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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A House Was Burning

 
 
A House Was Burning Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
1. A House Was Burning Marker
Inscription.
This cemetery and the farm buildings to your right were part of Samuel and Elizabeth Mumma's farm in 1862. Warned of the coming battle, the Mummas and their ten children fled to safety. Fearful that Union sharpshooters would use the farm buildings as a strongpoint, Confederates set fire to them. The column of fire and smoke was visible all morning above the battlefield. This fire was the only deliberate destruction of civilian property. One Union soldier remembered, "Just in front of us a house was burning, and the fire and smoke, flashing muskets and whizzing of bullets, yells of men...were perfectly horrible."

The Mummas spent the winter at the Sherrick farm near Burnside Bridge and were able to rebuild in 1863. After the war, the Federal Government compensated residents for damage caused by Union soldiers. However, since this farm was burned by Confederates, the Mummas received no compensation. Starting in 1870 the family deeded interest in this burial ground to local families. Neighbors who suffered from war and came together to rebuild their community, now rest together in this peaceful enclosure.

"...a set of farm buildings in our front were set on fire to prevent them from being made use of by the enemy."
Confederate General Roswell S. Ripley

Years later, Sgt. Maj. James F. Clark, of the 3rd
A House Was Burning Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 19, 2015
2. A House Was Burning Marker
North Carolina Infantry, Ripley's Brigade wrote a letter (left) to the postmaster of Sharpsburg, asking how to contact the family. Clark explained how the men in his regiment burned the house during the battle.

Ironically, the postmaster at the time was Samuel Mumma, Jr. He responded with what he knew of the incident, and added "As to your burning our house, we know that in doing so, you were carrying out orders."
 
Erected 2009 by Antietam National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 39° 28.678′ N, 77° 44.535′ W. Marker is in Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Mummas Lane, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located at the start of a path leading to the Mumma Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Woolfolk’s (Ashland) Virginia Battery (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battery F, 5th U.S. Artillery (about 500 feet away); Battery A (about 500 feet away); Battery D, 2d U.S. Artillery
A House Was Burning Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 19, 2015
3. A House Was Burning Marker
(about 500 feet away); Hexamer's (New Jersey) Battery (about 500 feet away); Jackson's Command (about 500 feet away); Batteries A and C 4th U.S. Artillery (about 500 feet away); Battery I, 1st U.S. Artillery (about 500 feet away but has been reported missing); Smith's Division, Sixth Army Corps (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Sharpsburg.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a portrait of the Mummas. In the center is a wartime photo of the house after the battle. Alexander Gardner photographed the burned out farm buildings two or three days after the battle. The photograph was taken from the far side of the farmstead. The white springhouse was the only salvageable structure and it still stands. Above the wartime photo is a picture of a watch. The Mumma family lost almost everything. This watch was the one item that the family was able to save from the destruction of their home. On the upper right is is an Alfred Waud sketch of the burning Mumma farm published in Harpers Weekly. in the lower right are photos of James Clark's letter.
 
Also see . . .
A House Was Burning Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 19, 2015
4. A House Was Burning Marker

1. Antietam Battlefield. National Park Service site. (Submitted on July 11, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one also titled "A House was Burning." (Submitted on September 21, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil
 
A House Was Burning Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 19, 2015
5. A House Was Burning Marker
Alfred Waud Sketch of the Burning of Mumma Farm<br>Published in <i>Harpers Weekly</i> image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 19, 2015
6. Alfred Waud Sketch of the Burning of Mumma Farm
Published in Harpers Weekly
A House Was Burning Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 19, 2015
7. A House Was Burning Marker
A House Was Burning Wayside at the Tour Stop image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
8. A House Was Burning Wayside at the Tour Stop
A House Was Burning Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 19, 2015
9. A House Was Burning Marker
Path to the Mumma Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
10. Path to the Mumma Cemetery
The Mumma House Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
11. The Mumma House Today
The park service uses the site for many educational activities. In the foreground are artillery pieces (one authentic and one reproduction) used for such presentations.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 869 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   8. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   9. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   10, 11. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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