach images to an existing soldier’s Memorial or create a new Memorial page using this video tutorial. Keep in mind that Fold3 has already generated thousands of memorials using regimental records, and one may already exist for your soldier.

We’re so excited about this project! Eventually, you’ll be able to search your ancestor and see regimental records for all the soldiers he served with. In many cases, these are brothers, fathers, sons, and cousins. To take a closer look at the Antietam Elliott map, click here. To learn more about the Battle of Antietam and the regiments that fought in it, visit our Civil War Stories page on Fold3 today.   

73 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this fascinating information.

  2. Thank you so much for this fascinating information.
    Elliot should have a commemorative plaque dedicated to him at one of the sites he mapped.
    What a man!
    Jeff

  3. XLNT work here!! Thank you. I know I had several ancestors who fought in the Civil War FOR THE UNION.
    I’ll have to do more digging to gain specifics about their history.

  4. My Civil War ancestor, John Henry Clay Absher of Ironton, Ohio, was also one of the original 75,000 volunteers President Lincoln requested. He enlisted on April 17, 1861, in the 18th Ohio Infantry, Co. A, for 90 days. When that time was up, he later enlisted in the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry, Co. G., until November 28, 1864, when he was discharged.

  5. Does a similar map exist for the Batle of Vicksburg in Mississippi? I have a relative that fell there, just as the battle began. Haven’t visited the site. Thank you.

  6. It is remarkable that homage is yet paid to these heroes of old!

  7. No ancestors I know of fought at Antietam. One great grand uncle, Cpl Lewis Squire Loomis of the 122nd NY Infantry, was killed in action May 1864 during the Battle of the Wilderness.

    • Not sure when your great grand uncle enlisted, but the 122nd NY Infantry was at Antietam: https://www.fold3.com/regiment/11428

    • My Great Uncle, James O’Beirne was also killed in action at the Battle of the Wildreness. He passed on May 10th, 1864 and two days short of his 19th birthday. I have to assume that he was most likely serving as a volunteer as he was pretty straight out of Ireland. I have found lots of information on that battle but can’t find his name listed or where he might be buried. It would be nice to know.

    • We are likely distant cousins, as I also descend from the Loomis line in Massachusetts, early Colonialists.

    • Kerry,

      We are likely distant cousins, as I descend from the early Loomis line during the “Great Migration”.

    • If you have not visited the Widerness Battlefield, you will be welcomed. I suggest you also visit The Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield website for attic all information. They have a heritage program that recognizes ancestors that were at the the battle, especially those that were lost.

  8. What an incredible find and great map. Thank you for sharing the story and the full map.

  9. Thank you so much. My Judge/Capt James Baldwin Reeve formed the 32nd of Iowa and died at Fort Pillow, Tenn. His 3 oldest sons went. Fernando Tyler Reeve was shot in the head in battle and recovered well enough to be captured and die a horrible death at Andersonville, age 23. Theodore Henry Reeve enlisted at age 18, serving in many famous battles in the 9th Inf Co I for 5 years through the end of the war. My Orson Gideon Reeve enlisted in the the 4th Cavalry at age 16 two months after his father died, surviving to return home to help his widowed mother raise the children. All children were well educated and successful. The parents of Capt Reeve operated their stop on the underground railroad at their Ashtabula, Ohio, farm located near the north border across the water from Canada, and lost not one of the persons fleeing bondage. We can never give them enough credit for their bravery and backbone, considering all of their challenges and suffering.

  10. My first thought was how brave and patriotic Mr. Elliot was to risk his life on these battlefields in order to document, respect and honor these soldiers. So proud and thankful.

  11. William Bingham Goodrich, Civil War Union Army Officer was shot by Confederate snipers at Antietam/Sparpsburg. Commissioned as a Captain in Company A, 60th New York Volunteer Infantry on September 11, 1861, by May of 1862 he had risen to Colonel and commander of the regiment. During the September 1862 Antietam Campaign, he was leading the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of the Army of the Potomac’s XII Corps when he was killed in action in the early hours of the Battle of Antietam.

  12. Thanks for sharing! When is Fold3 going to add Penn Service Records. The index is not enough. Im waiting to read the stories of my Pen CW ancestors!

    • Hi Mark, my CW ancestors are from PA also. I’m anxious to get PA regiments added too! We’re working very hard and will be adding many regiments in the future.

  13. Amazing discovery and a reason why the study of history is so important. People have forgotten the terrible toll the Civil War took on both sides, the destruction of property, ruin, hardship, financial and economic impacts. There where heroes on both side of the lines, great soldiers, generals and civilians. Brother against brother, family against family, neighbor against neighbor,. Unfortunately little is taught in our schools about the price of freedom whether it was the Revolutionary War or recent conflicts. Its easy to tear down statues or deface them but it is difficult for many to put things in context.

