Antietam National Cemetery commemorates 150th anniversary
It’s nearly impossible to imagine the bloody, gruesome scene after the 1862 Battle of Antietam. Men, horses, and equipment were scattered across the field. More than 22,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in just 12 short hours of this, the bloodiest day in the Civil War. To put it another way, that’s about the same number as every man, woman, and child living today in Red Lion and Hanover.
Antietam National Battlefield will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Antietam National Cemetery September 16-17 with a full schedule of special programs, talks, living history displays, and hikes through the battlefield.
The battle was the first time the Confederacy moved north beyond the Potomac River, and General Robert E. Lee was hoping to threaten the larger cities in the north in an attempt to lure England and France into the war. The Union had found a lost Southern battle order, and therefore, Union generals knew their opponents’ exact plans. They outnumbered the Confederates, and, the Union generals still couldn’t destroy Robert E. Lee’s army.
After the fight, Lee retreated to safety across the Potomac and the North’s chance to push Lee into the river was lost.
The visitor center at the battlefield is filled with artifacts, offers a clear and precise video about the battle and the before and after. An easy to follow car tour hits all the major points on the battlefield.
To reach the battlefield, plug into your GPS — Antietam National Battlefield, 5831 Dunker Church Rd., Sharpsburg, MD 21782 It’s about 80 miles, depending on the route, or a two-hour drive.