The Antietam National Cemetery was established in 1866 and 1867 by money donated by the different loyal states. It contains ten acres of land and was kept up by these States until about 1880. The States being anxious to have the Government take charge of it, therefore was purposely neglected, and before the United States Government took charge the grass and weeds grew up high in it. Then a superintendent was given charge of it by the Government and it was properly cared for.
Old Simon, the big “soldier” on the monument in the center, was given his name by an unknown lady of this town when he was being rolled in from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, on heavy planks, and was erected about 1878. It was designed and made at James G. Batterson’s quarries near Providence, R. I. It was first sent to the Centennial in 1876 at Philadelphia and stood to the right of the main entrance. After the close of the Centennial it was taken down and sent to Washington, D. C. It was then loaded on a canal boat and brought to Snyder’s landing and rolled on planks for a distance of nearly two miles on small rollers, the rollers running on oak planks, through the town and erected. The entire monument stands 47 feet high, the man is 21 feet 6 inches high, composed of two pieces, being put together at the belt. The entire monument contains 28 pieces, weighs 250 tons and cost $32,000.
from “The Battlefield of Antietam” by R. C. Miller (1906)