How Antietam National Battlefield Changed the Civil War


A complete artillery battery - brass Napoleon cannon, limbers, and caisson - stands near the Dunker Church on the Antietam National Military Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. A savage Civil War battle was fought over this terrain in September 1862
A complete artillery battery - brass Napoleon cannon, limbers, and caisson - stands near the Dunker Church on the Antietam National Military Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. A savage Civil War battle was fought over this terrain in September 1862

The Antietam National Battlefield is located in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The battlefield is the spot where Robert E. Lee's first attempt to invade the Northern Territories during the Civil War ended. This battle is considered to be the bloodiest one day battle in the country's history. More than twenty-three thousand soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing at the conclusion of the twelve hour battle.

Historians point to the battle as the turning point of the American Civil War. The victory by the North gave Lincoln the momentum he needed to issue the Proclamation of Emancipation which banned slavery in the United States of America. Although the Civil War raged on the Battle of Antietam effectively ended the South's hope of winning the war.

There are several things to do once at the battlefield and these include a self guided tour, viewing the monuments, viewing a film about the battle, and visiting the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The monuments are especially impressive as they were commonly built by veterans of the ferocious battle. There were six generals killed in the battle and a memorial canon was placed at the spot where each general was killed.

The Pry House Field Hospital Museum was Union Commander General George B. McClellan's headquarters during the battle. The exhibits that are shown at the Pry House Museum are accurate representations of what facilities were like during the Civil War. The surgical room is interesting as it shows the actual conditions battlefield surgeons had to operate in. The Pry House Museum also shows visitors the sites as seen by President Lincoln just two weeks after the fighting ceased.

The nearby town of Sharpsburg, MD is in Washington County and has a full time population of less than eight hundred people. The median income is $41,786 dollars and that figure is representative of Washington County as a whole. The median cost of the homes in Sharpsburg is $325,000 dollars and this is also representative of Washington County as a whole.

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