April 17, 2023
Hello Battlefield Supporters,
We had a great Park Day 2023 cleanup on Saturday, April 15 with over 24 participants from Shepherdstown and Jefferson County, WV, as well as Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. We had a good weather day with only 20 minutes of light rain. Both the Cement Mill Riverside Park and the Far Away Farm were significantly improved and maintained, with loads of brush and deadwood, and many bags of trash collected on River and Trough Roads. Thank you to all the participants for a great day of community improvement of this key historic site.
This Park Day cleanup was followed by an exceptional 3-hour tour of the battlefield led by Dr. Tom McGrath, Author and Professor. Tom started at the farmhouse providing context for the events that led the Shepherdstown battle’s climax on the afternoon of September 20, 1862. We followed A.P. Hill’s men’s route where they marched across the Far Away Farm towards the ridge where the Union forces were massed. The tour angled down the ridge onto Trough Road, then we travelled up a driveway to the bluffs where the 118th Pennsylvania fought. After a very intense closing presentation and discussion, tour participants hiked back down to Trough Road and up to the farm on the ‘old wagon road’ in a large circuit of the battlefield core.
A great day was had by all doing community service for Park Day in the battlefield then participating in a historic tour that included the Far Away Farm. Thank you to Martin Burke and John Demer of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, Dr. McGrath, the day’s participants and all battlefield supporters!
Dr. Mike Nickerson
Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association
Email: [email protected]