Stevenson University’s history program is back on the road again: in a COVID-safe way.

Caption: Orange flame shoots out the front of this Civil War-era 12 pound Napoleon howitzer. The crew of Battery “B” 4th U.S. Artillery are the all-volunteer artillery detachment of Antietam National Battlefield.

Stevenson University student participants traveled in their own cars and met-up at the destination where a public program was taking place. Once there, the masked participants remained socially distanced and followed the rules of the county they were in as well as the rules of the venue. In this case it was Washington County, MD and the venue was Antietam National Battlefield run by the National Park Service.

During the course of the one-hour presentation the piece was fired four times. All of us heard the cannon’s roar, felt the heat of its powder shooting from the barrel as well as the concussion go through our chests, and saw the orange flame shoot out of the barrel on a dark, cloudy day. The living historians explained the weapon, its operating characteristics, and told the history of Battery B, 4th US Artillery from its beginning all the way up through its service in the Civil War. We were introduced to the stories of members of Battery B who had earned the Medal of Honor in the Civil War and we had an opportunity to get up close to weapon and talk with its crew members.