Side Trips for Antietam Muster in October 2021

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
For Saturday morning we have a guide for Antietam until 12:30 (9:30 to 12:30), a lunch break and then something special I'm in the middle of confirming right now for the afternoon.

I'm seeing A LOT of interest in the South Mountain side of things and I've been there and now I'm starting to think I might plan something for that.
I FINALLY got around to looking at the "official" schedule of events for Fri.-Sun. and see that South Mountain is "somewhat' indicated as a part of Antietam itself on Saturday afternoon - probably not a good idea - and Harper's Ferry is scheduled for Friday. I guess the "side trips" need to be arranged around things already scheduled.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Typically the "official" event ends Sunday afternoon though there also have been those - mainly retirees like myself, or else the independently wealthy! - who remain into Monday. The Side Trips usually begin Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning/afternoon depending entirely on the wishes of those attendees who can arrive early. I'd plan "officially" at least for Thurs. afternoon and all day Friday. I really don't know the itinerary - assuming there IS one at this time - for the "main event" Saturday and Sunday! That makes it a little hard to make suggestions for "side trips". It would be nice (preferable, really) to have all day Saturday IN the park at Antietam hopefully with a knowledgeable guide like Mr. Deberry at Shiloh last fall. Sunday should probably be something definitely related like either Harper's Ferry or South Mountain, leaving the other for Friday. Possibly Sunday morning - especially if we decide to end around noon or early afternoon might be a tour of the CW Medical Museum in Frederick leaving South Mountain or Harper's Ferry for Friday.
Thanks for the info. I can still be around Monday if there is anything going on. I booked my ticket to arrive in Baltimore early Friday and drive out to Harper's Ferry in time for the tour. Since it's still a ways out I haven't decided what I want to do before I head south Monday and take in the Blue Ridge Parkway. No lack of things in that area. The kids know to expect me when I let them know I'm done with my Civil War sightseeing.
 
Last edited:

ami

First Lady of CivilWarTalk
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Location
West By God Virginia
I want to address something that is bound to come up. Somebody is going to ask, why didn't we pick a hotel in Shepherdstown, that is right across from Antietam, rather than Charles Town. The answer is simple. The hotel that is big enough wouldn't allow us to bring any food, drink or snacks in. We had to buy every bag of chips from them and every bottle of water and I (personally) had to sign a contract on this and guarantee a rather enormous fee on this. The hotel in Charles Town has been wonderful to work with and even said we could bring a cannon in (unloaded) if we wanted to!

They also sent me a large package of brochures and maps from the area. Just so you folks know - I'm not retired - I work full-time and am running this muster remotely at the moment. I certainly have help from @Stone in the wall, @VirtuousCommonwealth and @ucvrelics. But none of us are right there on the spot and I think a couple of the others still work part-time. I've been to Antietam three times and Harpers Ferry once - for a very long, extended day. I'm guilty of dragging my older sister up and down battlefields! Please have patience with all of us as we put this together. I think we will have a very nice time at Antietam. It is an amazingly untouched by modern day encroachments battlefield. I always have a feeling of deep peace and awe there and a little bit of something else - the unworldly. It seems like a thin place on the earth as great slaughter and fighting took place there. The wind sweeps and sighs up over those ridges constantly.

I've been scanning in brochures and and things for people to do for side trips. Also there are websites for people to contact and I KNOW these places are more than happy to send out brochures and booklets to you, especially for the Blue Ridge Parkway. I think @Kathy the history sleuth wanted to drive it or part of it. I copied the cover of the current one and you can contact them for the whole booklet and it is chuck full of maps and places to stop along the way.

And.... please put in other places for side trips in this thread - it isn't just about me. James N. maybe you want to move you Civil War links over into this thread too.

Tina
I know a guy with access to a cannon :wink:
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
South Mountain is NOT Saturday afternoon.
"9:30 am – Antietam NP All Day. We will be doing a number of major tour stops all day.

Stephen Recker, THE Antietam tour guide is booked for 3 hours and will be leading us. I don’t have the full itinerary from him yet.

12:30 – Box Lunch from Captain Benders.

We will also plan on going over to the Pry House. This was closed for all of 2020. I’m currently ascertaining if it is going to be open by Autumn. This was McClellan’s Headquarters, Lincoln visited it, and it was a field hospital. Very important place. Turner’s and Reno’s Gap are nearby and then on our way back to Sharpsburg is the National Cemetery."


Glad to hear it; THIS was the confusing part of the description though - it makes it sound like a dash to Turner's and Fox's (there is no Reno's but Maj. Gen. Jessie Reno was killed at Fox's and his monument is there) Gaps was part of the plan. A better idea would be a side trip progressing from Washington State Park south sequentially to Turner's, Fox's, and Crampton's, stopping briefly at the Kennedy Farm where John Brown planned his raid.
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
I’ll edit it out later when I’m not work, I see now why it was confusing.
I dug out my Civil War Trails map of the Antietam Campaign and have a tentative itinerary of a tour of South Mountain that basically parallels one Mike @mkyzzzrdet and I took a few years past. It would start just a little outside Harper's Ferry and proceed north to Crampton's Gap, then cross South Mountain at Fox's Gap, proceed to the field hospital site (at Keedystown, I think) and thence to Turner's Gap and end ultimately at Washington State Park and its ca. 1830 stone observation tower that was used as a Federal signal station during the campaign. Stops would be made at each of these; hopefully someone would be interested in making appropriate short presentations at each of them. If anyone's interested, we typically have had a dinner following the Thursday as well as the Friday side trip and IF it's open and available we would be right there at the ca. 1760's South Mountain Inn which was either D. H. Hill's or Alfred Colquitt's headquarters during the battle. As I remember, it's a tad pricey but that can be investigated, along with their hours of operation. They had interesting options available for seating, too: inside the stone inn; outside in a huge modern atrium; or upstairs inside the inn in a large meeting room adorned with (fairly bad to indifferent) portraits of the Union and Confederate generals involved here!
 

