"Side trip to South Mountain Battlefield" Sharpsburg Things to Do Tip by Ewingjr98

Sharpsburg Things to Do: 23 reviews and 49 photos

  Me at South Mountain, Washington Mon State Park
by Ewingjr98
  • Me at South Mountain, Washington Mon State Park - Sharpsburg
      Me at South Mountain, Washington Mon State Park
    by Ewingjr98
  • Side trip to South Mountain Battlefield - Sharpsburg

The Battle of South Mountain took place just three days before Antietam, on 14 September 1862. The fighting occurred on three separate fields at Turner's Gap, Fox's Gap, and Crampton's Gap. The conflict began in the morning at Turner's and Fox's Gaps where the battle consisted of charges and counter-charges lasting much of the day. Further south at Crampton's Gap, the battle began around noon, and resulted in a clear Union victory as the initial Confederate forces, and reinforces were both overwhelmed and decimated. This defeat forced Lee to halt his invasion of the north and consolidate his forces at defensive positions at Sharpsburg.

Also in this area is Washington Monument State Park, the first monument in the world constructed to honor George Washington. It was created in 1827 by the residents of Boonville on top of a mountain and offering a spectacular view. The Appalachian Trail takes hikers past this monument.

The South Mountain Battlefields (and Washington Monument SP) are located between Sharpsburg and Interstate-70 nears Boonsboro. Starting at the north with Turner's Gap, the battlefield is located right along US Highway 40 at the entrance to Washington Monument State Park, perhaps 1 mile from central Boonsboro.

The next battlefield to the south, Fox's Gap, can be easily found by car by continuing east on US 40, take a right on Fox's Gap Rd, then take the next right on Reno Monument Rd to the battlefield. This battlefield could also be reached by walking the Appalachian Trail 1.5 miles south from Washington Monument.

Furthest south of the South Mountain battle sites is Crampton's Gap, at Gathland State Park. From Fox's Gap you could hike the Appalachian Trail about 4 miles south to the battlefield and state park or drive south on MD Route 67 to the park entrance at Gapland Road. Gathland SP also has a memorial to Civil War correspondents which was erected in 1896.

Directions: Boonsboro, MD, and Burkittsville, MD, just a few miles east of Sharpsburg. Gathland is one mile west of Burkittsville, off MD Route 17.
Phone: (301)791-4767
Website: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southmtbattle.html

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  • Updated Jan 6, 2007
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