Near Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
"Will You Give Us Our Whiskey?"
1. One division spent the morning looking for the ford downstream.
2. At the bridge the 11th Connecticut Regiment made the first attack. They were pinned down at the creek bank.
3. Three Ohio regiments got lost in the woods and came out 300 yards too far upstream.
4. The 2nd Maryland, supported by the 6th New Hampshire, charged the bridge and sustained 44 percent casualties in 10 minutes.
5. The entire Union Ninth Corps was held up by 500 Georgia and a few South Carolina riflemen looking down onto bridge and creek.
6. Colonel Edward Ferraro was a teetotaler - he had disciplined the 51st Pennsylvania by taking away their whiskey ration. It was well after noon when he addressed the 51st New York and the 51st Pennsylvania Regiments:
"It is General Burnside's special request that the two 51st's take that bridge. Will you do it?"
A Pennsylvania soldier called out:
"Will you give us our whiskey, Colonel, if we make it?"
"Yes, by God!"
The two 51st's, New York
..."charged up the road in column with fixed bayonets, and in scarcely more time than it takes to tell it the bridge was passed."
They got their whiskey.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. 39° 27.043′ N, 77° 43.896′ W. Marker is near Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Old Burnside Bridge Road, on the left when traveling east. Located to the east of stop 9 (Burnside Bridge) of the driving tour of Antietam Battlefield, along the walking trail east of the bridge. 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 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. We Showered the Lead Across that Creek (here, next to this marker); 2nd Maryland Infantry (here, next to this marker); "Why Burnside's Bridge?" (here, next to this marker); Bridge of Destiny (here, next to this marker); 35th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (here, next to this marker); 21st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (a few steps from this marker); 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (a few steps from this marker); Witness to History (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.
More about this marker. On the left is a map keyed to the numbered comments in the text. On the right is a Sketch by Edwin Forbes, Civil War combat artist. Forbes drew a small sycamore tree beside the bridge. Today the same tree is a patriarch shading the bridge and stream.
Regarding "Will You Give Us Our Whiskey?".
Also see . . . Antietam Battlefield. National Park Service site. (Submitted on March 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2017. It was originally submitted on March 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,248 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3. submitted on April 1, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on March 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on April 28, 2008, by Dennis M. Sheron of Hudson, Indiana. 6. submitted on April 5, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.