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Events to commemorate the 144th anniversary of Antietam battle

September 17, 2006

The following events will take place today at Antietam National Battlefield to mark the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

Battle overview hikes

Designed for the first-time visitor to Antietam, these hikes each are about one mile and less strenuous. An overview of the entire battle will be given.

· Morning phase - 10:30 a.m. to noon. Hike begins and ends at the visitors center, and will cover the action in the Cornfield and West Woods

· Midday phase - 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Hike begins at the visitors center and will cover the action to the Sunken Road

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· Afternoon phase - 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hike begins and ends at Auto Tour Stop No. 9 at Burnside Bridge

Antietam In Depth

Designed for a more detailed study of the battle, these hikes each are about two miles and more strenuous. Rangers will discuss specific aspects of the battle.

· The Opening Guns of Battle - 7 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Hike starts at Auto Tour Stop No. 2, the North Woods, and follows the Union advance and the Confederate defense around the Cornfield during the first hours of the battle

· Attack and Defense of the Sunken Road - 9:30 a.m. to noon. Hike begins at the visitors center and explores the routes of the Union advance and eventual breakthrough of what became known as Bloody Lane

· The Fight for Burnside Bridge and the Final Assault Toward Sharpsburg - 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Hike starts at Burnside Bridge and covers the action to capture the bridge as well as the day's final attacks

All hikes will take place rain or shine. Hikers should dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to hike across fields.

Other events

· Orientation talks - 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the visitors center. A ranger will provide a 30-minute overview of the battle

· Ranger-led automobile tours - 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Meet at the visitors center observation room, then drive to the Cornfield, Sunken Road and Burnside Bridge. Tour is expected to last about 2 1/2 hours

· The Battle of South Mountain, a talk by Ranger Al Preston - 11 a.m. at the visitors center observation room

· "We are Here to Mark the Spot," Antietam monuments tour - 2 p.m. Meet at the visitors center observation room. The construction, meaning and dedication of various monuments will be discussed. Tour is expected to last about 2 1/2 hours

· Pry House Civil War Medical Museum talk - 2:30 p.m. at the visitors center observation room. Pry House staff will provide an overview of medical services at Antietam

· Artillery talk - 3 p.m. at the Display Battery. Learn about artillery and its use at Antietam and during the Maryland Campaign. The guns will not be fired.

Information provided by the National Park Service.

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