Now that we are into the warm and humid days of August, once again, September and battle anniversary are just around the corner. For our interpretive staff at Antietam National Battlefield, this means preparing for our annual anniversary programs. Each year, we offer overview hikes, in depth hikes, battlefield tours, special talks and lectures, and so much more. You can find the complete schedule of events for our battle anniversary here.
We wanted to take a moment to tell you about something new we are doing for the first time this year. On the evening of September 16, Rangers Brian Baracz and Dan Vermilya are offering a new program titled, "The Eve of Battle."
Starting at 6 pm at the New York State Monument (located near the Visitor Center), Ranger Brian will be leading a real time hike to the historic East Woods, discussing the movements of the Union and Confederate armies on the day and evening before the battle. The program will examine the skirmish fighting on the evening of the 16th, as well as how these armies came to occupy the positions they held at the start of the bloodiest day in American history on the morning of September 17, 1862.
Following the hike, you can join Ranger Dan at the Maryland State Monument at 7 pm for a battlefield campfire program. This program will take a broad look at the men who composed the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam, examining how they got to this place in their lives and how the country arrived at this point in American history. Then, as the sun sets on Antietam Battlefield on the eve of the 152nd anniversary of the battle, park volunteers will read quotes from the soldiers of both sides describing what the Maryland Campaign was like for common soldiers, as well as what the night of September 16, 1862 was like for the men who lived it and endured the bloodiest day in American history the following morning.
We hope you will join us on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, at 6 and 7 pm for this very special program commemorating the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. Please bring a flashlight and a lawn chair for the campfire portion of the program. This is just one of our many programs scheduled for mid-September. We will have a full schedule of events that week to commemorate the anniversary of the battle, and we hope to see you for quite a few of them!