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Box, Shadow


On September 17, 1862, the Battle of Antietam was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland. John Philemon Smith was seventeen years old when he witnessed the horrific events. Like many, Smith walked the battlefield of Antietam, collecting the grim souvenirs of war. He spent the rest of his life as a teacher and historian, dedicated to preserving and understanding the legacy of that single day of battle. Smith made this shadowbox in 1886, twenty-four years after he had witnessed the battle.The text inside the box records the dedication of the Antietam Nation Cemetery in 1867 and a list of the Union soldiers who died at Antietam. The centerpiece is a miniature replica of the Private Soldier Monument, installed at the cemetery in 1880. Smith's shadowbox reflects the enduring personal impact of the Civil War on Marylanders.




Wood, pencil, paint, metal, fabric, found objects

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Resource ID


Credit Line

Gift of an Anonymous Donor

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.