Antietam National Battlefield

The Battle of Antietam was a Civil War battle fought on September 17, 1862. The Army of the Potomac, under the command of General George McClellan, engaged Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, MD. Despite superior numbers, the Union Army failed to exploit tactical advantages during the battle and Lee was able to withdraw south of the Potomac River. Although inconclusive, Antietam ended the Confederates' first invasion of the North. It was the bloodiest day in United States history, with over 22,700 dead, wounded, or missing.

Entrance Sign

Visitor Center


Museum Display

Museum display

View east from Visitor Center

There are 96 monuments at Antietam, most of which are located where the troops fought during the battle. Most of the monuments are Union since former Confederate veterans and states were hard pressed to raise money for monuments. There are regimental monuments, state monuments and monuments to individuals.

20th Regiment N.Y. Volunteers Monument

Maryland Monument (center)
New York Monument (right)

New York State Monument

Maryland Monument
(Union and Confederate)

5th, 7th, and 66th Ohio Infantry Monument

5th, 7th, and 66th Ohio Infantry Monument

7th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment Monument

Clara Barton Interpretive Sign

Clara Barton Memorial

Irish Brigade Monument

The Union forces attacked Confederate positions from the north and east during the battle at Antietam. Fighting occured at places like the Dunker Church, Miller's cornfield, Muma farm, and the Sunken Road (also called "Bloody Lane"). The Dunkers were a religious sect located in the Sharpsburg area. The War Department built an observation tower at the east end of Bloody Lane in 1897. Those willing to climb the tower are provided with great views of the battlefield.

Dunker Church

Interior of Dunker Church

Canon and Limbers

Civil War Canons

10-Pounder Parrot Rifle

3-Inch Ordnance Rifle

Model 1857 12-Pounder Howitzer

Model 1841 6-Pounder Gun

Miller's cornfield

Observation Tower
Interpretive Sign

War Department
Observation Tower

View northwest from
Observation Tower

Sunken road
(Bloody Lane)

Civil War re-enactments are a popular pastime, and especially so at Antietam National Battlefield. Re-enactments are held every year on the anniversary of the battle (September 17th), and I was fortunate enough to photograph one of these events.

Soldier's Kit

Union Soldiers

Camp Coffee


Confederate Flags

Stacked Rifles

Confederate soldiers

Daily rations

Period Costumes

Union Cavalryman


Shot and Shells

Confederate Soldiers

Gun crew reloading their canon

Firing the canon

Background content obtained from the National Park Service and Wikipedia.

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