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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Mission of Death

 
 
Mission of Death Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2011
1. Mission of Death Marker
The marker features a portrait of General Sturgis and a wartime photo of Burnside Bridge. Alexander Gardner placed his camera on this hillside and captured this image less than a week after the battle.
Inscription. "I do not hesitate to affirm that the Confederate position was virtually impregnable to a direct attack over the bridge."
Gen. Jacob Cox, Union 9th Corps

Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, whose division did most of the fighting here at the bridge, wrote in his official report just five days after the battle that, "Orders arrived from General Burnside to carry the bridge at all hazards. I then selected the Fifty-first New York and the Fifty-first Pennsylvania from the Second [Ferrero's] Brigade, and directed them to charge with the bayonet. They started on their mission of death full of enthusiasm, and taking a route less exposed than the regiments which had made the effort before them, rushed at a double-quick over the slope leading to the bridge and over the bridge itself with an impetuosity which the enemy could not resist, and the Stars and Stripes were planted on the opposite bank at 1 o'clock p.m., amid the most enthusiastic cheering from every part of the field from where they could be seen."
 
Erected 2011 by Antietam National Battlefield - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 39° 27.072′ N, 77° 43.871′ W. Marker is in Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker
View of the Bridge from the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2011
2. View of the Bridge from the Marker
The marker is located close to the location that Gardner took the famous post-battle photos of the bridge.
can be reached from Burnside Bridge Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located on the hill overlooking "Burnside Bridge.". Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 21st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 35th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 2nd Maryland Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Bridge of Destiny (within shouting distance of this marker); We Showered the Lead Across that Creek (within shouting distance of this marker); 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Ninth Army Corps (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Ninth Army Corps (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Burnside Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2007
3. Burnside Bridge
View of the bridge with less foliage at the marker's location.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 307 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 15, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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