Remembering Antietam: Annual Battlefield Memorial Illumination

Be there for the Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination on Dec. 5, a moving annual event with 23,000 candles honoring the soldiers who served during this battle.
Program No. 24068RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

One of America’s most moving commemorative events takes place each Dec. 5 — the Annual Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination in honor of the soldiers who fell during the Battle of Antietam. Be a part of this stirring nighttime event, as 23,000 candles twinkle in rows throughout the battlefield in remembrance of that awful day. In the days prior to the illumination, join Civil War historians and local experts to visit Harper’s Ferry and the sites of three battles that preceded Antietam, then walk portions of the battlefield itself, as you gain a deeper understanding of this crucial moment in America’s past. Special lectures and performances of period music help set the scene and recapture that eventful era.
Activity Level
On Your Feet

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Be present for the moving Memorial Illumination of Antietam National Battlefield, with 23,000 twinkling candles honoring soldiers who were killed, wounded or missing.
  • With Civil War historians, visit three South Mountain battle sites and walk Antietam National Battlefield to learn about Union and Confederate troop movements up to and during the Battle of Antietam.
  • Journey to Harpers Ferry, where abolitionist John Brown led a raid intended to take the federal armory and ignite an uprising against slavery — the likely spark that set off the Civil War.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Gleam of Bayonets
by J Murfin
Antietam Revealed
by Dennis Frye
The Maryland Campaign and Battle of Antietam in concise, chronological order
Roads to Antietam
by John Schildt
"Roads to Antietam" is the story of the armies marching to battle in September 1862 and what that experience was like for the men in the ranks and the civilians along the routes.

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