"MCKINLEY MONUMENT" Top 5 Page for this destination Antietam Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Antietam Things to Do: 71 reviews and 190 photos
At the Burnside Bridge parking lot, at the right end, a tall monument beckons. Many battlefield monuments are not just heroism and sacrifice, but also timing and politics. That said, Sgt. William McKinley did show courage and valor in bringing food to his fellow soldiers of 23rd Ohio under fire. Dedicated in 1903, two years after McKinley was assassinated. The monument reflects a nation's grief more than any turning point in this battle. McKinley was the last President - there were five - who actively took part in the Civil War. He enlisted as a private, serving in the supply/quartermaster - wing of the 23rd Ohio Regiment (commanded for a time by another President-to-be, Rutherford Hays). By War's end, he was a major through acts of stolid bravery and devotion to duty. The importance of Federal soldiers following the Civil War was important for continued Republican control of the government, lasting most of the latter part of the 19th Century. Democrats were represented the South and Rebellion while the GOP stood for the Union and her soldiers. At election time, Republicans waved 'the bloody shirt' to remind voters which party was for the veterans and which was not. Add 'the bloody shirt' to McKinley's brave record here at Antietam - and throughout the War - along with his cowardly assassination - and the general explosion of battlefield monuments occurring at the birth of the 20th Century - here and on other fields - and the result is the monument here.
Two trails also take off from here. One goes along the Antietam Creek to Snavelys Ford, used by Union troops to get around the bottleneck of Burnside Bridge. Along the creek, you can see that the waters are a bit too deep to cross just anywhere. Also on the creek you will find yourself in a rural beauty belying the fact so many died or were scarred only a short distance beyond. The second trail is the Final Attack trail taking you on foot over the ground that Burnside's troops now covered after their successful capture of the bridge.
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