Thursday, January 18, 2007

Burnside Bridge: A New Perspective

(Alexander Gardner 1862)

Actually, I guess I should say that an old perspective returns.

As I mentioned in my last post, three new trails are under development at Antietam National Battlefield. One of which focuses on the Union approach toward, and the storming of, Burnside Bridge.

This morning I drove down to the bridge, as I've heard that the fine folks from the Natural Resources Division of the park have been doing a lot of trail work down there, so I wanted to check it out. Just so you know, the talented crew of the Natural Resources Division is responsible for many aspects of the park, especially the one which causes innumerable visitors to exclaim "What a breathtakingly beautiful place!" That's Natural Resources.

From the parking lot (stop 9 on your driving tour) I could see a park truck and four of the Natural Resources folks gathering up brush.

As I looked closer I saw the flashes of the newly cut stumps marching up the hillside that the Federals had come charging down (Ferrero's troops), and it was evident that more than just the trail had been cut.

An expansive and fantastic viewshed has been cleared providing a vista of the bridge from the Union side that hasn't been available since the days of Alexander Gardner...and I got the first modern shot of it.

This trail opens in late spring.

Enjoy the view.

Ranger Mannie


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inside look Mannie! Great stuff going on in the Park.

Anonymous said...


SHAF (Save Historic Antietam Foundation) had a work day clearing part of the bridge trail in November (I was unable to attend). We'll be having another work day in April, but I'm not sure where the Park Service will be sending us. Great things being done at the park, and you've done a great job showing the progress made over the last 60 years. The problem is I get bummed when I don't see a new post every time I check in here. But your site proves quality trumps quantity.

Anonymous said...


Just a quick correction. SHAF did NOT work on the east side of the Antietam in November, but rather was on the West side at the Union artillery position over the Lower Cornfield.