To begin the tour, exit through the front doors of the visitor center, turn right and follow the black walkway. This sidewalk will take you on a loop that ends back at the center. The first stop is the battery of four cannons 150 yards down the walk.
Confederate Colonel S.D. Lee held this position with about nineteen guns with units from Virginia, Louisiana, and South Carolina. After three desperate hours, Lee's guns were finally driven from this position by long-range artillery fire from across Antietam Creek (one mile to the east) and by a series of Union attacks during the "morning phase" of the battle.
Continue on the paved walkway, crossing over the historic Hagerstown Turnpike to Dunker Church.
Dunker Church was built by the pacifist German Baptist Brethren and was the center of fighting in the early hours of the battle. Known as the Dunkers, they built their church using architecture that reflected a simple way of life. The building sustained heavy damage that day, but remained standing. It was used as a field hospital, as were many buildings in the area after the battle. A severe storm destroyed Dunker Church in 1921, but a local Sharpsburg man, Elmer Boyer, saved many pieces enabling the National Park Service to rebuild the church in the 1960s.
Cross back over the road and walk up the sidewalk to the large monument with the green dome.
The Maryland Monument is the only monument on the battlefield dedicated to the men who fought for both sides. Approximately 20,000 people attended the dedication on May 30, 1990. General James Longstreet, Henry Kyd Douglas and many veterans of both the North and the South were present. President William McKinley, a veteran of the Battle of Antietam, was the keynote speaker.
The tall monument with the eagle on top is the next stop on the walking tour.
The New York monument commemorates the fact that one quarter of the Union army at Antietam was from New York.
The next stop is the pink obelisk that has a stone flag draped over it.
The Twentieth New York Infantry was organized in New York City. Most of the recruits were recent immigrants living in New York City or Newark, New Jersey, and spoke only German. Just after 1 P.M., they charged the Confederates lined along the Hagerstown Turnpike. They drove the Southerners into the West Woods until they were abreast of Dunker Church, the possession of which had been so fiercely contested throughout the day. They were unable to hold the ground gained and had to fall back. The regiment suffered 145 casualties, some of whom are buried in the National Cemetery. Their veteran's association erected this monument in 1911.
Directions: From Capital Beltway, Take Interstate 270 to Interstate 70 West. Drive approximately 25 miles exiting onto MD State Route 65 South. Travel 10 miles to the Battlefield entrance. Walking tour begins from the visitor center's front doors (head north).
Elevation: 500 feet
Elevation Gain: Minimal
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Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland
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