Description - More men were killed or wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862, than on any other single day of the Civil War. Federal losses were 12,410. Confederate losses 10,700. Although neither side gained a decisive victory, Lee's failure to carry the war effort effectively into the North caused Great Britain to postpone recognition of the Confederate government. The battle also gave President Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which, on January 1, 1863, declared free all slaves in states still in rebellion against the United States. Now the war had a dual purpose: to preserve the Union and end slavery.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Burnside Bridge at Antietam National Battlefield
- Antietam National Battlefield lies north and east of Sharpsburg, along MD 34 and 65. Both routes intersect either US 40 or 40A and I-70. The visitor center is north of Sharpsburg on MD 65 and is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. All visitor center facilities and most tour route exhibits are wheelchair accessible. Before starting your tour, visit the exhibits and audio-visual programs that provide an introduction to the battle and the Maryland Campaign. The 26-minute movie recreates the battle as well as President Abraham Lincoln's visit to the Union commander General George B. McClellan. Every day at 12:00 noon a new one-hour documentary about the battle of Antietam narrated by James Earl Jones is shown in the visitor center theater.
While touring the park, stay alert to all traffic. Bicyclists should use caution while descending hills. Use trails to avoid contact with stinging nettles, ticks, and snakes. Do not climb on cannons, monuments, fences, or trees.
Recreation - The historic battlefield allows opportunities for driving, hiking, walking and biking along eight miles of paved roads. Interpretive programs during the summer season are conducted daily either by rangers or costumed interpreters. Check at the visitor center for a daily schedule.
Bird watching is very popular at the park. The North American Bluebird Society maintains over 100 bluebird boxes.
Camping at the Rohrbach Group Campground requires a permit. Only organized groups are permitted to camp. Applications are available at the visitor center.
Horseback riding, in groups of five or less, is permitted on all paved roads and the Snavely Ford Trail. Riding on paved foot trails, parking areas or on agricultural lands is prohibited. Groups of six horses or more must obtain a special use permit. Horse trailers must park in the filed south of the Dunker Church.
Fishing in allowed on the Antietam Creek with a valid Maryland fishing license. Fishing is prohibited from or within 500 feet of Burnside Bridge. Boating or tubing on the Antietam Creek is permitted. Docking, removing, or putting in a boat or tube within 500 feet of Burnside Bridge is prohibited.
Relic hunting and / or the use or possession of a metal detector is prohibited.
Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.
Antietam National Battlefield is located approximately 15 miles south of Hagerstown, Maryland and approximately 50 miles north of the Capital Beltway.