Coffee Break Hero of the Battle.

Official William McKinley Coffee Break Monument

Field review by the editors.

Sharpsburg, Maryland

In 1903, two years after President McKinley had been assassinated, a group of Ohio Civil War veterans erected a 33-foot-tall pillar on the battlefield at Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland. It marks the spot where, as a teenager in 1862, the future President served coffee to his comrades during combat. The inscription on the monument, which is embellished with an eagle on a globe and a sculpted woman in mourning, notes that McKinley delivered his coffee "under fire" and "personally and without orders."

The tale of McKinley's coffee break bravery became a political asset, told and retold with every election, until it eventually became a presidential hero legend.

Visiting this monument with a thermos mug of hot coffee and a platter of doughnuts would be disrespectful... but you should read about the antics McKinley has endured at some of his other memorials.

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Official William McKinley Coffee Break Monument

Antietam National Battlefield

Address:
Old Burnside Bridge Rd, Sharpsburg, MD
Directions:
In Antietam National Battlefield, at the end of Old Burnside Bridge Rd.
Hours:
Summer daily 8:30-6; off-season 8:30-5. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
301-432-5124
Admission:
Battlefield admission fee
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