Antietam National Battlefield is a National Park Service protected area along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland which commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam that occurred on September 17, 1862. The area, situated on fields among the Appalachian foothills near the Potomac River, features the battlefield site and visitor center, a national military cemetery and a field hospital museum.
In the Battle of Antietam, General Robert E. Lee
's first invasion of the North ended on this battlefield in 1862.
Established as Antietam National Battlefield Site August 30, 1890, the park was transferred from the War Department August 10, 1933, and redesignated November 10, 1978. Along with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
Antietam National Cemetery
, whose contain 5,032 interments (1,836 unidentified), adjoins the park. Civil War interments occurred in 1866. The cemetery contains only Union
soldiers from the Civil War period. Confederate
dead were interred in the Washington Confederate Cemetery within Rosehill Cemetery, Hagerstown, Maryland
; Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland
; and Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown, West Virginia
. The cemetery also contains the graves of veterans and their wives from the Spanish-American War
, World War I
, and the Korean War
. The cemetery was closed to additional interments in 1953. An exception was made in 2000 for the remains of USN Fireman Patrick Howard Roy who was killed in the attack on the USS Cole
. The Antietam National Cemetery was placed under the War Department on July 14
; it was transferred to the National Park Service on August 10
The Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center contains museum exhibits about the battle and the Civil War. The movie "Antietam Visit" depicts the battle and President Abraham Lincoln's visit to Union Commander General George B. McClellan. A documentary about the battle is also shown. Park rangers offer interpretive talks. An audio tour is available for purchase to accompany the self-guided driving tour of the battlefield with eleven stops.
Pry House Field Hospital Museum
The Pry House Field Hospital Museum
is located in the house that served as Union Commander General George B. McClellan's headquarters during the battle. Exhibits focus on period medical care of the wounded, as well as information about the Pry House. The museum is sponsored by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine