Antietam National Battlefield
|Antietam National Battlefield|
Bloody Lane at Antietam
|Location||Washington County, Maryland, U.S.|
|Nearest city||Sharpsburg, MD|
|Coordinates||39°28′N 77°44′W / 39.47°N 77.74°WCoordinates: 39°28′N 77°44′W / 39.47°N 77.74°W|
|Area||3,230 acres (13.1 km2)|
|Established||August 30, 1890|
|Visitors||384,987 (in 2011)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Website||Antietam National Battlefield|
Antietam National Battlefield
|Location||N of Sharpsburg off MD 45, Sharpsburg, Maryland|
|NRHP reference #||66000038|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
Antietam National Battlefield is a National Park Service protected area along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Washington County, northwestern Maryland. It commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam that occurred on September 17, 1862.
The area, situated on fields among the Appalachian foothills near the Potomac River, features the battlefield site and visitor center, a national military cemetery, stone arch Burnside's Bridge and a field hospital museum.
In the Battle of Antietam, General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North ended on this battlefield in 1862. Established as Antietam National Battlefield Site August 30, 1890, the park was transferred from the War Department August 10, 1933, and redesignated November 10, 1978. Along with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Additional documentation on the site was recorded by the National Park Service on February 27, 2009.
Antietam National Cemetery, which adjoins the park, covers 11.36 acres (4.60 ha) and contains more than 4,976 interments (1,836 unidentified). The cemetery was commissioned in 1865, and interments begun in 1867 after an arduous process of identifying the dead, which was only successful in about 40% of cases. Civil War era burials in this cemetery consist of only Union soldiers; Confederate dead were interred in the Washington Confederate Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland; Mt. Olivet Cemetery, in Frederick, Maryland; and Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The cemetery also contains the graves of veterans and their wives from the Spanish–American War, both World Wars, and the Korean War. The cemetery was closed to additional interments in 1953. Two exceptions have been made, the first in 1978 for Congressman Goodloe Byron and the second in 2000 for the remains of USN Fireman Patrick Howard Roy who was killed in the attack on the USS Cole. The cemetery was placed under the War Department on July 14, 1870; it was transferred to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933. The gatehouse at the cemetery's entrance was the first building designed by Paul J. Pelz, later architect of the Library of Congress.
The Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center contains museum exhibits about the battle and the Civil War. The Visitor Center was constructed in 1962 as part of the Mission 66 plan. A 26-minute orientation film narrated by James Earl Jones is shown on the hour and the half-hour. The visitor center is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Park rangers offer interpretive talks. An audio tour is available for purchase to accompany the self-guided 8.5-mile (13.7 km) driving tour of the battlefield with eleven stops. Park Grounds are open daylight hours. There is a park entrance fee of $5.00 per person (age 17 or older; 16 and under FREE) or $10.00 per vehicle. The entrance fee is valid for three days.
Pry House Field Hospital Museum
The Pry House Field Hospital Museum is located in the house that served as Union Commander General George B. McClellan's headquarters during the battle. Exhibits focus on period medical care of the wounded, as well as information about the Pry House. The museum is sponsored by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
Additional battlefield preservation
The Civil War Trust (a division of the American Battlefield Trust) and its federal, state and local partners, including the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, have acquired and preserved 461 acres (1.87 km2) of the overall battlefield,including the "epicenter" tract, a 44.4-acre, previously privately-owned parcel in the heart of the battlefield park between the Cornfield and the Dunker Church. The land, also known as the Wilson farm, was purchased by the Trust in 2015 for about $1 million. The preservation organization has since removed the postwar house and barn that stood on the property along Hagerstown Pike and returned the land to its wartime appearance.
Battle of Antietam
The Battle began at dawn on September 17, 1862, when Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker began the Union artillery bombardment of the Confederate positions of Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in the Miller cornfield. Hooker's troops advanced behind the falling shells and drove the Confederates from their positions. Around 7 a.m. Jackson reinforced his troops and pushed the Union troops back. Union Maj. Gen. Joseph K. Mansfield sent his men into the fray and regained some of the ground lost to the Confederates.
As the fighting in the cornfield was coming to a close, Maj. Gen. William H. French was moving his Federals forward to support Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick and veered into Confederate Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill's troops posted in the Sunken Road. Fierce fighting continued here for four hours before the Union troops finally took the road.
On the southeast side of town, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's XI Corps had been trying to cross Antietam Creek since mid-morning, being held up by only 500 Georgia sharpshooters. Around 1 p.m., they finally crossed Burnside's Bridge and took the heights. After a 2-hour lull to reform the Union lines, they advanced up the hill, driving the Confederates back towards Sharpsburg. But for the timely arrival of Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill's division from Harpers Ferry, Burnside would have entered Sharpsburg. Instead, the Union troops were driven back to the heights above the bridge.
The battle was over with the Union sitting on three sides, waiting for the next day. During the night of the 18th, General Lee pulled his troops back across the Potomac River, leaving the battle and the town to General McClellan. Also during this battle 23 thousand died, wounded, and missing on both sides during the battle. Among the lost was a young man named Klien Cook, aged only 16. He lived his short life in southern Mississippi until he was 15 when he joined the Confederates. Many young men just like him were lost—not only adults, but young men like him.
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- Tilberg, Frederick (1960). "Across the Potomac". Antietam National Battlefield Site Maryland Historical Handbook. National Park Service. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
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- Tilberg, Frederick (1960). "Antietam National Battlefield Site and Cemetery". Antietam National Battlefield Site Maryland Historical Handbook. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
- "WEEKLY LIST OF ACTIONS TAKEN ON PROPERTIES: 2/23/09 THROUGH 2/27/09". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-06.
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- "1930's". NPS Chronological Timeline. National Park Service. May 19, 2006. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
- Pry House Museum, accessed October 8, 2013
- American Battlefield Trust "Saved Land" webpage. Accessed May 30, 2018.
- "Critical Piece of Antietam Battlefield Preserved," Hagerstown (Md.) Herald Mail, Sept. 30, 2015. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.
- Antietam Rebirth Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.
- Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland Brochure; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; Harpers Ferry Design Center, Harpers Ferry, WV
- "Maryland Monument of the Battle of Antietam". C-SPAN. September 16, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Antietam National Battlefield.|
- Official website
- Antietam National Cemetery
- NPS: Image archive
- "Sites of Memory" – 28 photos of Antietam National Cemetery
- Western Maryland Regional Library: history of Antietam National Cemetery – History of Antietam National Cemetery, including a descriptive list of all the loyal soldiers buried therein together with the ceremonies and address on the occasion of the dedication of the grounds, September, 17th, 1867
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. MD-934, "Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg vicinity, Washington County, MD", 112 photos, 2 color transparencies, 11 photo caption pages
- HABS No. MD-936, "Antietam National Cemetery, Shepherdstown Pike (State Route 34), Sharpsburg, Washington County, MD", 14 photos, 2 color transparencies, 1 measured drawing, 2 photo caption pages
- HABS No. MD-936-A, "Antietam National Cemetery, Lodge House, Shepherdstown Pike (State Route 34), Sharpsburg, Washington County, MD", 12 photos, 4 color transparencies, 11 measured drawings, 38 data pages, 5 photo caption pages
- HABS No. MD-936-B, "Antietam National Cemetery, Entrance Gates, Shepherdstown Pike (State Route 34), Sharpsburg, Washington County, MD", 8 photos, 1 color transparency, 2 measured drawings, 2 photo caption pages
- HABS No. MD-203, "Dunker Church, Hagerstown & Smoketown Roads, Sharpsburg vicinity, Washington County, MD", 8 photos, 6 measured drawings, 1 photo caption page
- Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) No. MD-2, "Mumma Farm, Smoketown Road, Sharpsburg, Washington County, MD", 7 measured drawings