Antietam Creek bridges

You may remember the name Antietam from high-school history: the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of the Civil War. Your history book probably featured a battle scene image that included a stone bridge over Antietam Creek. Maybe it was this image.

Many stone bridges were built across Antietam Creek, as well as other Maryland creeks and rivers, in the 1800s. Many of them still stand. The National Road passes within six miles of the Battle of Antietam site and crosses Antietam Creek in Funkstown, about 11 miles north. A stone bridge was built here in 1822 and was widened in the 1930s. The photo shows the 1930s side; the other side shows the original stone. If I had known that when I was there, I would have gone around to see!

Bridge over Antietam Creek

George Stewart stopped at the same place in 1949 or 1950 to photograph this bridge for his book US 40: A Cross-Section of the United States of America.

Christopher Busta-Peck, who used to write the excellent 125 M to B blog about the National Road, gave me a tip about two stone bridges over Antietam Creek just a half-mile off the National Road just south of Funkstown. The first is on Poffenberger Road and the second is on Garis Shop Road. Green arrowheads locate the bridges on the map:

I liked the graceful bridge on Poffenberger Road best. It was built in 1840. Claggett’s Mill stands nearby; the bridge is named for the mill.

Antietam Creek bridge

This squared-off bridge on Garis Shop Road was built in 1824. It’s known as the Roxbury Mills Bridge.

Antietam Creek bridge

I can just imagine Union Army troops on their horses crossing these bridges!

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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4 responses to “Antietam Creek bridges”

  1. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Spectacular! But it’s really hard to imagine it happening in colour… in my mind, all the US Civil War stuff happens in greyscale and under dingy, dishwatery skies. It’s difficult to envision it in living colour happening under bright blue skies.

    1. Jim Avatar

      No kidding! I feel the same way about the 1950s. My mom has some color family photos from the period and it just feels wrong somehow.

  2. rangerdon Avatar

    Good to see a reference to Stewart’s classic book. And, since I may be spending summer in the Sharpsburg area, this will be a very useful website. Thanks for doing it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve referenced Stewart over and over on this blog as I explored the National Road! As much as I’ve been able, I’ve photographed the same places Stewart has. The only one I couldn’t find was the farm near Belleville, Indiana; it’s gone without a trace. Hope you get good use from my blog. Everything I’ve written about the National Road is linked from this page:

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