June 20, 2013

History at the Newcomer Farm

A sign in front of the Newcomer House provides some history of the property. It starts with a quote from Joshua Newcomer, the owner during the Civil War: "They fed their horses all my corn and pasture that had not been previously ruined by the soldiers during the skirmishing and progress of the battle."

According to the book Antietam Farmsteads, Mr. Newcomer was not able to recover financially from the damage done to his farm and mill, and sold the property and business a few years later. Today his house and barn are all that remain of the once-prosperous farmstead and mill complex.

Shortly after the 1862 Battle of Antietam, photographer Alexander Gardner documented the battlefield.  Newcomer's property appears in several of the photographs.
Newcomer's House is in the background of the Gardner photo.
The barn still stands across road from the house. The barn, along with the house and other buildings, was used to shelter wounded soldiers after the battle.

I am personally intrigued by this property because it was owned by a relative of my ggg-grandmother, Barbara Newcomer. (I previously wrote cousin but a closer look at the Newcomer Genealogy shows Joshua was her nephew.) I'm also interested in the Civil War, and several Civil War interpretive signs are next to this house: Gettysburg Campaign — Invasion and Retreat, Antietam Campaign — Lee Invades Maryland, and Early's Washington Raid (of 1864). This area saw it's share of action during the war!


  1. oh, i couldn't imagine what the farmers and business owners went through during that time! so sad!

  2. Neat historical sites! It's always more interesting when you have a personal tie too.


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