Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam National Battlefield is the site of the bloodiest single day battle during the American Civil War. Antietam is located right outside of Sharpsburg, Maryland along Antietam Creek near the great Potomac River that divided the South states safe ground of Virginia from the Northern State of Maryland.

Antietam National Battlefield New York Monument and cannons

Maryland had troops fight on both sides of the Antietam Battlefield with the Baltimore Brigade fighting for the South.  The Maryland Monument that stands in the fields of Antietam recognizes both sides of the fighting.

Antietam National Battlefield Maryland Monument and Dunker Church

Many states that lost soldiers during the fighting erected monuments in the fields. New York and Maryland were both impressive, both close to the Visitor’s Center. Many of the monuments were located in different spots around the area where specific state brigades fought during the Battle of Antietam.

Antietam National Battlefield field

If you are a military history buff there is much information on the advances, retreats, defeats, soldiers, officers, and bystanders. A good place to start your tour would be at the Visitor’s Center to watch the 25 minute movie. The rangers will give you a map of a driving or walking tour totaling around 8 miles if you do the whole thing. My Bed and Breakfast had a CD tour to use in your car as you drive. There are many spots to pull off the road for pictures, to read signs, view monuments, and reflect.

Antietam National Battlefield fences

Clara Barton aided the wounded at Antietam. Here is her monument:

Antietam National Battlefield Clara Barton Monument

Sunken Road was the site of many Confederate soldiers deaths. They at first had good positioning but then became stuck between the fences on the lowered road. From the Observation Tower here you can see the entire Antietam Battlefield.

Antietam National Battlefield Sunken Road

The tour ends at Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg. The dead are buried according to their states. It is absolutely heart wrenching to see the rows and rows of young men who did not get to chance to grow old.

Antietam National Cemetery

In a lonely back corner of the cemetery were two stones side by side- the only Iowa deaths at Antietam.  It was a heart-wrenching sight to see- two boys far from home, alone in Maryland with no one surrounding them.

Iowa graves at Antietam National Cemetery

Antietam National Battlefield is a must-see historical place to learn about the American Civil War. A beautiful sight now, you will remember the horrors of the war and learn from the events that occurred here 150 years ago.

Antietam National Cemetery

I spent two afternoons touring Antietam because the wind and the rain brought Day 1 to a screeching halt. I was very glad to be able to return on Day 2 and walk a lot more of the area. The entrance fee is $5 per person or $10 per car paid at the Visitor’s Center. My plans for the year include a lot of National Park visits so I purchased an $80 annual pass for all US National Parks. No matter the weather or time of year, you will learn a lot about American Civil War history at Antietam National Battlefield. If you are driving through Western Maryland or live in the mid-Atlantic, put Antietam on your to-do list.

Antietam National Battlefield near Sunken Road



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4 Responses

  1. What an interesting spot! Even though it’s sad, I find it fascinating to wander battlefields like this and picture what it might have been like. #TravelTuesday

  2. Saran says:

    Being a history aficionado myself, your blog brings fond memories of the civil war and war of Independence tours I took in Virginia and Maryland where I visited Yorktown, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Antietam. The pictures are impressive.

  3. Lyndall @ Seize The Day Project says:

    Such an interesting place to visit. I find it fascinating and sad to read the memorial plaques and headstones which help us connect with the individuals who died for a cause and their country. My husband loves military history – he would really love this place!

  4. Corinne says:

    It’s so much fun to visit historical sites that you learned about in school isn’t it?

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