    • Jim:
      Very well said. I lived in Frederick, MD years ago and had the opportunity of visiting Antietam numerous times. Since then, I have become a collector/dealer of historic documents many of which were from the CW. Our current generation of children knows gaming better than anything related to US history. That’s why our CW memorial parks are so vital. Lest we forget the awful price paid on both sides for our country.

    • Exactly!

  14. Yes it is a great find, yet while this new map is most likely geared to those Union burial locations rather any extensive new information on individual Confederate graves
    Now I could be wrong here but it is usually the case when the side that is doing the after battle information and as you say specific graves. This for the most part wasn’t that concerned about where the other sides dead got burials

    • Neil, If you’re not seeing the details you’re looking for on the Elliott map, can I suggest searching the Bowie List on Fold3? It’s a record of Confederate graves in Maryland.

  15. Confederate mass burial by Lincoln and the Union.
    Garland Johnson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiQS4fRWRxE&t=37s

  16. I had several ancestors from Ohio who served with the Union troops in the Civil War, but I am not aware of any at the Battle of Antietam. However, I am distant relative of David R.Miller the German Baptist farmer who owned the cornfield! I often wonder if he was ever compensated for his lost crop and damaged farm land.

  17. Thanks to all involved in the long hours it takes to do the research for all the different finds.

  18. On one of our many visits to Virginia we stopped at an antique shop in Verona, VA and there I bought an oval watercolor of a handsome young man. On the wooden back is written ‘Uncle Larry killed at Antietam’….Makes you wonder what this country would be like without wars killing generation after generation of brave young men and women.

  19. Shout out to the two researchers from the Adams County Historical Society who found this map and helped get it into the public arena!! I’m pretty sure they are the same ones who helped me find the area of the 1790 family farm in Adams County, Pa. Great folks!!

  20. My 2nd great uncle Oscar E. Hayden fought at Antietam with the 34th New York Infantry, and was wounded twice. Was mustered out in 1863, then re-enlisted in the 2nd New York Cavalry Co. G till the end of the war.

    • Oscar Hayden was indeed wounded at Antietam. He enlisted into Company C at Fairfield, NY same as the subject of my recent book, William J. McLean. They had to have known each other. Hayden may have been a student at Fairfield Academy with McLean. Check out “The Making of a Civil War Soldier in the Civil War” at newacademia.com. Email me for more information.

  21. …and we still haven’t learned…or evolved.

  22. My ancestors owned farmground where some of the war was fought. Will this map show this?

    • Hi Paul, You can click on the link to the map and zoom in to the area where you ancestor’s farm was and check. Some of the buildings are identified.

    • I,too, have relatives who owned land where the battle was fought.

      The farms were Middlekauff-Poffenberger farms.

  23. My first thought on reading this tragic account of 23 000 needless deaths was it could all of been avoided if Lincoln was more like President Trump and had negotiated a compromise.

    • I’m not convinced any compromise would have worked or held for any length of time due to the diametrically opposed views on the abolition of slavery. Compromise is often defined as “when two sides get what neither of them wanted”.

  24. History is in the beholder’s eye regardless of the side, each see the event differently.
    Just as the current political situation. God bless America.

  25. Part of our heritage that everyone should and try to deny or destroy

  26. I am looking for info. on an Ohio soldier from a volunteer regiment named Colonel Port, who died in battle in 1861.I have the sampler that his daughter made upon learning about the death of her father. I have been told tat there was a soldier who died in battle named Port , but that soldier had one less rank, but I have been told that it was not uncommon to give a soldier who had died in battle an extra rank upon his death!Anyone with any info. on this soldier could please call (413) 436-7935 and ask for John. Can’t wait to hear from someone with knowledge on this matter !!! Thank you so much for any help anyone can give me.

  27. CliffM,
    I have walked the battlefield several times. This map has given me the best understanding of the whole battle that I have ever had and an understanding of how the three pieces of the battlefield fit together. Remarkable piece of work!

  28. Eyewitness account of this battle from another Confederate soldier is that my great-great-great grandfather, Francis Marion Trucks (from Bibb County, Alabama — I don’t know his unit off the top of my head) was mortally wounded in the head and taken into custody by Union soldiers. It is believed that he probably died in their custody and was possibly buried in an unmarked mass Confederate grave in Pennsylvania. My great-great-great grandmother, Appy Caroline Cottingham, remarried to William Hawkins and they eventually relocated to Jefferson County, Alabama.

