- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SHARPSBURG, Md. (AP) - The nonprofit Civil War Trust is celebrating its successful drive to preserve 44 acres at what it calls the “epicenter” of the Battle of Antietam.

Deputy U.S. Interior Secretary Michael Connor and Antietam National Battlefield Superintendent Susan Trail spoke at the event Wednesday near Sharpsburg.

The Civil War Trust says it exceeded its goal of raising $115,000, or 20 percent of the $575,000 purchase price of the parcel. It will be transferred to the National Park Service.

President James Lighthizer says the land was at the center of the bloodiest one-day battle of the war, on Sept. 17, 1862. The clash left 23,000 men killed, wounded or missing.

The trust is now raising funds to protect another 7.2 acres at Antietam and 43 near the state-owned South Mountain battlefield.

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