Antietam Battlefield’s Miller farmhouse gets a facelift | HistoryNet MENU

Antietam Battlefield’s Miller farmhouse gets a facelift

By Tim and Elizabeth Rowland
8/30/2011 • America's Civil War, Open Fire

Halfway through a five-year renovation of the historic Miller farmhouse at Antietam National Battlefield, the Park Ser­vice preservation teams have been offering a handful of sneak previews of their handiwork.

David Miller’s cornfield became an icon of the battlefield, after 10,000 men fell in four hours of fighting that saw the farmland change hands eight to 10 times during the misty, blood-soaked morning of September 17, 1862.

The Miller farmhouse, built in 1800 and added onto in 1830, was a private residence until the 1980s; it came under park control in 1992. Some decidedly non-period relics (such as electrical outlets, a few scraps of wood paneling and a ceiling fan) are still scattered through the interior, but the exterior has been stripped down to the original logs and timbers.

Since 2008, the team has been shoring up the stone foundation, re-chinking crumbling mortar and repairing extensive termite damage and rot. A coat of stucco will eventually restore the farmhouse to its 1862 appearance by the time the work is completed in 2013.

The restoration has also turned up poignant artifacts of the time, including a rifle bayonet found stuffed into a wall, a set of iron keys and a small shoe once worn by a little girl.

5 Responses to Antietam Battlefield’s Miller farmhouse gets a facelift

  1. Chico says:

    I hope they’ll talk more about William McKinley’s service and heroism. I find it disgusting and not at all in the spirit of honest history that the guides there deride him as “Coffee Bill” the way his racist political haters did in his runs for the presidency. They don’t tend to give brevet promotions and citations for bravery to cowards.

  2. John Hart says:

    My great grandmothers family is the Millers who owned the property and she left an eyewitness account of hearing part of the battle and seeing some of the horror. I am very pleased that they are continuing to save the property and honoring the memory of the people who lived through it.

  3. daniel Shorts says:

    my great grandmother took me here once it was a great/scary place to be

  4. Tim Smith says:

    I just recently found out that one of my ancestors was at Antietam and my Army unit may be going there for a Staff Ride. While the Millers’ house may not be quite ready, I’m still extremely excited to be able to go see it.

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