  29. My ancestor fought in the 43rd Illinois.
    Patrick Joseph Wunderlich

  30. Amazing! Incredible! Delighted it was found and not lost to history.

  31. is this barry jernigan that was stationed at Ft GG Meade in 80″s? my last name then was Skinner. if so you can email me please?

  32. My great grandfather, John WIlliam Sparrow, was born at Antietam. He was four years old during the battle. He told one of his daughters, Nora Jane Sparrow, who told my mother, Margaret (Willis) Sparrow, who told me, that his house was taken over as a field hospital and he remembered arems and legs being thrown out of windows! A four year old would remember that.

  33. Five of my ancestors in the 22 Ga. Inf. Rgmt, Co. E&F, Wright’s Brig., Anderson’s Div. I Corps ANV. They were the Robertsons’ 3GGF Warren, his two sons William and James, two of his brothers Myrant and James C. from Walton Co. Georgia. They fought in the “sunken road”, grandpa Warren was wounded, but they all got out alive.

  34. My great grandfather, John D. Vautier, Philadelphia, of the PA 88th Regt, Co. I, fought in that battle. Following is his account of the Battle of Antietam from his handwritten Civil War Diary.

    Pg. 164 Foraging & Skirmishing
    Tuesday Sept 16th
    Clear during the day, but slight rain at night.
    In the morning we lay on the right bank of Antietam Creek. I foraged a half a haversack full of sweet potatoes & had an excellent meal. In the afternoon the grand movement of troops commenced. We all knew we were on the eve of a great battle. Regiment after Regiment moved up & then away we went. The whole line moved forward to take position for the great conflict. The artillery shelled the woods to feel the enemys positon & the skirmishers moved cautiously along.
    Darkness still found us advancing. The enemy fired some cannon shots & a furious cannonade soon commenced. Every discharge light up the sky & showed surrounding objects with distinctness.
    Some of the shell came uncomfortably close to us, but no one was hurt out of our Regt.
    When the night had fully set in we advanced to take up our final positions.
    It was so dark that we could not see the man next to us, it was inky dark.

    Pg. 165 Wading in – Opening the Ball – Ankle deep
    we groped around in the woods for some time, but had to catch hold of one anothers coats. I finally got lost & set down along side of a tree in despair & resolved to wait till morning.
    It was so dark, and we had to proceed with the utmost caution, as we were not more than 300 yards from the Enemy.
    So intensly dark was it that some of the rebel pickets were captured, they walking in our lines in mistake. In this way a whole relief was captured. They walked into our lines & innocently asked “what Regt. this was”
    They soon found out.

    Wednesday 17th
    Cloudy Weather. To day was fought the bloody Battle of Antietam

    Pen cannot write a description of the desperate scenes there enacted. They must be seen to be appreciated & to know how fearful was their character.

    Pg. 166 Knee deep
    The Union Army advanced to the attack at daybreak. When I awoke up in the morning I found I was only a few feet from the Regt. Soon the order was “Fall In” “Shoulder Arms” “Right Shoulder Shift, arms” Forward March. On we went till we came to the edge of the woods. We had loaded & primed the evening before and now we were ready for action. When we reached the edge the woods the battle in our front had opened. The cannon balls fell & bursted around us, tearing the limbs off the trees & howling & shrieking as they went on their mad course. Soon the zip, zip, zip, of the musket ball sounded around our ears.
    We done an unnecessary amount of drilling I think going into action. First it would be “Forward guide Center” then “By the right flank” & then “Forward guide Center” again & then we would oblige to the left & so on, but there was no confusion all was orderly, & everyone was in his place not withstanding the balls & shells flew thickly round us. One shell exploded among us & another quickly followed, carrying death

    Pg. 167
    among the 88th but the fallen ones places were quickly filled up, and on, on we went.
    At last we stood at the front – & received the order to commence firing.
    Now the terrible scene commences in earnest. I need not tell of the fearful charges; – of the retreat of the foe; – of his counter charges; – of our own retreat; of the fierce fights & of the many brave men who fell in that fierce fray. All these facts are already known to the reader, through the medium of the newspapers. Many brave comrades fell on this battle field. A cannon ball broke a limb off a tree, & it falling on Jess Tyson killed him. Conlogue & MacNichol also fell, both killed and old messmates of mine.
    Major Gile was carried off the field severely wounded, as also was Captain Carmack of Co E. Capt Steeple Co C. – the successor of the gallant Belsterling was also wounded, & all the color guard was either killed or disabled.
    As for myself, I can say I am all left yer. Though struck thrice, yet my skin is not broken & by the goodness of the great ruler I am still spared.

