Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Newcomer House
“They fed horses all my corn and pasture that had not been previously ruined by the soldiers during the skirmishing and progress of the battle.”
This farmhouse, owned by Joshua Newcomer during the mid-1800s, witnessed the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. It was originally built in 1780 and was part of a complex of buildings that included the barn across the street, a grist mill, plaster mill and shops.
Today, only the house and barn remain of what was once a bustling farmstead. During the battle, Union soldiers crossed the original stone bridge that spanned Antietam Creek and advanced across this farm towards Sharpsburg.
Maryland Campaign of 1862
After winning the Second Battle of Manassas, Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland in early September, 1862. Union General George B. McClellan and his Army of the Potomac marched northwest from Washington, D.C. toward Frederick.
Outside Frederick, Lee boldly split his smaller force, sending part to capture a Union garrison at Harpers Ferry. Lee then used
Although the Confederates were forced to withdraw from the three nearby passes of South Mountain, they provided Lee the time necessary to pull his Confederate army back together here along Antietam Creek. On September 17, 1862, the two armies clashed along Antietam Creek and on farms around Sharpsburg in the bloodiest one-day battle in American history. By days end, more than 23,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing.
• To learn more about the Battle of South Mountain, drive to Washington Monument State Park outside Boonsboro: Turn left onto Route 34, drive 5 miles to Boonsboro, turn right onto Route 40A, drive 3 miles to the top of South Mountain (part of South Mountain State Battlefield), then turn left and go one mile to the museum at Washington Monument State Park.
• To learn more about the Battle of Antietam, go to the National Battlefield’s visitor center: Turn right onto Route 34; drive one mile, then turn right on Church Street (Route 65). The visitor center is one mile north on Route 65 on the right.
• To learn more about the battle’s aftermath, visit the Pry House Field Hospital Museum / McClellan’s Headquarters: Turn left onto Route 34; drive one mile, turn left at the Pry House sign, then drive ¼ mile down the gravel road.
Location. 39° 27.875′ N, 77° 43.635′ W. Marker is in Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Boonesboro Pike (Maryland Route 34), on the left when traveling east. Marker is located on the Antietam Battlefield, in front of the Newcomer House. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Heart of the Civil War (here, next to this marker); Early's Washington Raid (a few steps from this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (a few steps from this marker); 1862 Antietam Campaign (a few steps from this marker); Antietam National Battlefield (a few steps from this marker); 4th and 12th U.S. Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); History or Memory? (within shouting distance of this marker); Middle Bridge (was within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing. ). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.
More about this marker. A map of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 appears at the bottom of the marker. Indicated are the positions of Lee and McClellan, and the Sept. 14 Battle of South Mountain, the Sept. 15 Capture of Harpers Ferry, and the Sept. 17 Battle of Antietam.
Three wartime photos are at the lower left of the marker. One shows the Newcomer House and Barn, the Boonsboro Pike and the Middle Bridge (replaced with the modern bridge). It has a caption of “This photograph was taken by Alexander Gardner just days after the Battle of Antietam. Gardner captured this image from the other side of Antietam Creek looking west.” Below this are two photos with the captions “This view was also taken from the opposite bank of the Antietam looking west. The Newcomer barn is in the background of the right side of the image. That is the barn that is directly across the street” and “The Newcomer mill is on the right of this image. Antietam Creek is in the foreground. Nothing remains of the original mill.”
The lower right of the marker features portraits of Col. James H. Childs and Capt. John Tidball. The Childs portrait contain a caption of :
“Col. James H. Childs of the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry was in temporary command of Averell’s Brigade at Antietam. He led the brigade across the Middle Bridge onto the Newcomer Farm when he was struck in the hip by an artillery round that killed two soldiers and four horses.
After his wounding, Col. Childs tended to his military duties, then sent a messenger to the surgeons that “if not attending to any one whose life could be saved, to come to him, as he was in great pain.” He died less than an hour later leaving a widow and three children home in Pittsburgh. There is a monument to Col. Childs just across the street.”
The Capt. Tidball portrait has a caption of “Capt. John Tidball and his men dragged the cannons of his battery up the hill to your left and took position on the high ground of the Newcomer farm. From here, Tidball’s guns dueled with Confederate cannons that were located on even higher ground ½ mile to the west. A trail to his position starts on the left (east) side of the house.”
Categories. • War, US Civil •
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 15, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 624 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 15, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.