"September 17, 1862 - America's Bloodiest Day" Top 5 Page for this destination Antietam by mrclay2000

Antietam Travel Guide: 95 reviews and 300 photos

Farm Boys and a Corn Field

By the time the Federal armies met the Confederates in this lazy corner of Maryland, the posture of the Civil War had begun to take on a recognizable form. Union general McClellan had always managed to convince himself of superior numbers in the enemy, though not once in battle did he ever face a more numerous foe. On this particular occasion, he happened upon the general Confederate plan of battle before the troops ever took their positions. This fortunate accident was even more to his advantage than the obvious fact. His reputation of avoiding heavy casualties, even avoiding direct engagement wherever possible, would momentarily fade as he committed his forces and sustained the attack. By the end of the day, more Americans would lie dead or dying in fields that the day before had been peacefully covered with shoulder-high stalks of corn. Matthew Brady's photographs of the carnage brought home to every American hearth all the horrors of a Civil War that had started with almost a romantic flare, but had since become a slow-grinding sequel of fire and destruction.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Easy to follow park road, many structures still standing
  • Cons:The battlefield seems too much like a series of exhibits
  • In a nutshell:Essential ground for every Civil War buff
  • Last visit to Antietam: Aug 1995
  • Intro Written Feb 13, 2003
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Reviews (7)

Comments (6)

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2006 at 7:14 PM

    Antietam is by far our favorite battlefield and you captured it well. Great photo in Sunken Lane!

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2003 at 8:02 AM

    Nice tour over the bloody grounds. No cannonades, though?

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2003 at 12:20 PM

    I always wondered what that ditch looks like. Hard to imagine what those boys felt like in that ditch in September of 1862.

  • dave_21's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2003 at 2:26 PM

    Thanks for sharing some history and quality acting at the same time =) Very interesting page.

  • ExGuyParis's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2003 at 8:33 AM

    A bit of a paradox-- this now-peaceful and beautiful place commemorates its day as a horrible place. BTW, congratulations on your Rookie Rank. It shows that VTers appreciate quality!

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2003 at 6:23 PM

    I've seen those photos taken in the sunken lane.


“I have no illusions. I lost them on my travels.”

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