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When Hell Came to Sharpsburg

September 14, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Battle of Antietam, fought in and around Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest day in American history, but its horrendous effect on area civilians is rarely discussed. Steven Cowie’s When Hell Came to Sharpsburg rectifies this oversight.

By the time the battle ended, more than 23,000 men had been killed, wounded, or captured in just a dozen hours of combat—a grim statistic that tells only part of the story. The epicenter of that deadly day was the small community of Sharpsburg. Families lived, worked, and worshipped there. It was their home. And the horrific fighting turned their lives upside down.

When Hell Came to Sharpsburg investigates how the battle and its armies wreaked emotional, physical, and financial havoc on the people of Sharpsburg. For proper context, the author explores the savage struggle and its gory aftermath and explains how soldiers stripped the community of resources and spread diseases. Cowie meticulously follows fortunes of individual families—ordinary folk thrust into harrowing circumstances—and their struggle to recover from their unexpected and often devastating losses.

“When Hell Came to Sharpsburg: The Battle of Antietam and Its Impact on the Civilians Who Called It Home” is part of the 2023 Battlefield Overlook Speaker Series. Tickets are free for members and $10/non-members.

Reserve tickets here: https://tinyurl.com/mr446ebk


Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum
625 Biglerville Rd.
Gettysburg, PA 17325 United States
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