Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Antietam - 16 Nov 2010 'Burnside's Bridge'

Some of the last images I took were of Burnside's Bridge and the area around it. I was surprised to see that this one bridge stopped the advance of a whole Union Corps and that only 300 - 400 Confederate soldiers stopped then in their tracks for a number of hours. The creek it's self is quite shallow but on the actual day it was unable to be forded in a number of places due to recent rain. The first attempt by Union troops to ford the creek was just to the right of the bridge and this was stopped, half way across the creek, by a withering fire from the Confederate soldiers holding the high ground on the other side.

This is the view from one of the Confederate positions holding the high ground on the western side of the bridge. The water on the right side of Burnside's Bridge is where the first attempt to cross was made.

This is the view back along the track, from the Union side, that the second attack was made. Why they attempted this attack along a road with no cover from view or fire and in column boggles the mind. Two battalions, one behind the other, made their way along this path only to suffer server casualties.

The last and successful attempt to take the bridge was made from the location of this last image. A charge from the 51st New York and the 51st Pennsylvania finally charged across the bridge and drove the weary Confederates from their positions on the heights. My good friend Larry can just be made out standing in the middle of the bridge. It gives a good comparison in for the actual size of the bridge.

Don Troiani's painting of the 51st Pennsylvania charging across the bridge. My photo was taken roughly in the same location.

This image I think was taken a few years after the war and gives a clear view from behind the bridge from the Union side. In the fore ground is the stone wall from which the 51st Pennsylvania initially took cover and then charged to get across the bridge.


Josiah Martin said...

Great pictures, thanks for sharing!

BigLee said...

I'm familiar with this battle but only from the format of a computer game! It's interesting to see the locations for real and the then and now format is an excellent idea.

This has been a fascinating series of pictures and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Thanks for sharing this... most inspiring!

Vinnie said...

Jos and BigLee,

No worries I'm glad you like the photos. I have plenty more but just wanted to put the best ones up. I will over the next few days place more images up of the other battlefields I visited. Hopefully they will be up to the same standard.

All the best