The Battlefield Today

should be pointed out that while Antietam Creek may not appear to be a significant military obstacle it is in fact rather deeper than it looks. In addition, a commander must consider not only the width of a water obstacle, but also the condition of the bank on the opposite shore. The bank held by the Confederates is very steep and presented a formidable obstacle to men advancing with equipment under fire.

General Burnside did have several brigades looking elsewhere for fording possibilities, but observation of the terrain in either direction from the stone bridge demonstrates the impossibility of moving artillery and large bodies of troops across Antietam Creek except at the bridge's location. The visitor cannot appreciate the tactical problem confronting General Burnside until he has viewed the terrain in the area.

A visit to the Antietam battlefield is perhaps one of the most enjoyable historical outings one could imagine. It clearly permits a more complete understanding of the battle, an understanding that can be accomplished with a minimum of physical difficulty. It is most certainly worth the time spent.

^ // detachment of the US Army's Signal Corps on Elk Ridge, which overlooked all Confederate positions and from where their troop movements could be seen and reported. The log tower was not actually built until after the battle, although the position was in use during the battle itself.

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