The bloodiest day in American history has led to some pretty weird encounters along this trail.
Before the bloody Battle of Antietam (MD) in September of 1862, the innocent-looking path was known as the Sunken Road and was used by local farmers. When the Confederate troops led by Maj. Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill arrived on September 17th, they stationed 2,600 men along the dirt path. And when the 5,500 Union soldiers arrived, they were caught in the Confederates fire, and a battle raged from 9:30am to 1:00pm. By the time the fighting was over at this section of the campaign, over 5,000 men were killed, injured, or captured… only adding to the total number of casualties from that day: 23,000.
Today, the Bloody Lane is a short and easy hike through the battlefield. Running about 1.5 miles, this hike will likely take you 60-90 minutes, beginning near the New York State Monument and ends near the cannon behind the visitor center (currently closed due to COVID19).
Day or night, visitors who wander along the path report strange and unusual activity, including balls of blue light, the smell of gunpowder, and the sound of drumming, gunshots, and battlefield songs. Did we mention many of the soldiers that fell during that fateful day are buried nearby at Burnside’s Bridge?
If you visit the Bloody Lane, remember that it cuts through a battlefield, and you should show the proper respect required for the hallowed ground. Use this helpful map from the National Parks System to get an even better idea of the history of Bloody Lane.
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