Antietam National Battlefield | NEWCOMER HOUSE

Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

The Newcomer House, one of only two Civil War-era houses at Antietam National Battlefield that are open to the public (the other being the Pry House), is located at 18422 Shepherdstown Pike / MD 34 in Keedysville. This is within the boundaries of the park, but the house is not operated by the National Park Service. It serves as the visitor center for the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, a non-profit organization. The house is typically open on weekends from 10 AM to 4 PM during the months of April, May, October, and November, and daily from June through September. It is closed the rest of the year. For the current schedule see the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area’s Newcomer House web page.

The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area promotes Civil War-related sites in Carroll, Frederick, and Washington counties. Inside the Newcomer House are exhibits about the different attractions. Visitors can also get brochures and talk with the staff about the various Civil War sites.

Exhibits inside the Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

Exhibits inside the Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

Exhibits inside the Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

Exhibits inside the Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

Exhibits inside the Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

Exhibits inside the Newcomer House at Antietam National Battlefield

Outside the house is the start of the short Tidball Trail. This was named for Union captain John C. Tidball of the 2nd U. S. Artillery. Tidball set up his cannon on the high grounds of the Newcomer Farm. The trail leads to a display of cannon that mark the location of his artillery battery.

There is also a statue of Robert E. Lee that was erected in 2003 by the man who owned the Newcomer property at the time; he claimed he was a descendant of Lee. The statue is now fenced off to prevent the Cancel Culture Fanatics from vandalizing it…further (it was spray painted by Black Lives Matter). However, any Confederate sculptures on National Park Service property are here to stay, as the policy is not to remove or alter any monuments unless federal legislation is passed to do so. There are 97 monuments at Antietam National Battlefield; only 11 are Confederate monuments.

Robert E. Lee statue at the Newcomer House, Antietam National Battlefield

Robert E. Lee statue at the Newcomer House, Antietam National Battlefield

The Newcomer House was built in the late 1780s by Christopher Orndorff. It sits near Antietam Creek and was part of a milling complex built by Orndorff’s father, Christian, the man who first settled the property. Orndorff sold the farm and mill to the Mumma Family in 1806, and it was subsequently sold a number of times after that. In 1853, the Newcomer Family purchased the property and were the ones living in the house during the Civil War.

On September 15, 1862, Confederate and Union soldiers began arriving into the Sharpsburg area. Minor fighting took place at the Newcomer Farm when the Union army took control of the Middle Bridge, which is 150 yards to the east of the house. During the Battle of Antietam on the 17th, Tidball’s artillery was set up on the hills of the Newcomer Farm and used to support the advance of General Fitz John Porter’s 5th Corps over the Middle Bridge and on towards Sharpsburg.

As the battle wore on, the house and barn were used as a field hospital. The soldiers trampled the fields and ate just about everything in sight, including the Newcomer’s farm animals and stored grains. The only thing that survived intact was the house. This prompted the Newcomers to sell and move elsewhere in Maryland. The house remained in private hands until 2007 when the National Park Service acquired it for inclusion in Antietam National Battlefield. The barn had been purchased a few years earlier in 2003.

Back to the Top


With a few exceptions, use of any photograph on the National Park Planner website requires a paid Royalty Free Editorial Use License or Commercial Use License. See the Photo Usage page for details.
Last updated on September 15, 2023
Share this article