It happened just outside of Sharpsburg, Maryland, so that was the Confederate name for this battle: Sharpsburg.  The Yankees called it Antietam.  Today, most of us refer to it as the single bloodiest day of battle in all of the American Civil War.

September 17, 1862

Today is the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.






The Sunken Road — also known as Bloody Lane

DSCN1724 Here is a view of the Sunken Road as seen from an observation tower.  The War Department had the tower built in 1896 as part of the U.S. military’s early efforts at building an open air classroom at Antietam. Indeed, this battlefield continues to be an educational experience.

The War Department established 5 National Military Parks in the 1890’s —   Antietam, Gettysburg, Chickamauga-Chattanooga, Shiloh, and Vicksburg.  These five parks were transferred to the National Park Service in 1933.

The Sunken Road was both a blessing and a curse.

The Sunken Road was both a blessing and a curse.


The bridge over Antietam Creek

The battle over this bridge lasted for 3-1/2 hours

The battle for control over this bridge lasted for 3-1/2 hours



DSCN1753After the Battle, the bridge was renamed and became Burnside Bridge, named after Union General Ambrose Burnside.

This tree somehow survived all those hours of crossfire.




More men were killed or wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862, than on any other single day of the Civil War.  While it was not a decisive victory for either side, it was a turning point in The War Between The States.  I encourage you to click on this link and learn more.


14 responses to “Antietam

  1. Civil War battlefields are amazing places to visit. I would love to go and explore all of them. Or at least the big ones.

  2. my teacher took our class on a field trip to gettysburg in 7th grade, and my family went to manassas when i was in college. they’re haunting places, for sure.

    • Alice, one of the cool things about being here for only a few years is that we work at seeing these kinds of places. I do admit that my kids refused to join us on this trip. I think they missed out!

  3. Very cool photos!

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  5. Oh I LOVE Antietam! The schools turn that field trip into the most BORING thing ever — I know… I chaperoned! But when I took the kids up there on my own, we all learned SO much and had a really good time! Did you go this weekend?

  6. Wow, the tree is what really got me — love the then and now photos!

  7. Such a beautiful place for so much hate and destruction!

    I am always humbled and feel horribly small when I stand in a place where momentous historical events transpired.

  8. If that tree could talk…

    Such wonderful photos, KC. Your perspective on many of them is marvelous. I love the bridge and how you coupled your images with the drawings. Too bad your kidlets opted out. Maybe next time. 🙂

  9. Great photos and great history! Thanks for sharing this.

  10. I love the newspaper picture of the bridge next to the picture of the bridge today.