The Antietam scenes were purchased by an art collector and hung in the eaves of a church for many years where the paintings were further damaged by birds and rodents.
In 1979, the National Park Service purchased the paintings and began a rescue effort. With ladders, scaffolding, sweat and and effort, Park Service curators struggled to remove the paintings that were nailed to the wall with 6 inch spikes. Each painting weighing well over 200 pounds had to be delicately lowered, stabilized and packed for their trip to Maryland. Now painstakingly restored, the Hope paintings provide us one veteran's vision of the Battle of Antietam.