Sunday, July 3, 2016

Taking A Sunday Drive #35

When I posted last week's Sunday Drive about Wisconsin, I thought I had finished with all the states east of the Mississippi. Then I realized I had missed one:

Maryland is one of our smallest states and, I think, one of the most oddly shaped. The Chesapeake Bay splits it on the East while there is a spot on its Northern border where it is almost squeezed in two.

Our time in Maryland was during our 2008 trip which by now everyone knows I used my digital camera almost exclusively and then lost the pictures after I had put them on my computer and that computer crashed.

Civil War Battlefield visits was one of our incentives for this trip, so after leaving D.C. we headed for Sharpsburg, MD to tour Antietam National Battlefield.
Why is it known as the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Sharpsburg? Because the South usually named battles for the nearest town while the North named them for the nearest water. Picture above is of Burnside's Bridge over Antietam Creek - our first stop before heading to the Visitor Center. The park officer giving the orientation that day was excellent.

Sunken Road: "Bloody Lane" - about 5,600 casualties along this 800 yard road. The Battle of Antietam was the worst single-day battle in American history with a combined total of more than 22,700 dead, wounded or missing.

Me at the Irish Brigade Monument with the base of the observation tower on the right. This is at the end of Bloody Lane. 540 members of the Irish Brigade died along the Sunken Road before they were ordered to withdraw.

The only other picture I have is another one of Burnside's Bridge. I think the monument visible on the lower left (just across the bridge) may be to the 51st New York Infantry.
Even though Maryland was a slave state, it remained part of the Union. The Battle of Antietam was the first major battle to be fought on Union soil, September 17, 1862.

Last fall when we left Gettysburg, PA, we dipped back down into Maryland and drove west along that narrow neck of the state. It was while on that road we saw the opposite side of the interstate closed down while numerous state and county patrol vehicles escorted some huge, mysterious, hidden, what?? It was so large it took up almost all of both lanes and the shoulders. I'd still like to know what it was. Traffic on that side was backed up for miles. I was just glad we were headed west instead of east.

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