Saturday, January 7, 2017

American Civil War Battlefields
Antietam National Military Park
Burnside Bridge, Antietam Creek
Sept. 17, 1863

 Photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Holly Jenkins-Evans

At 10:00 AM the fighting to take the Rohrbach Brige and hit Lee’s right flank  started. First the 11th CT, then Crook’s Brigade. At 11, Nagle’s Brigade tried again.  Finally, Ferrero’s brigade of the 51st NY and 51st PA charged the bridge, and with the support of Rodman’s men crossing downstream, the bridge was carried.

The banks here are steep enough to cause trouble. And indeed, once infantry was to start up the banks, it would have been a muddy, slippery, impossible morass. It was the bridge or nothing.


“More than 500 Union troops had been killed or wounded attempting to carry the crossing, known ever since as Burnside Bridge.

After the battle, the bridge was actively used for traffic until as recently as 1966. To preserve the bridge, a bypass was built to take cars on to a new bridge upstream. Today, visitors can once again quietly stroll across what has become the icon of Antietam Battlefield. The peaceful, bucolic setting belies the terrible struggle that took place nearly 150 years ago”.

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