Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam National Battlefield

Sights to See

Union Monuments

Connecticut 8th Infantry 11th Infantry
  14th Infantry 16th Infantry
Delaware 1st Infantry 2nd Infantry
  3rd Infantry  
Indiana Indiana State 3rd Cavalry
  7th Infantry 14th Infantry
  19th Infantry 27th Infantry
Maryland Maryland State (Union and Confederate) 2nd Infantry
  3rd Infanty 5th Infantry
  5th Infantry, Co. A & I Battery B, 1st MD Lt.
  Purnell Legion Battery A, MD Lt.
Massachusetts Massachusetts State 15th Infantry
  21st Infantry 29th Infantry (Irish Brigade)
  35th Infantry  
New Jersey New Jersey State 1st NJ Brigade
  13th Infantry Hexamer's Battery
New York New York State Irish Brigade
  4th Infantry 9th Infantry
  20th Infantry 34th Infantry
  51st Infantry 59th Infantry
  84th Infantry 104th Infantry
Ohio 1st Battery Lt. 5th, 7th, 66th, Infantry
  8th Infantry 11th Infantry
  12th Infantry 23rd Infantry
  28th Infantry 30th Infantry
  36th Infantry  
Pennsylvania Philadelphia Brigade 3rd Reserve (32 Inf)
  4th Reserve (33 Inf) 7th Reserve (36 Inf)
  8th Reserve (37 Inf) 12th Cavalry
  45th Infantry 48th Infanrty
  50th Infantry 51st Infantry
  90th Infantry 100th Infantry
  124th Infantry 125th Infantry
  128th Infantry 130th Infantry
  132nd Infantry 137th Infantry
  Bat. D, Durell's  
Vermont Old Vermont Brigade Co. F, 1st U.S.S.S.
  Co. E & H, 2nd U.S.S.S.  


Pry House Field Hospital Museum

Be sure to visit the new Pry House Field Hospital Museum. This new museum is located in the historic Pry House which served as Union Commander General George B. McClellan's headquarters during the battle. The museum is sponsored by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and is open daily during the summer from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call the museum to confirm the hours on (301) 416-2395 or call the main Frederick museum on (301) 695-1864. A $2.00 donation is suggested.

Individual Monuments

Clara Barton Col. J.H. Childs, 4th PA Cavalry
Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland Gen. Robert E. Lee
Lee's Headquarters Maj. Gen. Joseph K.F. Mansfield
William McKinley O.T. Reilly
Maj. Gen. Jesse Reno LtCol J. L. Stetson, 59th NY Infantry

Scenic Vistas

Most of the scenic vistas found across the battlefield today served as an important post for those in command at the time of the Battle of Antietam. Not only are scenic vistas valuable from an aesthetic standpoint, but also an interpretive one.

The observation room of the Visitor Center is located in the center of the park. From there, three-quarters of the battlefield's rolling hills are visible with South Mountain on the horizon. Historically, the site was the location of Stephen Lee's Confederate Artillery Battery.

The Pry overlook, located on the east side of the Pry house, offers a great view of the north and central sections of the battlefield. More importantly, this was the location of General McClellan's headquarters at the time of the battle. From the Pry overlook one can see Bloody Lane, the Visitor Center, the Mumma Farmstead and the Hawkins-Zouaves Monument.

The Hawkin's Zouaves monument marks the furthest advance of the Federal Army on September 17, 1862. From there, you can see almost the entire south end of the battlefield as well as South Mountain to the east.

Behind the National Cemetery, the magnificent view extends all the way to the gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Harpers Ferry. The location of this vista is where General Robert E. Lee sat on his horse Traveler, and watched the Federal advance towards the town of Sharpsburg.

Burnside Bridge is one of the most well-known and most visited historic landmarks at the battlefield. Located west of the bridge is an interpretive plaza, overlooking this famous structure. Visitors can stand here, directly above the Georgia Sharpshooter rifle pits, and view the position confederate infantrymen held as they fired down on the union soldiers struggling to cross the bridge. This is another area actively managed by park staff to prevent exotic/invasive plant species from overtaking the hillside.

Last but not least, the Observation Tower at the end of Bloody Lane offers spectacular views of nearly the entire battlefield. Erected in 1897, this structure was used by the U.S. War Department to study the battle lines and strategies.

Antietam National Cemetery

Burial details performed their grisly task with speed, but not great care. Graves ranged from single burials to long, shallow trenches accommodating hundreds. For example, William Roulette, whose farm still stands behind the Visitor Center today, had over 700 soldiers buried on his property. Grave markings were somewhat haphazard, from stone piles to rough-hewn crosses and wooden headboards. A few ended up in area church cemeteries. In other cases, friends or relatives removed bodies from the area for transport home. By March of 1864, no effort had been made to find a suitable final resting place for those buried in the fields surrounding Sharpsburg. Many graves had become exposed; something had to be done.

Establishing a Plan
In 1864, State Senator Lewis P. Firey introduced to the Maryland Senate a plan to establish a state, or national, cemetery for the men who died in the Maryland Campaign of 1862. On March 23, 1865, the state established a burial site by purchasing 11¼ acres for $1,161.75.

The original Cemetery Commission's plan allowed for burial of soldiers from both sides. However, the rancor and bitterness over the recently completed conflict and the devastated South's inability to raise funds to join in such a venture persuaded Maryland to recant. Consequently, only Union dead are interred here. Confederate remains were re-interred in Washington Confederate Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland; Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland; and Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Approximately 2,800 Southerners are buried in these three cemeteries, over 60% of whom are unknown.

