Where did O.T. Reilly live?

John Schildt gave his wonderful Antietam Hospitals talk at the Hagerstown Civil War Round table last night. I get giddy before I hear John speak because he is one of those rare storytellers who really takes you back in time. He did not disappoint.

Before the talk he asked me if I knew where O.T. Reilly's childhood Keedysville home was. I told him that when I only had a few clues, some from his grand-daughter and some from old newspapers. I remembered that in 1933 he wrote a whole biopic in the Shepherdstown Register. I told John I would check it out and see what I could find.

The best part of this biopic is the reason he wrote it. In 1933 the National Park Service took over the Antietam Battlefield Site. One of the first things they did was try to get the townspeople were giving tours to take a test. Well, O.T., "the eye-witness guide" had been giving tours for almost 60 years and was not about to let that happen. So, he took his case to the paper. He already wrote a weekly column, so he decided to use this venue to let people know exactly who he was and tell them about his amazing experiences as a child at the time of the Battle of Antietam.

I will be transcribing his biopic over the next few weeks. But it all started with this.