Antietam National Battlefield | PRY HOUSE FIELD HOSPITAL MUSEUM

Pry House Field Hospital Museum at Antietam National Battlefield

Pry House Field Hospital Museum at Antietam National Battlefield

The Pry House Field Hospital Museum is located at 18906 Shepherdstown Pike in Keedysville, Maryland. This is 3.5 miles from the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center. The house sits at the end of a long driveway. There is a house near the start of the drive, but this is not the Pry House. Keep going until you get to the end of the road.

While a unit of Antietam National Battlefield, the museum is operated by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. It is typically open 11 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays starting June 1st and continuing through the last weekend in October. On Fridays and Sundays during these months, it is open by appointment only. There is fee to tour the museum. For the current schedule and ticket prices, see the National Museum of Civil War Medicine’s Plan Your Visit web page for the Pry House.

The Pry House was built in 1844 by Phillip Pry, who inherited the family farm along with his brother Samuel when their father died in 1828 (Samuel lived in another house on the property). When the Union army moved into Sharpsburg on September 16, 1862, the Pry House was chosen for the headquarters of Union commander General George B. McClellan, and the farm fields were occupied by thousands of Union soldiers and horses. As casualties mounted during the next day’s battle, the house and barn were used as a field hospital.

The Union army ended up staying at the Pry Farm, and other farms in the area, until the end of October. During this time, the Pry House become the Union medical headquarters where Dr. Jonathan Letterman organized the entire wounded evacuation and field hospital operation at Sharpsburg. Many wounded officers were brought here, including General Joseph Hooker (recovered) and General Israel Richardson (died November 3rd). When President Abraham Lincoln visited Sharpsburg in October, he came to the Pry House to see Richardson.

Pry Farm barn at Antietam National Battlefield

Pry Farm barn at Antietam National Battlefield

The Union occupation did severe damage to the agriculture fields and depleted the food supplies of the local farmers. After the war, the United States government created a program to reimburse citizens who remained with the Union for damage caused by Union soldiers. The Prys filed many claims; some were paid and some were not. As a result, the once prosperous family had to sell the house and farm in 1874 to pay debts. They then moved to Tennessee.

In 1976, the Pry House caught fire. The entire interior was destroyed, but the exterior brick structure remained intact. The interior was reconstructed back to its original specifications.

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Last updated on September 15, 2023
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