Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland: Site of the Civil War's Bloodiest Day

When I visited Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland, it was hard to imagine that the bloodiest day of the Civil War occurred on these lovely rolling green fields.

But battle scars still mar the landscape where more than 23,000 soldiers died on September 17, 1862. The bloody conflict marked the end of General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North and prompted President Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

I recommend starting at the Visitor Center, where you can watch a short video, browse through exhibits and talk to a park ranger. From there, take a self-guided auto tour.

Antietam National Battlefield is in north-central Maryland on State Highway 65, roughly 12 miles south of Hagerstown and a few miles north of Sharpsburg. It's open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open 1 hour later June through August) except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days. Admission is $3 per person, valid for 3 days.

For details, call 1-301-432-5124.

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