    Pg. 168 Desperate Fighting
    The fighting continued without intermission through the afternoon when by a magnificant charge, Antietam was Won.
    The ground was soaked with blood.
    The dead lay in heaps. But the Rebel loss far exceeded ours. At one time they formed their line in a sunken road, & our men charging on them got on their flanks, & mowed them down by hundreds.
    At another time the fighting was so desperate that the greybacks touched one end of our cannon & we had the other.
    We fought on the right, and under the eye of our gallant old leader – Hooker – who was wounded & finally compelled to leave the field. Now then if the pursuit had been kept up the splendid Army of Lee, no one doubts, would have been destroyed.
    The Citizens tell us that the Enemy fled through Sharpsburg in confusion, but we followed not.
    We soon went to the rear & got something to eat for we havent had no breakfast, supper nor dinner yesterday.

    Pg. 169 Counting Noses
    Company I lost
    Killed
    Jesse Tyson, P. Conlouge & J. Summerfield MacNichol
    Wounded
    L.R. Manaypenny [Manypenny], A. Learmont, N. White, J. Link, W.A. Boyd, G.R.C. McCleary, J.C. Rutherford & N.S. Auble.
    The Regiment lost some 110 men.
    So ends my 6th Battle.

    Pg. 170 Resting
    Thursday Sept 18th
    Changeable with rain. In service 1 year
    Laying in the woods on the battle field.
    The Rebel pickets are still in front of us, but why we don’t move is a mystery
    We are not certain that the enemy have fled, but he cannot be in our front in force or he would certainly make a demonstration.
    Rations of green coffee was issued to us to day. We had to roast it in tin pans & plates – & grind it in a cracker box with a cannon ball.
    There is a splendid spring back a short distance at a farm house. Most all the farmers have deserted their houses here & left while the battle was progressing. Some of their houses we burned by the bursting shells, but little damage was done by our soldiery though.
    Mail arrives Rec 2 letters
    Working parties sent out to bury the dead.

    Pg. 171 Onward. Too late. Gone.
    Friday Sept 19th 1862
    Clear and Warm. In the morning we marched in pursuit of the enemy, but I guess there isnt much danger of us overtaking them after giving them 1 day & 2 nights start.
    We went a couple of mile but their rear guard had fled at our approach, leaving flour & fresh meat behind them, &, something else too in great abundance, which we soon found out, after we had lain on the ground awhile.
    Encamped in the woods where the greyback had been. Wrote 4 letters.

    Saturday 20th
    Clear & Warm – Septr. weather. Visited the battle field with White, & others. There are still immense numbers of dead laying around loose.
    It is sickening to behold them. Not more than half the rebels have been buried, and there are still thousands of them – some lying as they fell – in their life blood – & others who had been mortally wounded & had been laid out in long rows for the surgeon to visit – but they
    [pages 172 & 173 missing]

    • Phyllis this is amazing! May we attach this journal entry to the PA 78th regiment page for other descendants from Company “I” soldiers to read?

    • Dear Phyllis, thank you for sharing your GGF diary entry’s of the battle. My family was on the other side as my message is just prior to yours. To read his experience is moving indeed. His bravery is apparent for all to read. God Bless

    • Wow. What a treasure.

  35. My 3rd great uncles were killed here in the Cornfield. The two Gleasman brothers were shot by the same Confederate sharpshooter. Visited the battlefield with my family in the late 70’s.

  36. My two Gleasman ggg uncles were in the 97th NY and both died in battle.

  37. Makes one wonder how many great historical artifacts such as this are just waiting to be rediscovered. Reminds me of the Carroll County VA Floyd Allen Courthouse Tragedy records that had been lost in an archive that was arranged chronologically. Those records were discovered by accident in a drawer marked F A. The story is that someone did that to protect them years ago.

  38. Jenny Ashcraft: yes, you may attach it but he was in the 88th not 78th.

  39. Thank you for your kindnesses~

  40. My great, great, great, grandfather served with the 11th Illinois Cavalry at Corinth, Shiloh, Lexington, and Vicksburg. I have one document in which he answers the question, “were you wounded” as yes, but I don’t know how to go about finding out anymore information. Tragically, when my grandmother died, she had numerous cardboard boxes under her bed, only one of which was a I able to grab before we had to leave. I have some wonderful things, but I try not to think too hard about all those things I didn’t get. If anyone has any ideas, I’d be greatful.

