Antietam National Battlefield comprises 3,255 acres of forested and agricultural lands in north-central Maryland and is the site of the culmination of the first Confederate invasion of the Union on September 17, 1862. The landscape found on the fields of Antietam provides visitors with a view back into time, to see the land as it appeared, when two great armies fought here 142 years ago.
Across this pastoral setting are over 40 Historic Buildings, miles of wooden fence, and stone walls defining the acres of fields on which 23,110 soldiers were killed or wounded. The National Battlefield offers a Visitor Center, a nine-mile tour road, three self-guiding trails, and the opportunity to immerse oneself in a time that changed this nation forever.
- Antietam National Battlefield was established by the U.S. War Department in 1890 and became a part of the National Park System in 1934.
- Antietam National Battlefield is the site of the single bloodiest one-day battle in American History.
- As a result of the Battle, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
- The National Battlefield receives over 300,000 visitors annually.
- Antietam National Battlefield has an annual operating budget of 2.8 million dollars.
- Dunker Church – This simple white-washed house of worship for the local Brethren congregation became a focal point for repeated clashes as both armies sought to occupy and hold the high ground around it.
- The Sunken Road – During three hours of horrific combat, over 5,000 soldiers in blue and gray were killed and wounded for control of this country farm lane that afterward would be forever known as Bloody Lane.
- Burnside Bridge – This graceful three-arched stone bridge is named for Union commander Ambrose Burnside whose troops made repeated assaults to take the bridge.
- Antietam National Cemetery – This beautiful hilltop cemetery is the final resting place for 4,776 Union soldiers, 1,836 of them unknown, buried here from Antietam and other Maryland battles.
Obviously, the Civil War was a defining moment in the history of the United States. If you’re looking for a historical experience, Antietam is worth a visit.