Tolson’s Chapel
    In 1998 the United Methodist Church decided to dispose of Tolson’s Chapel, a very small structure built in 1866 to be an AME Church and Freedman’s Bureau School. After several other efforts failed, SHAF took title to the building and maintained it and the grounds for several years. Frankly, it was not part of our main mission, ie. preserving battlefield land, but it was certainly a part of Sharpsburg’s history. And of course the Freedman’s Bureau was a direct result of emancipation, which got its first big step as a result of Antietam with the Preliminary Announcement of the emancipation Proclamation. Soon a “friends” group was started, they used our non-profit status to get restoration grants and soon transitioned to their own non-profit organization. This past Saturday, June 11, the restored Tolson’s Chapel and cemetery were officially designated as a National Historic Landmark. There were a lot very fine people who worked hard to accomplish this goal, and SHAF congratulates Friends of Tolson’s Chapel on their success. At the dedication ceremony SHAF was mentioned  frequently and we are proud to have played a part is preserving this historic place in Sharpsburg. If you haven’t seen it, stop by on your next visit, it is located on High street. It is open only once or twice a month, but there is a very good interpretive plaque out front. It’s worth your time.

Books for sale!
    Several local members have donated a large number of Civil War books (and a few other topics) to SHAF, including a full set of the Official Records. While we appreciate such generosity, and are very grateful to those who donated them, and to those who purchased books at our annual membership meetings, the fact is we are not in the used book business. Storage and transporting them and a lack of venues to sell books are a problem, but we have found a great solution. A retired National Park Service superintendent is now living in the area, and has a used book store in Boonsboro. He has taken all our books and is now selling them with a significant portion of the money going to SHAF. We are very grateful for this solution and encourage all SHAF members, both local and those of you who visit, to patronize his shop. It is called Brigade Books and is located in the Boonsboro Antiques & Collectables 7700 Old National Pike just north of the town. They are open 10-5 daily. Now when you’re in the area you can satisfy your book-buying itch and help SHAF too.

Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society Supports SHAF

The SHAF Board is extremely pleased to announce the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society chapter of Boonsboro High School (Boonsboro MD)  raised $500 and donated it to SHAF to support our two property purchases last year. With our application for Federal grants underway, this donation will be matched, thus making the donation $1,000.  This chapter not only raises money, but is also dedicated to community service and several members have attended our last two Work Days. Please join our Board members in extending our gratitude to these wonderfully dedicated students, and their advisors Chris Baran and Jordan Hare, who have guided and encouraged these young men and women. 

SHAF Annual Meeting Silent Auction Items

The following items are available for silent auction with proceeds to benefit SHAF. Bids may be submitted in person at the meeting tomorrow or by email (using the email address from the SHAF website) until May 7 at noon. Winning bidders will be notified for payment and delivery arrangements for the item. Thank you for your support of SHAF and our efforts.

Granite commemorative of the installation of the Irish Brigade monument at Bloody Lane. It is about 4 inches square, and heavy. Opening bid is $50.

This wooden bowl is approximately 11 inches in diameter and about 2 ½ inches deep. Inscribed on the bottom: “This bowl was made and donated by Mike Cruz from a Hackberry tree that grew on the Antietam Battlefield grounds.” This is a beautiful, high-quality item, and the artist sells bowl like this for $200 – 250. Thus, the starting bid is $200.

This framed newspaper is a 1893 facsimile of the original newspaper printed in Vicksburg Mississippi by Union soldiers right after the surrender of the city and its garrison. Due to a paper shortage the paper was printed on the back of wallpaper. This is not the original but a copy made 30 years later, so still almost 130 years old. Framed to show the front and the wallpaper on the back. Framing alone was $100, opening bid is $120.

2022 Annual Meeting

Hello SHAF Members!

We are thrilled to announce our 2022 Annual Membership Meeting is ON! We will meet on Antietam Battlefield at the Mumma Farm barn at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday April 30. If you do not know where that is, follow the tour route to the Mumma Family Cemetery and turn into the house & barn driveway just past the cemetery.

Our agenda will include welcoming remarks from Tom Clemens, president, SHAF, greetings and updates from Antietam National Battlefield Superintendent Dr. Susan Trail, a financial report from SHAF Treasurer Bill Maharay, a recap of SHAF activities since our last meeting in 2019, elections of Board members and a presentation from SHAF Board member Sharon Murray of her research on Col. B.F. “Grimes” Davis of the 8 NY Cavalry. We plan to record the meeting and put it on our website. (Live broadcast is difficult as reception of the battlefield is not good.)

We will have SHAF logo hats, shirts, tote bags, etc. for sale. Also, some Civil War books and we have a few items for silent auction too! These include a beautiful, wooded bowl turned from wood harvested from the battlefield, an 1890’s framed copy of the July 1863 Vicksburg (MS) newspaper printed on the back of wallpaper, and a square piece of granite from the same stone used for the Irish Brigade monument on Bloody Lane. It is a numbered commemorative piece evidently used in fund-raising for the monument.

After the meeting, those who care to can join us in a car-caravan to look at the property we purchased this past year.

As always, we thank you for your support and encouragement, and we look forward to seeing you soon!