An Arduous Task
In an effort to locate grave sites and identify the occupants, no one was of more value than two area men: Aaron Good and Joseph Gill. In the days, months, and years following the battle, these men freely gave of their time and gathered a large number of names and burial locations. The valuable service provided by these men cannot be overstated. The dead were identified by letters, receipts, diaries, photographs, marks on belts or cartridge boxes, and by interviewing relatives and survivors. Contributions totaling over $70,000 were submitted from 18 Northern states to the administrators of the Antietam National Cemetery Board. With a workforce consisting primarily of honorably discharged soldiers, the cemetery was completed by September 1867.

On September 17, 1867, on the fifth anniversary of the battle, the cemetery was ready for the dedication ceremonies. The ceremony was important enough to bring President Andrew Johnson and other dignitaries. President Johnson proclaimed, "When we look on yon battlefield, I think of the brave men who fell in the fierce struggle of battle, and who sleep silent in their graves. Yes, many of them sleep in silence and peace within this beautiful enclosure after the earnest conflict has ceased."

The Dunker Church

The Battle of Antietam, fought September 17, 1862, was one of the bloodiest battles in the history of this nation. Yet, one of the most noted landmarks on this great field of combat is a house of worship associated with peace and love. Indeed, the Dunker Church ranks as perhaps one of the most famous churches in American military history. This historic structure began as a humble country house of worship constructed by local Dunker farmers in 1852. It was Mr. Samuel Mumma, owner of the nearby farm that bears his name, that donated land in 1851 for the Dunkers to build their church. During its early history the congregation consisted of about half a dozen-farm families from the local area.

During The Battle
On the eve of the Battle of Antietam, the members of the Dunker congregation, as well as their neighbors in the surrounding community, received a portent of things to come. That Sunday, September 14, 1862, the sound of cannons booming at the Battle of South Mountain seven miles to the east was plainly heard as the Dunkers attended church. By September 16 Confederate infantry and artillery was being positioned around the church in anticipation of the battle that was fought the next day.

During the battle of Antietam the church was the focal point of a number of Union attacks against the Confederate left flank. Most after action reports by commanders of both sides, including Union General Hooker and Confederate Stonewall Jackson, make references to the church.

At battles end the Confederates used the church as a temporary medical aid station. A sketch by well known Civil War artist Alfred Waud depicts a truce between the opposing sides being held in front of the church on September 18, in order to exchange wounded and bury the dead. At least one account states that after the battle the Union Army used the Dunker Church as an embalming station. One tradition persists that Lincoln may have visited the site during his visit to the Army of the Potomac in October 1862.

As for the old church, it was heavily battle scarred with hundreds of marks from bullets in its white washed walls. Likewise artillery had rendered serious damage to the roof and walls. By 1864 the Church was repaired, rededicated and regular services were held there until the turn of the century.

After the War
The congregation built a new church in the town of Sharpsburg. Souvenir hunters took bricks from the walls of the church and a lack of adequate maintenance weakened the old structure. In 1921 a violent storm swept through the area flattening the church.

The land and church ruins were put up for sale and purchased by Sharpsburg resident Elmer G. Boyer. He salvaged most of the undamaged material of the building and in turn sold the property. The new property owner built a home on the foundation of the old church and in the 1930's operated a gas station and souvenir shop on the site. This structure was removed in 1951 when the property was purchased by the Washington County Historical Society. They in turn donated the site, then just a foundation, to the National Park Service. The Church was restored for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle in 1962 on the original foundation with as much original materials as possible and now stands as a beacon of peace on the battlefield.

The Dunker Church Today
A visit to the Dunker Church today is like a step back into time. Take a seat inside and contemplate the sacrifice of the people of 1862. Note the simplicity of the church with its plain windows, crude wooden benches on which you may have sat for hours during the services in bygone years, and the simple table at the front where the elders of the church would have read from the old Bible.

Other Monuments

Mortuary Cannons Confederate Generals Union Generals
Brig. Gen. George B. Anderson
Maj. Gen. Joseph K. F. Mansfield
  Brig. Gen. Lawrence O'Brian Branch Maj. Gen. Israel B. Richardson
  Brig. Gen. William E. Starke Brig. Gen. Isaac P. Rodman
Go to more information about the six Generals who were killed at Antietam
Other Monuments: Private Solder "Old Simon" Monument in the National Cemetery
  War Correspondents Memorial Arch located at Crampton's Gap

Captain Tompkins Collection

Captain John A. Tompkins commanded Battery A, 1st Rhode Island Artillery at the Battle. His battery was part of the Second Corps attack toward the Sunken Road or Bloody Lane. Captain Tompkins and his men fired over 1,000 rouds of ammunition is about three hours and withstood a Confederate infantry attack right into their guns that led to hand to hand fighting.

Confederate Monuments

Georgia Georgia State Monument  
Maryland Baltimore Battery  
  1st MD Battery, Dement
  Maryland State Monument (Union and Confederate)
Texas Texas State Monument  
Army of Northern Virginia, 6th Virginia Infantry


Primarily built by veterans of the battle and states to commemorate their sacrifices here, the monuments are typically located where the troops fought during the battle. There are ninety-six monuments at Antietam, the majority of which are Union. After the war, the former Confederacy was so devastated it was difficult for the veterans to raise the needed money to build monuments.

There are regimental monuments, state monuments and monuments to individuals. At Antietam, there were six generals killed or mortally wounded. The location of where these generals fell is marked by a mortuary cannon, an inverted cannon barrel in a block of stone. There is even a monument to war correspondents. Our monument pages also include monuments located on South Mountain at Fox's Gap and Crampton's Gap.

You can be part of our efforts to maintain the monuments. The park has an Adopt-a-Monument program where you can contribute to help preserve these tangible reminders of sacrifice.