Acquire 20 Sacred Acres at Antietam
Including the Jacob Avey Farm
September 17, 1862 is the bloodiest day in American history. And some of the fiercest fighting of the Battle of Antietam took place on the historic Jacob Avey Farm.
Today, we’re trying desperately to acquire a key 20-acre portion of the original farm. It’s expensive. But the price of losing it would be far greater.
So far, by using all available means, we believe we can come up with nearly half of the $730,000 transaction cost. We need to quickly raise $369,652 to save one of the last and largest unprotected parcels remaining at Antietam.
But we only have until July before we must come to the closing table with payment payment in hand. Please give now while your gift can be nearly doubled!
After a full day of the bloodiest combat ever seen on the North American continent at places like the Cornfield, the Epicenter, Dunker Church, the West Woods, Bloody Lane and Burnside’s Bridge at Antietam are immortalized forever.
More Americans perished than during the attack on Pearl Harbor, D-Day or September 11.
With Union forces finally across that stubbornly held lower bridge regrouping for a late-afternoon attack that threatened to cut off Lee’s line of retreat to the Potomac River, roll up his right flank, shatter his army, and possibly end the war in the east.
With everything hanging in the balance ... A.P. Hill came up to center stage.
Historian Bruce Catton writes that, after having been ordered at dawn on the 17th by Lee to join the rest of the army as soon as possible, Hill’s soldiers...
“Came upon the field at precisely the right time and place, after a terrible seventeen-mile forced march from Harpers Ferry, in which exhausted men fell out of the ranks by the score... Hill drove his men so cruelly that he left fully half his division panting along the roadside — but he got those up who were left in time to stave off disaster and keep the war going for two and one half more years.”
New troops from Connecticut, experiencing their first battle, as well as some Ohioans and Rhode Islanders, were momentarily confused as many of the men now firing at them wore blue uniforms. Only later did they discover that these were indeed Hill’s Confederates, who had helped themselves to captured uniforms from Harpers Ferry.
A pinned-down New York soldier later recalled:
“The mental strain was so great that, at that moment, the whole landscape for an instant turned slightly red.”
With this shock, writes Shelby Foote...
“The Union left gave way in a backward surge ... the panic spread northward to the outskirts of Sharpsburg where several blue companies, meeting little resistance, had already entered the eastern streets of the town; Burnside’s whole line came unpinned, and the retreat was general ... And now, in the sunset, here on the right, as previously on the left and along the center, the conflict ended.”
Historian Stephen Sears wrote in his landmark history of the battle Landscape Turned Red,
“Of all the days on all the fields where American soldiers have fought, the most terrible by almost any measure was September 17, 1862. The battle waged on that date, close by Antietam Creek at Sharpsburg in western Maryland, took a human toll never exceeded on any other single day in the nation’s history.”
The 20-acre piece of battlefield land we are working to save today is one of the most important ... one of the most significant ... one of the most priceless parcels of hallowed ground the American Battlefield Trust has had the chance to save at Antietam.
Burial Map Discovery Adds New Meaning to Land
The 2020 discovery of the Elliott Burial Map, drafted in 1864, revealed that the Avey Farm is the site of several Confederate burial sites. It is sacred ground, consecrated by bloodshed!
Yet there was nothing we could do to preserve it. These 20 acres were in private hands. And they were not for sale. Now suddenly, we are offered the chance to buy the 20 acres and the historic farmhouse where the Avey family lived. And I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure we save them!
The Avey farmhouse sits on land that has witnessed the bloodiest day in American history.
Quiet family farms like the one belonging to Jacob Avey, on the southern edge of the town of Sharpsburg, became bloody battlefields.
The Battle of Antietam not only altered the course of the American Civil War, but it also turned the tide of history. It marked the end of General George McClellan’s military career, at the same time ending the Confederacy’s hope for foreign political recognition.
It gave Abraham Lincoln the victory he needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which changed the character of the War.
It can be called — without exaggeration — one of the most important, significant, and pivotal battles in the history of the world.
Your impact will be DOUBLED!
We’ve always known the significance of the historic Avey Farm.
However, for all the nearly 500 acres you and your fellow Trust members have helped to save at Antietam over the years, this is the first time we have the chance to acquire hallowed ground associated with the Final Attack, land fought on by both sides during this last, crucial phase of the fighting.
Please make a gift and double your impact in preserving Avey Farm at Antietam.