News and Events

Brand Merchandise

We’ve partnered with VistaPrint to provide quality branded merchandise to support the Shepherdstown Battlefield Association. More items will be coming soon!

Available locally, contact President Dr. Mike Nickerson.

11 ounce Coffee Mug, color: White $25

March 18/23 Battlefield Tour

The next tour of the Shepherdstown Battlefield will be led by SBPA Director and VA Park Ranger Kevin Pawlak on Saturday, March 18, 2023

Kevin will lead the Virginia Forum on a walking tour of several parts of the battlefield out of the Cement Mill parking area from 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Unfortunately, the tour is at capacity at this time but stay tuned for additional spring tours coming up!

Dr. Mike Nickerson, President, SBPA

March 9/23: Local Author and Historian Steve French to speak to Battlefield group

from the March 2, 2023 article from The Journal:

MARTINSBURG — The Falling Waters Battlefield Association will host local author and historian Steve French, who will speak on “McNeill’s Rangers in the Gettysburg Campaign.”

The presentation will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, in the North Berkeley Public Library, 1255 T.J. Jackson Drive, Spring Mills.

During the Gettysburg campaign, Rebel guerrillas and partisans roamed far and wide attacking military targets and gathering plunder. One of these bands, McNeill’s Rangers, fought at Stephenson’s Depot, Virginia, occupied Hancock, Maryland, and destroyed B&O Railroad property from Back Creek Bridge to Great Cacapon.

While the armies were fighting at Gettysburg, the rangers looted the farms and stores of southern Fulton County, Pennsylvania, including raiding the town of Mercersburg. They also fought at the July 6 Battle of Williamsport and later skirmished with federal cavalry around Clear Spring, Maryland. The talk will include a slide presentation and the speaker will be available to answer questions.

All the events to be covered in this presentation are included in Steve’s book, “Phantoms of the South Fork: Captain McNeill and his Rangers,” which Kent State University Press has just released in a paperback edition. Copies will be available for purchase, and there will be a book signing following the presentation.

Historic Sites Need YOU!

The SBPA is leading this effort locally in the Shepherdstown Battlefield including the Cement Mill Riverside Park, the newly preserved Far Away Farm and a Trough Road cleanup.

Each year, thousands of history enthusiasts, families, Boy and Girl Scouts, ROTC units, and more come together in an effort to help keep our nation’s heritage not only preserved but ready for spring — by celebrating Park Day
Since 1996, the American Battlefield Trust’s Park Day tradition has encouraged community-minded citizens to embrace hands-on preservation projects at battlefields and sites nationwide — ranging from trash collection, cleaning of monuments, trail building, painting and restoration of signage, repair work and more. Additionally, Park Day can also be used to fulfill service requirements associated with scout groups, student organizations, training corps programs, many school systems, etc.
This year, the American Battlefield Trust is excited to host our 27th annual Park Day on Saturday, April 15, 2023. If you have questions regarding Park Day, don’t hesitate to contact me, Eugene Stickley, at [email protected].

Are you interested in playing a part to help history shine? Find a participating Park Day site near you!

from the “Shepherdstown Chronicle”

On Friday, December 30, 2022, the Shepherdstown Chronicle published an opinion piece written by SBPA Director Terry Lindsay and President Mike Nickerson.

It documents our extraordinary success in preserving the Far Away Farm in the heart of the battlefield from a planned housing development.

The SBPA was able to raise over $79,000 from invaluable donors to assist the American Battlefield Trust with the farm purchase.  Thank you to all our donors and battlefield supporters.

December 2022 Battlefield Tour

December 26, 2022 – Holiday Battlefield Tour

On a rather cool day-after-Christmas, SBPA President Dr. Mike Nickerson conducted a battlefield tour for a local group resulting from a family gathering that included stops at Ferry Hill in Maryland – where the heavy Union artillery was placed, the Cement Mill ruins, and the Far Away Farm.

Tour participants were from Sweden, Los Angeles, Frederick and Walkersville, Maryland, and Shepherdstown.  They enjoyed the tour immensely and it shows once again the significant attraction of our battlefield to folks from all over.

Oysters were provided by Hannah Nickerson and beverages by the Mecklenburg Inn.  The attached photos were taken by Chris Ledden and Hannah Nickerson.

Far Away Farm House and Barn

SBPA President: FAF forever protected

December 1, 2022 

Dear Shepherdstown Battlefield Supporters, 

We did it! Today is the historic day when the Far Away Farm (FAF) is forever protected from development! The Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association (SBPA)  contributed substantially to this effort.  Today American Battlefield Trust (ABT) closed on the transfer of the farm from the former developer. Work begins immediately to establish a conservation easement to be administered by the Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle, and for an early to mid-2023 transfer of the property from the ABT to the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, current holder of the other battlefield property deeds.  
Since 2003, SBPA members and supporters have vastly increased recognition of the key role of the Battle of Shepherdstown as the culmination of the Confederate Army’s 1862 Maryland Campaign. We’ve hosted educational meetings and fund-raising parties in town, information tables at town events, and participated in battlefield and road cleanups, battlefield tours, crossings of the Packhorse / Boteler’s Ford, and Battlefield BBQs! FAF will now be preserved as a permanent monument to the Battle of Shepherdstown, and an indisputable part of our Local, State and National history. 
Our knowledge of the battle, farm, and Cement Mill continues to increase! Just this year we met an 80-plus- year-old gentleman who found a Union canteen on the cliffs above the river- when he was just 14 years old! An iron head from a sledgehammer was found at the Cement Mill kilns by a passing kayaker, who was kind enough to contribute it for a future artifact exhibit. Many battlefield tours have been conducted by Dr Tom Clemons and Kevin Pawlak, SBPA board members.  This included a first ever tour of FAF.

As public awareness of the battlefield continues to increase, so will issues related to traffic, parking, garbage and vandalism, among others. Our continued participation in battlefield cleanup days, Trough Road garbage pickup, public education programs and battlefield tours is essential to the preservation of the battlefield until an eventual transfer to the National Park Service. Until that is accomplished, we must continue our efforts so these properties are worthy of “National Battlefield Park” status. 
Please follow us on our Facebook page and on our website; for news and updates as they occur. 

We must say Thank You to all SBPA Donors, Officers, Directors and Advisors, Members and battlefield supporters past and present.  You have all contributed to a “History Worth Saving”! 

On behalf of the SBPA officers and board members, 

Michael L. Nickerson 

Dr. Mike Nickerson 


Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association