"ANTIETAM - HIGWATER MARK FOR THE CONFEDERACY" Top 5 Page for this destination Antietam by mtncorg
Antietam Travel Guide: 95 reviews and 298 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.
Ever since the Civil War, it has become an Army tradition to wander the old battlefields in an effort to better... more travel advice
On top of a hill on the east end of Sharpsburg sits the Antietam National Cemetery. There were some 23000 casualties as... more travel advice
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