"ANTIETAM - HIGWATER MARK FOR THE CONFEDERACY" Top 5 Page for this destination Antietam by mtncorg

Antietam Travel Guide: 95 reviews and 300 photos

Both the battlefields here at Antietam and at nearby Gettysburg share a rural beauty that can stay with the visitor long after their visit. Antietam is a little harder to get to - you have to look at your map closer - and doesn't have the star quality that Gettysburg boasts. Nor does it have all of the other obnoxious side events that litter the Pennsylvanian town. This is to the visitor's benefit. You can wander among its monuments - only 93 here compared to over a thousand at Gettysburg - virtually alone. Outside of the Visitor Center, you can find solitude here outside of the summer vacation season. This allows the serious history tourist - or even a more casually-inclined visitor - to come into direct contact with the ghosts of the past.

I highly recommend two books and one map that would help make sense of the different actions that took place here at Antietam (and the preceding actions at nearby South Mountain - see my Burkittsville tips for more on those sites): 'The Guide to the Battle of Antietam' by Jay Luvaas/Harold Nelson and the 'Antietam National Battlefield Map' from Trailhead Graphics are great tools for looking over the battlefield. Events here took place over only one day and by the nature of the battle, they are easier to follow than at Gettysburg, where the battle took place over three days. Another excellent book is Stephen Sears' 'Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam', which will give you volumes more detail about the battle and men involved. There is a great article posted on the American Heritage website by Sears - he used to be an editor for AH - that gives a comprehensive synopsis of the actions that took place and how to go about visiting the battlefield, getting the most out of your visit. Yet another website, Center for Military History gives you an online Staff Ride perspective of the battle and the grounds.

My tips are laid out in an order found similar to the path you would take if following the Luvaas/Nelson guide, which for the most part, follows the battle in chronological order, starting from the headquarter site for the Federal commander, George McClellan. The route is very similar to the auto route suggested in the Park brochure but varies at a couple points, especially in regard to starting point.

Recent additions to the Antietam landscape include hero's of different sorts - look to both the Burkittsville tips - ie the New War Correspondents tip and here in amongst the Antietam tips look to the National Cemetery tip where a hero of more recent vintage lies.

A couple of nice websites which will give you the story of the Battle of Antietam in reasonably concise fashion include Antietam campaign and Antietam visit.

  • Intro Updated Apr 10, 2009
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Reviews (19)

Comments (5)

  • littlesam1's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    I was just in Antietam yesterday. I decided to do a little research before beginning my VT page. I googled Antietam and found your page. Great job.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2007 at 3:33 PM

    As someone indicated, why buy the books, it's all here. Genuine five star stuff (what we expect).

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2007 at 5:29 PM

    Fascinating account of a place of such historical significance. I learned a lot from this page. Even more than I got from reading Shaara's books. :)

  • bruingirl's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2006 at 1:05 PM

    I just feel like I had a history lesson!!! Thank you for the IN DEPTH look at Antietam! Now I know where to reference when I travel out there someday....great pics as well! Another job well done by mtncorg! Hope all is well in OR!!!! :)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2006 at 2:06 PM

    A fascinating new page with brilliant photos! Whenever I read about a place like this I am always aghast at how many casualties there were, and how chaotic it all was in those days with no radio communications or GPS. (Maybe it still is?)


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