Culmination in a Cornfield: The March to Antietam

On a stirring educational experience, trace five bloody days in September 1862 that culminated in Antietam National Battlefield with the deaths of 23,000 Union and Confederate troops.
Program No. 24041RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Today, Antietam National Battlefield’s pastel landscape of rolling hills, neatly stacked fence posts and solemn plaques belie the gravity of that 1862 day. It was dawn on Sept. 17 when Union soldiers stepped out of a 24-acre cornfield to the blinding volley of Confederate bullets — a day of unrivaled American bloodshed that resulted in a Union victory and led to President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. On a stirring educational experience, trace the events that began five days earlier and 30 miles away with the discovery of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s lost orders near Frederick, Md. Learn with historians and re-enactors about a not-to-be-forgotten day in north-central Maryland.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience insight into Antietam’s lead-up with a historian at three Civil War battlefield sites — Fox’s Gap, Turner’s Gap and Crampton’s Gap on South Mountain.
  • Journey to Harpers Ferry, where abolitionist John Brown led 21 men in a plan to take the town’s federal armory and ignite a nationwide uprising against slavery — thought to be the spark that set off the Civil War.
  • Walk Antietam National Battlefield with historians to learn about Union & Confederate troop deployments from their campsites while revisiting the scene of 23,000 deaths — the bloodiest day in American history.
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