Operated by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, exhibits focus on battlefield medicine, especially on topics associated with the Battle of Antietam. Establishing a museum in the Philip Pry House was a perfect fit, since the house was used as the headquarters of the Medical Department of the Army of the Potomac during the battle, at least two officers were treated in the house and the barn was used as a hospital for enlisted men.
Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, made many changes during the battle. He instituted sweeping procedural changes in the Medical Department concerning: the evacuation of the wounded from the battlefield, procurement of medical supplies, the organization of field hospitals, and the use of triage in the treatment of the wounded. Many of these changes remain the basis of military medicine today.
The exhibits go into further detail regarding Dr. Letterman and focus on an introduction to Civil War medicine and debunking myths; surgeons and caregivers; civilian volunteers; the medical challenges to the Sharpsburg community and the aftermath of the battle; the Pry family and property during the battle; and officers treated in the Pry House. Also included is an operating theater panorama.
The Pry House and barn were both used as field hospitals during the battle. The barn was used for enlisted men, where roughly 500 soldiers were treated. The house was used for officers, with the treatment of two Generals of note: General Joseph Hooker and General Israel Richardson. Richardson died about five weeks after the battle in an upstairs bedroom. The house, including the room where Richardson died, and the barn are open to the public.
Exhibits are self-guided. Group tours are available through National Museum of Civil War Medicine. To inquire about a tour, please go to Book A Tour, complete and submit the form.
We look forward to seeing you soon!