ErnieMac

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
May 3, 2013
Location
Pennsylvania
If you are talking about organized side trips, I second the vote for some or all of the South Mountain engagements. I'm sure there are members who are local and knowledgeable @ErnieMac comes to mind but I havent been able to be engaged in the "Official Thread" so don't know if he is planning on participating?
Harper's Ferry for certain, there's a lot in a small space. Visiting the South Mountain Battlefields will be more driving than seeing owing to access and the nature of the ground. Still not certain if I'll be able to attend.
 

EJ Zander

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Location
Gettysburg, PA
I dug out my Civil War Trails map of the Antietam Campaign and have a tentative itinerary of a tour of South Mountain that basically parallels one Mike @mkyzzzrdet and I took a few years past. It would start just a little outside Harper's Ferry and proceed north to Crampton's Gap, then cross South Mountain at Fox's Gap, proceed to the field hospital site (at Keedystown, I think) and thence to Turner's Gap and end ultimately at Washington State Park and its ca. 1830 stone observation tower that was used as a Federal signal station during the campaign. Stops would be made at each of these; hopefully someone would be interested in making appropriate short presentations at each of them. If anyone's interested, we typically have had a dinner following the Thursday as well as the Friday side trip and IF it's open and available we would be right there at the ca. 1760's South Mountain Inn which was either D. H. Hill's or Alfred Colquitt's headquarters during the battle. As I remember, it's a tad pricey but that can be investigated, along with their hours of operation. They had interesting options available for seating, too: inside the stone inn; outside in a huge modern atrium; or upstairs inside the inn in a large meeting room adorned with (fairly bad to indifferent) portraits of the Union and Confederate generals involved here!
James here is South Mountain Inn's dinner menu
https://oldsouthmountaininn.com/menu/dinner-menu/
They got escargot!
and booze
https://oldsouthmountaininn.com/menu/wine-menu/
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
Harper's Ferry for certain, there's a lot in a small space. Visiting the South Mountain Battlefields will be more driving than seeing owing to access and the nature of the ground. Still not certain if I'll be able to attend.
Mike and I have made this trip before and it wasn't so bad - the distances between the gaps aren't really that far apart and both sides of South Mountain ridge have good two-lane county roads. Visiting the Kennedy Farm where John Brown holed up might be more of a problem though because though nearby it's not on one of those and would involve a considerable detour - that's why I said nothing about it. If confined strictly to South Mountain and the battle sites it should be doable.
 

RastusMcNair

Cadet
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Shepherdstown Battlefield/Boteler’s Ford.

IMG_20200921_115932.jpg


IMG_20200921_121151.jpg
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Headed across the Potomac this morning. Was planning to go check out that museum in Boonsboro. Looks like it's only open one day (Sunday) at 1PM. Anybody know is this normal hours? covid?

I know the owner died last year I think. But I think they are trying to keep it open somehow. Please go check it and see if anyone in the town knows what is going on. @Bruce Vail you seem to have some connection there, have you found out anything yet?
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
Headed across the Potomac this morning. Was planning to go check out that museum in Boonsboro. Looks like it's only open one day (Sunday) at 1PM. Anybody know is this normal hours? covid?
If so, that might be a good activity for anyone staying through Sunday afternoon and not trying to head back early.
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
If you are talking about organized side trips, I second the vote for some or all of the South Mountain engagements. I'm sure there are members who are local and knowledgeable @ErnieMac comes to mind but I havent been able to be engaged in the "Official Thread" so don't know if he is planning on participating?
Harper's Ferry for certain, there's a lot in a small space. Visiting the South Mountain Battlefields will be more driving than seeing owing to access and the nature of the ground. Still not certain if I'll be able to attend.
As I posted in the "Official" thread, I made my flight arrangements today, and @mkyzzzrdet and I plan on arriving in Charles Town sometime Wednesday evening. I propose an entire day touring South Mountain on Thursday and, in the event of ErnieMac's absence, volunteer to lead the group on the venture if no one else steps forward. Although agreeing with Eric Wittenberg who says how much he hates "car snakes", that's probably pretty much unavoidable in this case; however, there may be few enough of us to be able to share rides in only a few vehicles so that it won't be too much of a problem.
 

bdtex

Major General
★★ Sr. Moderator
Silver Patron
Annual Winner
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018 Vicksburg 2019
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Location
Texas
Help me out someone. I thought there was a post with the Thursday and Friday morning sidetrip itinerary all laid out. I can't find it now. James N.
 
Top