Living in the Baltimore Metropolitan area we are surrounded by many historical battlefields.
Antietam National Battlefield
On a recent Sunday, we decided to spend the day visiting Antietam National Battlefield, where on September 17, 1862, two armies had the bloodiest one day battle in history.
The visitor center located in Sharpsburg, Maryland, offers a short film to provide a better understanding of what happened that fateful day. Afterward you can take the self-guided driving tour around the site. There are road markers and informative plaques to read along the tour. Park rangers are set up at different locations to answer questions and provide information. It’s a very solemn place to visit as you read and stand on the same ground that thousands of lives were lost during the battle.
Dunker Church Built in 1852 was the focal point for Union attacks the morning of the battle.
Antietam National Battlefield Tour
This 24 acre cornfield saw some of the worst fighting.
Climbing the steps to the Observation Tower, we were rewarded with these stunning views where you could see for miles.
The Burnside Bridge was built in 1836 and was made famous during the battle of Antietam. It’s currently under restoration, but worth a walk down to the creek to understand the difficulty of defending the bridge during the battle over Antietam Creek.
Antietam National Cemetery
The final stop was the Antietam National Cemetery. The cemetery is laid out in neat rows and organized by state from which the solider came from. 4776 Union soldiers were buried here and more than one third are unknown. A significant part of our country’s history lays here, which the National Cemetery allows us to pay respect to the great men who lost their lives in the single bloodiest day in American history.
In the last several years, people started to leave money on the tombstones, which we saw throughout the site.