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West Overton plans day bus trip to Antietam

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

On the morning of Sept. 17, 1862, confederate troops led by Gen. Robert E. Lee clashed with the Northern forces led by Union Army Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan in what would result in the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Called the battle of Antietam by the North and the battle of Sharpsburg by the South, it was the first major skirmish to be fought on union soil.

A day bus trip to the Antietam National Battlefield hosted by West Overton Villages & Museums is scheduled for Aug. 12.

“We took a bus to Gettysburg in June and it was a big success,” said Jessica Kadie-Barclay. “We had a bus full and a waiting list for others who wanted to come.”

She said the visits to the Civil War sites were planned to generate interests in the battles and also in a special upcoming event that will be held at West Overton.

“We wanted to generate some excitement, because in September we are hosting a Civil War in Pennsylvania Exhibit here at West Overton.” Kadie-Barclay said.

Many of those who took part in the Gettysburg trip also will be visiting Antietam with the group, and an additional trip to Gettysburg is in the planning stages for the fall.

“The Gettysburg trip was great, people really enjoyed it” West Overton volunteer Kathy Pieszak said.

Pieszak's husband, Bill Pieszak, is a licensed Gettysburg National Park guide and personally took the group on a tour of the battlefield.

“We are thinking of having a second trip to Gettysburg in October,” Pieszak said.

The tour guide for the Antietam trip will be licensed guide Steven Recker. Recker will take the group on a tour of the site that may include such areas as Millers' Cornfield, the West Woods and the infamous Bloody Lane that was the site of a fierce battle that lasted nearly four hours, with more than 5,000 soldiers being killed or wounded at that single spot.

“This is another battle that people have heard about, that people know about,” Kadie-Barclay said of the battle of Antietam. “People are interested in visiting the site and learning the history of the battle.”

The day trip will take place starting with a 6 a.m. registration at West Overton, followed by a 6:30 a.m. departure.

The bus is expected to arrive at the battlefield at approximately 10:30 a.m.

The day will include a two-hour guided tour of the battle site, lunch and plenty of time to view the historical movie presentation and tour the museum.

The bus is then expected to return to West Overton at 9:30 p.m.

All times are approximate.

“I think these trips are a great way to spark interest in those who have never been to these sites and also a great opportunity for those who have already visited these site to return,” Kadie-Barclay said.

Registration for the Antietam bus trip will be accepted through Aug. 8.

Cost for the trip will be $65 for members and $70 for non-members.

Call 724-887-7910 for information.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.