Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War

 The Civil War Monuments of Antietam

On September 17, 1862, Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia met George McClellan's Federal Army of the Potomac along the banks of Antietam Creek near the small town of Sharpsburg. The North called it the Battle of Antietam and the South the Battle of Sharpsburg, but they could agree on one thing. It was the single bloodiest day of fighting of the Civil War.

Today Antietam National Battlefield Park is the home to almost one hundred monuments and over two hundred historical markers. You can find them on this site by army, state and category using the menus on the left, or tour the battlefield via maps that link to pages featuring monuments, markers and terrain features.


Union Regiments and Batteries

The largest number of monuments at Antietam are to Union units from ten Northern states. A few states have a moument or marker to every regiment they sent to the field. Others, such as New York, have a large state monument, with some individual regiments honored. Several states have no memorials to their troops at all.


Confederate Regiments and Batteries

Only a handful of monuments honor units of the Confederacy at Antietam, or as it is known in the South, Sharpsburg.


Monuments to Individuals

Several types of monuments honor individuals on the battlefield. Six generals who died or were mortally wounded - three Confederate and three Union - are honored by "mortuary cannon" that mark the spots where they fell. The single equestrian statue on the battlefield honors Confederate General Robert E. Lee.


War Department Markers

In the 1890's the War Department created a series of over 200 interpretive markers to tell the story of the battle. These usually describe the actions of specific units and are divided into Union markers (numbered 1- 124) and Confederate markers (numbered 300 - 388). Other markers point out terrain features, some of which are unchanged from 1862.

Cornfield Avenue monuments at Antietam
Mortuary cannon at Antietam
War department markers at the foot of the Observation Tower at Antietam National Battlefield

About the Author • ©2008 - 2014 Steve Hawks