I have for, about 10 years, been looking forward to visiting Antietam.  I read a series of books based near the battlefield that sparked my curiosity.  What started out as a promising visit turned out to not be so great.

We stopped into the visitors center on a bright sunny afternoon and listened to the Ranger Talk that gives you a brief (30 minute) overview of the battle.  We then headed out to visit the battle field.  The nice guy at the information desk assured us that we could find parking pulling our trailer (we didn't have time to unhitch it as we still had a two hour drive to get to our home for the week) as the roads were built for tour buses BUT it depended on how many cars were at the stops.

You will notice, if you have ever visited, that I am missing many of the "usual" picture vantage points, statues, and signs.  When we walked out the weather started to look ominous and at the first few stops we couldn't park the  truck and trailer.  Until we reached the Sunken Road aka Bloody Lane, at Frank's suggestion & blog post, I really, really wanted to walk the Bloody Lane.  At this point the the thunder started and we had to return to the truck.  We drove down to Burnside's Bridge but didn't get out.  The lighting was pretty bad for pictures and you could smell the rain in the air.  I tried to snap a few shots from the road but they didn't turn out....blurry.  A few minutes later it started to rain on us.  With a lot of disappointment, we headed out to our campground in Virginia.

So keeping that in mind -

Things I learned at Antietam -

1.  McClellen was given a synopsis of Lee's plans to invade the north, which was found on the road with Cigars.

2.  A southern sympathizer was in the group McClellan announced this to and made sure Lee knew.

3.  The National Cemetary was closed to new burials in 1953, until a special request was made for a U.S. Navy Fireman killed on the USS Cole by the name of Patrick Roy.

4.  23,000 causalties (wounded, missing, killed)

5.  The Battle Of Antietam ended the first invasion into the North

6.  Maryland has a dual memorial (confederate and Union) as it was a border state it was truly split between the sides.

7.  It was the single bloodiest one day battle in American History.

8.  At one point in the battle, one group of soldiers highest ranking officer was a captain because all the higher officer were casualties.

9.  Antietam is still used to train Military Officers in battlefield tactics.  As a matter of fact, that is why they have the Observation Tower.

10.  The Bible of Dunker Church was stolen by a Union Soldier but returned sometime after his death.

Things I didn't learn at Antietam but looked up online -
1.  The battle lasted 12 hours.

2.  After eight hours, 15,000 were already killed or wounded.

3.  Not all of the Union force entered the battle.

4.  Union -killed 2100, wounded 9,550, missing/captured 750 (approx numbers)

5.  Confed - killed 1,550, wounded 7,750, missing/captured 1,020 (approx)

6.  Six Generals Killed

7.  500 cannons were used in Antietam with 50,000 rounds firing.

For more information -

National Park System - Antietam National Battlefield


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