- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2002

SHARPSBURG, Md. (AP) Rangers and volunteers plan to plant 350 apple trees this fall to help restore the Piper farm, one of the homesteads on the property, to the way it looked on the eve of the Civil War's bloodiest one-day battle.
A nursery in Michigan is supplying eight apple varieties Baldwin, English Russet, Fornwalder, Gilpin, Jeffries, Maidenblush, McClellan and Northern Spy for the project, Antietam's natural resources manager said.
Those varieties were historically grown in the region but are not the same kinds the Piper family grew. "You can't get the same as then," manager Joe Calzarette said.
He said the National Park Service needs volunteers to help plant and tend the trees on seven acres of the 3,255-acre park.
The original 17-acre Piper orchard was occupied by Confederate troops on Sept. 17, 1862, when Northern and Southern forces clashed along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg in a battle that left more than 23,000 dead, wounded or missing.
The Union wanted to take Sharpsburg, but the Piper farm stood between them, Mr. Calzarette said. The farmhouse, now a bed and breakfast run by a private contractor, was Confederate Gen. James Longstreet's headquarters during part of the battle. It was used as a hospital for the wounded on both sides afterward.
The painting, "Battery Longstreet," by Don Troiani, depicts Gen. Longstreet in the orchard after he found an unmanned cannon there.
"All the artillerymen were dead or wounded. He brought his staff officers out to man the cannon. Gen. Longstreet put himself in the line of fire. He held the reins of officers' horses and directed the line of fire," said Regina Clark who operates the Piper house with her husband, Louis.
The orchard, like almost everything on the battlefield, was ruined by the fighting. "Fences were knocked down. Cattle taken. Bodies were buried in these fields," Mr. Calzarette said.
The dead have been moved to the nearby Antietam National Cemetery, and archaeologists have cleared the land of shells, bullets, buttons and other relics. Red flags mark the spots where apple tree seedlings will be placed. The trees should bear fruit in two years, Mr. Calzarette said.
The restoration is part of a general management plan approved by Congress in 1991, Mr. Calzarette said.

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