Near Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Visit from the President
—Antietam Campaign 1862 —
At the time of the bloody Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, this house was the home of Stephen P. Grove, and this was his farm. The Federal Army of the Potomac camped throughout the area after the battle; the Grove house became the headquarters of Gen. Fitz-John Porter, commander of the V Corps.
When the fighting ended on September 17, both armies suffered from exhaustion and shock. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee reacted first, withdrawing the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River near Shepherdstown during the next night. Union Gen. George B. McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, sent part of his force in pursuit but kept the remainder near Sharpsburg to rest and resupply. In Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln sympathized with the soldiers’ need to recover. He grew increasingly impatient, however, as the days and weeks rolled by and McClellan failed to move. On October 1, Lincoln took a train west from Washington to visit and encourage McClellan in person.
The men conferred at McClellan’s headquarters, then came here on October 3 to attend a review of the V Corps in nearby fields. Afterward they posed here for Alexander Gardner, one of Mathew Brady’s photographers. Lincoln and McClellan seemed to be taking each other’s measure, with the advantage going to the much taller president.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 26.949′ N, 77° 46.254′ W. Marker is near Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Shepherdstown Pike (Maryland Route 34), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located in a parking lot to the east of the road. Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1862 Antietam Campaign (here, next to this marker); Antietam Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); Headquarters Site Gen. R.E. Lee (approx. 0.7 miles away); First Methodist Cemetery (approx. 1.2 miles away); Jackson's Command (approx. 1.3 miles away); Longstreet's Command (approx. Kemper's (Va) Brigade (approx. 1.3 miles away); 1st Maryland Artillery (CSA) (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Jackson's Command (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Jackson's Command (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.
More about this marker. The marker features two pictures. The first is of Lincoln and McClellan meeting in a tent, with the caption, Lincoln and McClellan confer in McClellan’s headquarters tent, Oct 4, 1862. On the ground at left, under the table, is a captured Confederate battle flag. After returning to Washington, the president flatly ordered McClellan to ‘cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy.’ McClellan stayed put intil Oct. 26.Picture courtesy Library of Congress.
The second picture is that referenced in the text, with the caption, Lincoln and McClellan at Gen. Fitz-John Porter’s headquarters, Oct 3, 1862. The Stephen P. Grove house roof is visible over Lincoln’s head. McClellan stands facing Lincoln, while Porter is the second to the right of Lincoln. Capt. George A. Custer is at the far right.
Regarding Grove Farm. Marker was taken down for maintenance in 2009.
Also see . . . The Relation between Lincoln and McClellan. (Submitted on August 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Additional keywords. Antietam Campaign 1862
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,469 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on October 27, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 6. submitted on July 12, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 7. submitted on August 23, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 8, 9. submitted on October 27, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 10. submitted on August 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 11. submitted on January 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.