Bedford County Historical Society Map

Bedford County Historical Society, Inc.

“As we look to the past,
the future looks to us.”

Battlefield Tour Guide of Bedford County Soldiers at Gettysburg & Antietam

by Kevin Mearkle

Battlefield Tour Guide of Bedford County Soldiers at Gettysburg & Antietam by Kevin Mearkle

Battlefield Tour Guide of Bedford County Soldiers at Gettysburg & Antietam by Kevin Mearkle Back

Battlefield Tour Guide of Bedford County Soldiers at Gettysburg & Antietam by Kevin Mearkle Dedication

The `Battlefield Tour Guide of Bedford County Soldiers at Gettysburg & Antietam` book can be ordered from the Bedford County Historical Society. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Historical Society.

Robert E. Lee made two invasion attempts of Pennsylvania in hopes of winning a decisive victory on northern soil and force Abraham Lincoln to end the costly war he was waging. Both culminated in epic battles within close driving distance of Bedford County.

Lincoln made a `vow` to God during the first invasion. If the Rebel army was driven back, he would make a declaration of freedom to the slaves. Bedford County soldiers fought on the steepest terrain of any battle during the Civil War at South Mountain, were part of a garrison that defended Harper`s Ferry, and were key combatants in turning back the Rebel army on the rolling hills surrounding the town of Sharpsburg near Hagerstown. Soon after the battle, Antietam became recognized as one of the most transformational events in American history when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The most famous battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere is a short distance down the road on the Lincoln highway. Men and boys from Bedford County were among the outnumbered soldiers whose heroics on the first day of the battle enabled the Union Army to seize the high ground around Gettysburg, which was successfully defended during the next two days. On the afternoon of the second day, county soldiers took part in some of the most horrific fighting during the battle of Gettysburg in and near the Wheatfield. One soldier who lived on the Bedford-Blair County line was one of only 64 Union soldiers to be awarded the Medal of Honor at Gettysburg for heroism near the foot of Little Round Top.

This book includes maps showing the locations and movements of regiments that suffered Bedford County casualties at Gettysburg, Antietam, South Mountain, and Harpers Ferry. Civil War soldiers were often in life and death struggles against a determined enemy. A surprising number of firsthand details can be found in regimental histories, memoirs, letters, newspapers, and official army records. This book provides brief visceral glimpses of what Bedford County soldiers experienced from these primary source materials. Photographs are included of the soldiers and battlefields, including photographs taken at Gettysburg and Antietam shortly after the battles ended. Not all Civil War sites are well-marked or easy to locate. The book provides turn by turn driving directions and current color photographs of the battlefield locations of Bedford County soldiers.

It is our hope this book will encourage families to take some meaningful trips to the battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam to pass along the rich heritage of our Civil War ancestors to our next generation.

Cost: $29.00 + tax, shipping & handling

To purchase:
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