Civil War Battlefields

Within 70 miles of Baltimore are two of the most important battle sites of the Civil War. One is Sharpsburg (Antietam) where more Americans died in battle on one day than any other day in our history. The other was Gettysburg, the actual turning point of the Civil War.

Antietam is more out of the way, and I get the feeling that is is far less visited than Gettysburg. There are not many monuments (excpet for Pennsylvania) and when I was there, very few visitors. This battle took place on September 17, 1862. Lee had split his army, having Stonewall Jackson go to Harpers Ferry W. VA. to deal with some Yankees. If Lee had not done that, the outcome might have been very different. As it stands, over 21,000 men were killed there in one day's fighting, the most in our country's history. My great-great grandfather was one of them and was wounded. The rangers there told me where his unit (5th Texas) fought, the "cornfield". It was very meaningful to me to gaze over that patch of land and imagine 145 years prior.

I only took two pictures that were of interest to me.


Click on any picture to enlarge


Sharpsburg (Antietam)

September 17, 1862

The Sunken Road, later nicknamed the Bloody Lane. More than 5,000 men died in this ditch. It was an old wagon trail that farmers used to go to market, and over the years, sunk a bit. The Southerners took a defensive position here with the Yankees charging from the right in this picture. The picture on the right was taken shortly after the battle.

There is a tower next to the sunken road and that is where I took the picture.

It is all peaceful now, but I cannot imagine the bravery of the men (on both sides) that fought here. For that reason, I couldn't place myself there in my mind like I can in so many places.

Burnside Bridge. Georgia infantry lined the banks of the Antietam River (on this side) and the Yankees had to cross this bridge. The bridge is only 10 feet across, and the Georgans picked them off like flies for most of the morning. Finally, the Yankees prevailed and crossed over.  



July 1, 1863 - July 3, 1863

I took many more pictures at Gettysburg than I did at Antietam. Mostly because they have erected many more statues there, more stories have been written about it, my same great-great grandfather also fought there, and it was more picturesque. Here are a few.

Click on any picture to enlarge.


Canons were everywhere. These are Confederate canons.
The Alabama memorial. I know I'm biased, but I believe the monuments from the South were much more artistic.

Lee, on top of the Virginia monument

Dead soldier's feet from the Louisiana memorial. Many Southerners were barefoot towards the end of the war.
Louisiana memorial
Little Round Top. Left flank of the Union Army, defended by the 20th Maine (led by Joshua Lawerence Chamberlain, my only Yankee hero).
The Virginia Memorial
The Louisiana Memoria - 'til Gabriel blows his horn
A Yankee soldier looks over the battlefield


View from Little Round Top




Nice names. They must have had a good time there.