  41. My relative, Richard Current (3rd great uncle) received the Medal of Honor for his efforts at Antietam. He was Assistant Surgeon in the 33rd New York Infantry. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on March 30 1898, nearly 36 years after the events to which it referred. His citation read: “Voluntarily exposed himself to great danger by going to the fighting line there succoring the wounded and helpless and conducting them to the field hospital.”
    Everything I have on it (an interesting read) is here:
    https://scontent.fsac1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/12239914_10207633728591711_7975755094300118223_n.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_sid=e007fa&_nc_ohc=whwnS9DthZ4AX_i7Mh2&_nc_ht=scontent.fsac1-2.fna&oh=7710260ca3399b2c650ed65ec870c8da&oe=5F8DE830

  42. I grew up in West Point, GA. A Jewish Confederate soldier from West Point, Pvt. Louis Merz, was killed at the Battle of Antietam. He kept a diary which was found on his person after the battle and returned to his family. The Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society now owns this diary and keeps it in a safe deposit box. They published it as one of their publications in 1959. The diary has been loaned out for several exhibits on Jewish history. Louis Merz was born in Durkheim a/d Haardt, Bavaria, on November 8, 1833, and came to the United States with his family, who settled in West Point in 1854, where they were well-respected merchants. Louis was considered well-educated and a gentleman, and it was learned by his family that the Union soldiers who dug a grave with their swords and buried him on the battlefield thought he must be a person of importance, because he was the most tidy and cleanest-looking Confederate soldier they had ever seen.

  43. These records and comments display why knowing of American History is important. Many of our relatives volunteered to join and support their side in the Civil War. Our Civil War battle losses are said to be slightly less than those killed by disease and accidents. Great efforts were taken consistent with the situations to care for the casualties and their remains. There are many ways to learn of the handling of battlefield casualties.

    Often Park Rangers, guides, state libraries, the National Archives in DC and the nearby Annex in Maryland and many other sources are able to give good advice.

    Sources such as above helped my find the local area, about a 200 yard circle, a young great-great cousin, Private Orville Herrick of the 16th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was killed during the Battle of Shiloh early in the afternoon of 6 April 1962. His brother, who was injured by a shell burst, wrote his mother few days after the battle about the death of his brother. Interestingly, by serendipity, a 1980s magazine copy of the letter was sent to us in the early 2,000s in a magazine was forwarded by a friend. Initially, the brother was buried in a unit grave. Later he was moved to an official Shiloh Military cemetery and placed in a single mapped and marked grave. In time the the family had him moved by wagon, boat and train to Wautoma, Wisconsin, in what is now called The World War I cemetery. Orville is in a grave adjacent to the those of his father and Civil War Veteran brother. In this case, I found information in Madison at the Wisconsin State Capitol War Library, the nearby Wisconsin University and the Washington, DC, National Archives where I held their actual pay records.

  44. Much appreciation! My Great Great Grandfather, served as. Qtr Master Sgt for the Union and lived to pass on his stories of service.

  45. Fascinating find. My relative, Pvt. Malachi Davis, was 16 years old when he volunteered for service in Co D, 27th North Carolina Infantry. The 27th was part of Walker’s Division at Sharpsburg, on the right wing of the Army of Northern Virginia. At the time of his death there, Malachi was reportedly the “youngest soldier in his company.”

  46. American Battlefield Trust is currently offering, I believe, a paper reproduction of the map for a certain level of donation to help buy a parcel of land now available for preservation.

  47. I have been here twice. I do not have anyone who was in the Civil War but have an interest in the area. I found a DAR patriot who lived in the Sharpsburg area. In his will he left land at Antietam to his daughter. He, John Kenestrick, was appointed to the Committee of Observation in January 1777. The committee was asked to observe their neighbors to make sure they were supporting the war effort “and also to compet the Dunkards and Mennonists to give their assistance.” Minutes of the committee can be found in the Maryland Magazine of History and are interesting reading.

  48. Several years ago I made an amazing discovery of about 250 letters in our family attic, written by an ancestor who fought in most of the major battles of the Civil War. When I travelled to the battlefields, the rangers and historians were always fascinated by things that were included in these letters. Concerning the dead at Antietam, my soldier reported that after the battle they were so overwhelmed with bodies that in some cases they began burning them rather than trying to bury them all. A park ranger told me that they had long heard rumors of this happening, but had never before seen a first hand account of it such as was in this letter. I wrote a book about this soldier’s life and my experiences in connecting to him. Because of several good book reviews, I have now been invited to give hundreds of talks around the country about the book Voices From the Attic: The Williamstown Boys in the Civil War.

  49. Anyone include the NSDAR chapters to aide in the help of graves or Civil War
    chapters