National Antietam Commemoration.
National Antietam Commemoration, September 4-17
Five-Star Historical Exposition Will Include Pageant of 200 Years of American Life
THE B & O — veteran railroad —veteran actor — again takes to the footlights as a star performer in the National Antietam Commemoration at Hagerstown, Md., September 4-17, inclusive.
So great is the interest and dramatic appeal of the B & O's historical trains, which have starred in "The Fair of the Iron Horse," and more recently in transportation pageants at Cleveland and Chicago, that in arranging the scenario for the pageant spectacle, "On Wings of Time," numerous scenes including this equipment will be given the greatest prominence in the production. A special track is now laid from the adjacent Western Maryland Railway into the exposition grounds where this interesting equipment will be displayed as exhibits and likewise utilized in the pageantry on the 600 foot ground level stage. Here "On Wings of Time," with a cast of 2,500 people, will be presented daily as part of the entertainment program of the Commemoration.
The National Antietam Commemoration will mark the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, and certain other historic events which cover a period of 200 years. Hence the commemoration program will be a review of 200 years of American history. The other events and their anniversaries are:
The Settling of Washington County— 200th Anniversary; the Founding of Hagerstown—175th Anniversary; and the Cruise of the Rumsey Steamboat—150th Anniversary...
(F?)ame of Antietam
Antietam was a battle remarkable from many standpoints. It was the first battle fought in Lee's invasion of the North. It was the bloodiest single day of fighting during the whole war between the states, the Confederate loss being 12,000 out of 50,000 and the Union loss, l3,000 out of 80,000 troops. In the lane since called by the gruesome title of "Bloody Lane," the dead were piled five deep, and the blood of the wounded flowed down the roadway.
There is a story that this battle would never have been fought had a message given by General Robert E. Lee to one of his officers informing him of his plan of action in this sector, not been found by a Union sympathizer in Frederick and turned over to the Union high command. The message is said to have been wrapped about a cigar of a Confederate officer, who, when going through Frederick, dropped the message in the street, where it was found by a passerby. Soon after that General George B. McClellan was sent post haste to Washington County, and the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam followed. Yet, not withstanding the strategy of both commanding generals and the losses suffered, to neither was victory attributed, for while McClellan scored a technical victory he lost his change to destroy Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The fact, however, that Lee's advance into the North had been checked gave President Lincoln the opportunity for publishing his long contemplated Emancipation Proclamation.
Battle Reenactment September 17
The most spectacular phase of this battle, the action at Bloody Lane, will be re-enacted on September 17 on the battlefield by National Guardsmen under the direction of General Milton A. Reckford. On this and the days preceding, a reunion of Blue and Gray veterans will be held, and President Roosevelt will attend as an honor guest. The descendants of Lee and McClellan, Dr. George Boiling Lee, a grandson of the Southern commander, and Col. George B. McClellan, son of General McClellan, have accepted invitations to attend the ceremonies of the commemoration.
American Life to be Reviewed - the Exposition
On a fifty-two-acre tract of land near Hagerstown, an exposition will be held during the commemoration. Here through pageantry, replicas, restorations and exhibits, the story of the life, habits and acts of a people will be reviewed. A feature will be the Museum of History filled with historic objects especially associated with Washington County. A Travel Building will house countless exhibits of things associated with travel and recreation, and an extensive exhibit of modern railway equipment will be presented in the B & O yards just two squares from the center of the city. Wild life of the region, state and nation, birds and beasts, both living and stuffed, will form one of the most interesting exhibits. Cooperating with the local committee are the Conservation Department of the State of Maryland, the Natural History Society of Baltimore, and the United States Biological Department. In other buildings at the exposition grounds, Commerce and Industry will present extensive exhibits of processes and products of the past as compared with those of the present, thereby presenting a visualization of progress. For the fun seeker, the exposition offers a gala carnival midway, daily sports and contests, band concerts, blimp and aeroplane demonstrations.
During the commemoration period, elaborate balls will be given for the many distinguished guests. Tours to places of historic interest as, famous old homes, schools, forts, etc., will be arranged, also many other forms of entertainment for the many home-coming visitors and others who have never before had an opportunity to visit this section of the country.
The Commemoration planning committee has received splendid cooperation from the railroad companies in its program, especially from the B & O, which is not only lending its valuable historical equipment, but is likewise giving valuable advice and counsel in the development of plans.
B & O RR Magazine
The copyrighted works of CSX are used with permission of CSX Transportation.
It appears that a section of the story is missing from the scrapbook.
Western Maryland Room, Washington County Free Library.
Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862: Centennial celebrations, etc
Washington County (Md.), 1937.