Antietam National Battlefield | ANTIETAM REMEMBERED TRAIL

Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

Length: .25-mile loop
Time:  30 minutes with time to stop at Dunker Church
Difficulty: Easy

The Antietam Remembered Trail starts on the left side of the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center. This is a short, wheelchair-accessible paved path that leads to four points of interest.

The first stop is at a display of the four different types of cannon used during the Battle of Antietam. The spot is a fitting location because it was where Confederate colonel Stephen D. Lee’s 19-gun artillery battalion was positioned at the start of the battle on September 17, 1862. Later in the day, Union infantry and artillery occupied the area.

Cannon on display along the Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

Cannon on display along the Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

Cannon and limber on display along the Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

Cannon and limber on display along the Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

Display of cannon along the Antietam Remembered Trail marks the position of Confederate colonel Stephen D. Lee's 19-gun artillery battalion at the start of the Battle of Antietam

Display of cannon along the Antietam Remembered Trail marks the position of Confederate colonel Stephen D. Lee’s 19-gun artillery battalion at the start of the Battle of Antietam

Just down the path from the cannon and on the other side of the street is a reproduction of the Dunker Church. This is also the first stop on the Antietam National Battlefield Tour.

Dunker Church at Antietam National Battlefield

Dunker Church at Antietam National Battlefield

The original Dunker Church was built in 1852 by a congregation of German Baptist Brethren. It was damaged during the battle but survived and was repaired. Services were held here until the end of the 1800s, at which time the congregation built a new church closer to town. Souvenir hunters began picking away at the bricks, and over time the abandoned building began to decay. During a windstorm in 1921, it was permanently destroyed.

The property was subsequently sold two times. The first owner, Elmer Boyer, salvaged what the could from the building and then sold the property. The second owner built a house on the original foundation and used it as a gas station and souvenir store. He sold the property to the Washington County Historical Society in 1951. The house was torn down, and the property was then donated to the National Park Service for inclusion in Antietam National Battlefield. The current building, an accurate reproduction of the original that incorporates some of the materials saved by Boyer, was built in time for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam in 1962.

Interior of the Dunker Church at Antietam National Battlefield

Interior of the Dunker Church at Antietam National Battlefieldthe

On the other side of the road from the church are six tablets. These detail the different military units that occupied this area at various times during the battle. The tablets were installed in the 1890s by U. S. military historians for study by military personel, particularly cadets. They weren’t put in place for tourists, and as a result, they aren’t very interesting to read unless you are a Civil War fanatic.

Tablets near the Dunker Church mark army positions during the Battle of Antietam, Antietam National Battlefield

Tablets near the Dunker Church mark army positions during the Battle of Antietam, Antietam National Battlefield

A stone’s throw from the church is the Maryland State Monument. Dedicated on May 30, 1900, the monument honors Maryland soldiers who fought on both sides during the war. Being a slave state that stayed with the Union, the allegiance of Maryland citizens was split between the Union and the Confederacy.

The Maryland State Monument along the Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

The Maryland State Monument along the Antietam Remembered Trail at Antietam National Battlefield

The Maryland State Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

The Maryland State Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

The granite monument features a bronze, domed roof and four bas-relief sculptures of scenes from the Battle of Antietam that involved Maryland soldiers.

Bas-relief sculpture on the Maryland Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

Bas-relief sculpture on the Maryland Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

The last point of interest on the Antietam Remembered Trail is the New York State Monument. It was dedicated in 1920.

New York State Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

New York State Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

Inscription on the New York State Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

Inscription on the New York State Monument at Antietam National Battlefield

The Antietam Remembered Trail is only a quarter mile long, but the stroll may take a while if you stop at the Dunker Church and strike up a conversation with a Ranger or park volunteer on duty. I ended up talking with a volunteer about the church and other points of interest around the battlefield for nearly a half hour.

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Last updated on May 22, 2023
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