Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Crucial Crossing, a Generalís Namesake, a Battlefield Icon
Known at the time of the battle as the Rohrbach or Lower Bridge, this picturesque crossing over Antietam Creek was built in 1836 to connect Sharpsburg with Rohrersville, the next town to the south. It was actively used for traffic until 1966 when a bypass enabled the bridge to be restored to its 1862 appearance.
For more than three hours on September 17, 1862, Confederate Gen. Robert Toombs and fewer than 500 Georgia soldiers manned this imposing position against three Federal assaults made by Gen. Ambrose Burnsideís much larger Ninth Corps. Confederate General James Longstreet wrote of the action, “Gen. Toombs held the bridge and defended it most gallantly, driving back repeated attacks, and only yielded it after the force brought against him became overwhelming and threatened his flank and rear.”
About 1:00 p.m., with Union soldiers crossing downstream and another attack made on the bridge, Toombs and his men had to retreat. However, the strong delaying action provided much needed time to allow Gen. A.P. Hillís Confederate soldiers, marching from Harpers Ferry to arrive on the field.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • War, US Civil.
Location. 39° 26.995′ N, 77° 43.933′ W. Marker is in Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Old Burnside Bridge Road half a mile east of Rodman Avenue. This marker is located along a foot trail to Burnside Bridge at stop nine on the Antietam Battlefield Auto Tour. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Point Blank Range" (here, next to this marker); Repulsed Again and Again (here, next to this marker); C.S.A. (within shouting distance of this marker); The Burnside Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Witness to History (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); William McKinley (about 300 feet away); "Will You Give Us Our Whiskey?" (about 300 feet away); We Showered the Lead Across that Creek (about 300 feet away); 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (about 300 feet away); Ninth Army Corps (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.
More about this marker. In the center are two period photographs of the general and the bridge with the caption, "Gen. Ambrose Burnside and a historic image of the bridge that, since the battle, bears his name."
On the right are several images of the bridge over time with the following captions:
Kurz & Allison lithograph from 1888.
Postcard from the 1930s.
Cars used the bridge and road for travel and parking in the 1940s and 1950s.
Family visit in the early 1960s.
Many floods, but the bridge survives.
A fifty cent piece created by the U.S. Mint to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the battle.
Today the bridge has been restored and preserved for future generations.
Also see . . .
1. Antietam National Battlefield. (Submitted on November 8, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
2. Robert Toombs(Submitted on October 2, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Ambrose Burnside. Ambrose Everett Burnside (May 23, 1824 – September 13, 1881) was an American soldier, railroad executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician from Rhode Island, serving as governor and a United States Senator. As a Union Army general in the American Civil War, he conducted successful campaigns in North Carolina and East Tennessee, as well as countering the raids of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, but suffered disastrous defeats at the terrible Battle of Fredericksburg and Battle of the Crater. (Submitted on October 2, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 8, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,241 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 8, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 2, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 5. submitted on November 8, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 6. submitted on April 15, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 7, 8. submitted on October 2, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 9, 10, 11. submitted on November 8, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.