SHAF Statement Regarding the Destruction and Defacing of Civil War Monuments

Antietam, Harpers Ferry, South Mountain and Shepherdstown Battlefields, were scenes of major conflict during the Maryland Campaign of 1862. When these battlefields were recognized as historic sites where thousands of American lives were lost, and many thousands more forever changed, various groups chose to commemorate these places. The first commemoration, arguably, was to create cemeteries, to which the remains of those buried on the field were removed. After many years, statues, monuments and markers were erected to recognize the sacrifice and valor displayed by American soldiers at these sites. SHAF believes that any place Americans fought, bled, and died becomes hallowed ground, and thus are entitled to the solemnity accorded cemeteries. As recently as ten years ago, partial remains of soldiers were discovered on these sacred fields, demonstrating this land is still, essentially, hallowed ground.

We believe removing any vestige of one side on Civil War battlefields would present a distorted version of America’s greatest internal conflict. Rather than remove the commemorative artifacts of previous generations, we need to contextualize and interpret the past to advance education and support preservation. We therefore deplore the vandalizing of any statue or monument on this ground and oppose their removal. We instead call for a more thorough understanding through additional interpretive markers explaining the evolution of societal values and the power of historical memory.

Film Supports SHAF

Support quality history-based filmmaking and Antietam at the same time!

The well-received short film “Hold My Horse”, based on the life of Gen. Israel Richardson, is a perfect diversion for current times! It represents good history, a good story, and good material culture all at once.

The film has garnered glowing reviews from both Civil War News and Military Images magazines. It depicts an account by Dan Crotty, color sergeant in the 3rd and later 5th Michigan Infantries, of how Gen. Richardson (Christian Stolte, Chicago Fire, Public Enemies) taught a lesson to an overly ambitious young officer – all with Richardson’s trademark laid-back humor.

Even better, Look Around You Ventures, the company behind “Hold My Horse”, is donating 30% of gross receipts. These are split equally between Historic Fort Wayne, Detroit (where Richardson entered service), and Save Historic Antietam Foundation (where he was mortally wounded).

Check out the film today and help support historic preservation at the same time! https://vimeo.com/ondemand/holdmyhorse

SHAF Helps Clear Non-Historic Tree lines on ABT Property

Save Historic Antietam Foundation volunteers have recently been active clearing non-historic trees from the American Battlefield Trust’s property across Dunker Church Road from the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center. View the gallery below for updated images of the property.

If you support projects like these, please consider donating to the Save Historic Antietam Foundation by clicking the button below.

SHAF Annual Membership Meeting Postponed

Our annual membership meeting, scheduled for April 25 is now indefinitely postponed. Because the National Park Service is closed, we obviously cannot meet at the Mumma Barn until they open. Nobody knows when they will re-open, but when they do we will re-schedule and notify all of you immediately. We apologize for any inconvenience and are sure this is just one of many events recently re-scheduled.

We have made great progress clearing the Poffenberger tract, and are anxious to show it to you. Our Harsh Scholar Award recipient, Matthew Borders, will be working weekends when the NPS re-opens, and we hope we can work out a date when he can attend our meeting and deliver his research to you. We still have lots of prints and books to sell at attractive prices, and we are sure you will want to take advantage of these things and help SHAF at the same time.

Thanks for your patience, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Next SHAF Workday, March 21, 2020

Hello SHAF Members!

Our next scheduled workday is March 21 at the Poffenberger tract across from the visitor center. The start time is 9:00 am but you are welcome to come anytime during the day. The day will end at around 4 pm. The plan is to remove more brush and trees and run them through a chipper rented for the day and clean the property of debris and old fencing. A dumpster will be in place for the debris and fencing. Please dress for the weather, bring gloves, eye protection and hearing protection to use. Also, bring water or other beverage to stay hydrated and pack a lunch if you want. A reminder will be sent out the week of.