Civil War Trails: New Designation for a Church Destroyed by Civil War

Press Release from Antietam Institute and Civil War Trails       

Recently, members of the Antietam Institute helped hoist a new set of Civil War Trails signs into place where the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church once stood. This is the first Civil War Trails (CWT) site in downtown Sharpsburg officially adding the beautiful community to the multi-state program. The church was damaged beyond repair during the September 17, 1862 Battle of Antietam.

“We are extremely excited to have this first CWT sign installed at the site of the old Lutheran Church,” said Chris Vincent, President of the Antietam Institute. The Institute was the primary advocate for the project, envisioning how to tell this often overlooked story and covering the initial costs. They will also be the sustaining partner for the site enabling the Civil War Trails program and its partners to market the site internationally to visitors from around the world.

Chris Vincent, President of the Antietam Institute (right) helps placed the new Civil War Trails interpretive sign alongside Jason Shaffer, Operations Manager for Civil War Trails (left). The new site is located at 213 East Main Street., Sharpsburg, Maryland. Courtesy, Civil War Trails, Inc.

This project in Sharpsburg is the latest addition to the CWT program which offers over 1,500 sites across six states. As visitors travel to each site, utilizing the CWT brochures and directional signs to navigate they visit local restaurants, stay at local B&Bs, and enjoy museums, hikes, and other amenities. Daniel Spedden, President of the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau lauded the project. “As cultural and heritage tourists seek authentic experiences, they not only generate revenue, but also support countless small businesses, create employment opportunities, and preserve the unique history, traditions, and craftsmanship of our region.”

Across Maryland there are over 180 Civil War Trails sites, including over two-dozen stops associated with the 1862 Antietam Campaign. The popularity of the 1862 Antietam Campaign driving trail dovetails nicely with the mission of the Antietam Institute. The Institute is a member centered organization with a mission to educate the public on the critical importance of the Battle of Antietam and the campaign which was a major turning point of the Civil War which directly resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation.

Jason Shaffer, Operations Manager for Civil War Trails sites the new directional ‘trailblazer’ sign which should help catch the eye of drivers. These ‘trailblazers’ work in tandem with the printed and digital map-guides to help visitors find the sites. Courtesy, Civil War Trails, Inc.

The two organizations are optimistic about the ability to help promote travel to region and in telling new and varied stories. Vincent continued, “This is the first of many signs the Antietam Institute plans to sponsor around Sharpsburg to tell the story beyond the battlefield, of those civilians who experienced the tragedy of the bloodiest single day in American history.”

The new Civil War Trails site is located at 213 East Main Street, Sharpsburg located on top of the hill where the cemetery is now today. Be sure to snap a #signselfie and post it along with #mdinfocus. For more information about visiting or for a free map-guide shipped to your door visit civilwartrails.org. To find out more about the Antietam Institute, their programs, publications, and project visit their website at antietaminstitute.org and follow them @antietaminstitute on social media.



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