24041
Maryland

Culmination in a Cornfield: The March to Antietam

On a stirring educational experience, trace five bloody days in September 1862 that culminated in Antietam National Battlefield with the deaths of 23,000 Union and Confederate troops.
Program No. 24041RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Sharpsburg, MD
D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity note: Conference center check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby of the conference center to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In the dining room, we will step back in time as we dine on a Civil War-era dinner, served at 5:30 p.m. with live music. Coffee, tea, iced tea, water included.

Evening: During dinner, we will enjoy a live performance of period music in the dining room. Orientation, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The Site Coordinator will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar “Retreats” program that provides our signature educational experience in a peaceful, natural setting. In addition to classes and field trips, there will be opportunities for light morning exercise, interaction with members of the local community, a farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, and evening entertainment. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Afterwards, we will enjoy a special presentation of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Special Order 191, as local historians trace the path of the ill-fated lost order from Lee’s desk to Union General George B. McClellan’s hand. We will explore the impact this single event had on the events to come.

DAY
2
Battle of South Mountain: Fox, Turner, Crampton Gaps
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity note: Getting on/off van; driving 1.5 hours total to/from sites, 35 miles. Walking approximately 1 mile on pavement and uneven, unpaved terrain.

Breakfast: We will enjoy a hearty southern buffet breakfast in the dining room, with fruit and cereal options. Coffee, tea, juice, water included.

Morning: We will ride by van to the site of the first day of engagement preceding the Battle of Antietam: the Battle of South Mountain at Fox’s Gap. Local historians will lead us on a walk through the area and tell us about the encounters fought here on September 14, 1862, followed by a one-mile hike north on the Appalachian Trail to Turner’s Gap.

Lunch: At the historic Old South Mountain Inn, known in 1862 as the Mountain House, we will enjoy a buffet meal; beverages included.

Afternoon: During lunch, we will enjoy more live period music. From the inn, we will walk with our historians through Turner’s Gap and learn about the engagements fought here later on September 14. Then, we will ride by van to Crampton’s Gap, where Union forces overwhelmed sparse Confederate defenses late in the afternoon and evening of the same day. We will then return to the conference center.

Dinner: In the dining hall, we will enjoy a buffet meal, with full salad bar and dessert; beverages included.

Evening: In the meeting room, we will hear from a local historian about Lee’s retreat to Sharpsburg following the Battle of Antietam on September 17.

DAY
3
Pleasant Valley, Harpers Ferry
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity note: Getting on/off van; driving under 1.5 hours total to/from sites, 44 miles. Walking about 2 hours, 2 miles on pavement and uneven, unpaved terrain.

Breakfast: We will enjoy a hot New England breakfast in the dining room, “Yankee-style,” with fruit and cereal selections. Coffee, tea, juice, water included.

Morning: We will enjoy a scenic ride through the site of Confederate defenses in Pleasant Valley, then on to Harpers Ferry, WV, where we will walk Bolivar Heights, led by park rangers and local historians. Here we will trace the events leading up to the fall of Harpers Ferry. Union Colonel Dixon S. Miles’ surrender of 12,419 Union soldiers marked the largest number of US soldiers surrendered until WWII.

Lunch: We will enjoy a picnic lunch consisting of sandwiches, snacks, fruit, water, and more at the picturesque Harpers Ferry National Historical Park visitor center.

Afternoon: We’ll enjoy an afternoon to browse and take in the sights of historic Harpers Ferry, site of John Brown's raid in 1859 at the confluence of the scenic Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. We will return to the conference center in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Dining room buffet.

Evening: In the meeting room, we will explore and discuss with a local historian the circumstances and events which prompted General Robert E. Lee to alter his plans before the Battle of Antietam.

DAY
4
Battle Lines on the Eve of Antietam
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity note: Getting on/off van; driving under 1 hour total to/from sites, 21 miles. Walking about 2 hours, 2 miles on pavement and uneven, unpaved terrain.

Breakfast: Dining room buffet.

Morning: We will ride to Keedysville, where we will be led by a local expert through the site of Union campsites and routes of deployment on the eve of battle. We will return to the conference center for lunch.

Lunch: Dining room buffet.

Afternoon: On the conference center grounds, we will walk through mock encampments of both armies and hear from local re-enactors on camp life. Later, we will return by van for a walk through Sharpsburg, enjoy some local Nutter’s Ice Cream, and finally visit the site of skirmishes between the two armies on the evening of the September 16th.

Dinner: Dining room buffet.

Evening: We will gather in the meeting room to explore and discuss with a local historian the thoughts and reflections found in soldiers’ journals from both sides on the eve of this epic battle.

DAY
5
Antietam National Battlefield Ceremony & Walk, Ball, Banquet
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity note: Pre-breakfast ride to Antietam National Battlefield. Getting on/off van; minimal driving. Walking 8 miles throughout the day at battlefield, on pavement and uneven, unpaved terrain.

Breakfast: Dining room buffet.

Morning: Before breakfast, we will ride to Antietam National Battlefield to visit the site known as The Bloody Cornfield, where some of the most intense fighting took place at dawn on September 17, 1862, as the battle began. Park staff will treat us to a moving ceremony, commemorating the anniversary of the battle where it started. After returning to the conference center for breakfast, we will head back to the battlefield for a special 8-mile walk of the battlefield with park staff. We will follow the path of the battle, from the Dunker Church through the woods to the sunken road known as Bloody Lane.

Lunch: We will be provided sack lunches of sandwiches, water, and more at the conference center prior to departing for Antietam National Battlefield following breakfast.

Afternoon: Our 8-mile walk of the battlefield with park staff continues, from Bloody Lane over Burnside Bridge, and ending at the cemetery. After a long day, we will return to the conference center for our final evening.

Dinner: Dining room buffet farewell banquet.

Evening: In the dining room after our banquet, we will continue to enjoy our Civil War ball and closing ceremony, with live music and reenactors.

DAY
6
Final Lecture, Goodbyes, Program Concludes
Sharpsburg, MD
B

Activity note: Conference center check-out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Dining room buffet.

Morning: A local historian will speak on the affects the battle had on the community, the economy and the nation. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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