Burnside Bridge Now
Burnside's Bridge is a landmark on the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland. Crossing over Antietam Creek, the bridge played a key role in the September 1862 Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War when a small number of Confederate soldiers from Georgia for several hours held off repeated attempts by elements of the Union Army to take the bridge by force. Finally, the Federals seized it, but not before the attack had been delayed for several hours beyond what had been expected by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside. The bridge now bears Burnside's name.
Constructed in 1836 of area limestone and granite by local Dunker farmers, the three-arched, 12-foot (3.7 m)-wide, 125-foot (38 m)-long bridge provided a passageway over Antietam Creek for farmers to take their produce and livestock to market in Sharpsburg. It was originally named the Lower Bridge, as there were two others (Upper Bridge and Middle Bridge) upstream that also allowed movement of freight, animals, and people across the creek. The Lower Bridge took on the name Rohrbach's Bridge after a farmer, Henry Rohrbach, who lived near the structure.
After the war, the U.S. Government acquired the bridge and adjoining land. Vehicular traffic across the bridge was stopped and the original farm lanes allowed to grow over with grass. Foot traffic is still allowed across the structure, which remains as one of the most photographed bridges of the Civil War.
13 Exposures, and it was hot and the bugs were terrible!
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