Over the past 160 years, a variety of issues have threatened the integrity of Civil War sites across the United States. Land development, private ownership, looting, and metal detecting have created a bevy of bureaucratic and logistical hurdles, reducing the efficacy of preservation efforts. This thesis examines the history, legal precedents, and the future of archaeology in Western Maryland. Specifically, its focuses on Antietam Battlefield and its hospital system, demonstrating how its service as "one vast hospital" diffused and prolonged the effects of war in the region.
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