Bowie-Crofton Camera Club 

Promoting Photographic Skill and Enjoyment
Throughout Central and Southern Maryland.

Field Trip to Antietam's Annual Memorial Illumination


     Once a year, on the first Saturday of December, a special event takes place at the Antietam Battlefield Park, in Sharpsburg, Maryland.  A total of 23,000 casualties, killed, wounded, or missing, fell on this field during the bloodiest single day in American history, on September 17, 1862.   On Saturday, December 6th, for the 20th consecutive year, the park will light luminaries – one for each of those 23,000 fallen soldiers.    

     Normally, the only way to see this moving event is to join the thousands of other visitors who drive through the roads of the park to view the luminaries.   But the National Park Service has granted the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club a special use permit (Photo Pass)  that will allow us to be “on the ground”, in the area of the park’s Visitor’s Center, so that we can spend as much time as we like to carefully and artistically photograph this night of lights.   

    The best time to photograph the luminaries will be just before, and at dusk.  Sunset on December 6th will be at about 4:45 p.m., so we will want to be up there by 4:00 at the very latest.   It’s about a 1.5 – 2 hour drive from Bowie to Sharpsburg, so we will plan our carpool caravan to leave Bowie by 2:00 p.m.   The carpool will meet at my home, here in Bowie. After we're finished at the battlefield, we'll gather for dinner at the Red Byrd Restaurant, in nearby Keedysville.

   Here is a web site from the National Park Service that will tell you more about the event:

   If you would like to join us, contact me by phone at 301-249-2210, or by e-mail, at

                                                                                           -- Vince Ferrari


Background image by Dena Selby