Antietam Battlefield Field Trip Lesson Plan
The Battle of Antietam—fought on September 17, 1862—became the bloodiest day in U.S. history. From dawn until dusk, the Union's Army of the Potomac attacked the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, immortalizing places like The Cornfield, The Sunken Road, and Burnside's Bridge with accounts of ferocious fighting. More than 22,700 casualties fell dead, wounded, or missing in that single day. When the inconclusive fighting ended, newspapers spread the word of the Confederate retreat, and photographers arrived at the battlefield to capture images of the aftermath. The battle gave President Lincoln a claim for Union victory and the military grounds to issue a promise of freedom, the Emancipation Proclamation.
The field trip lesson plan highlights Dunker Church, J. Poffenberger's Farm, The Cornfield, Sunken Road, Burnside's Bridge, and Antietam National Cemetery.
This lesson plan is designed for Middle and High School classes to be used during a visit to Antietam National Battlefield.
Complete Lesson Plan File
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Download Individual Modules
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We recommend consulting the Complete Lesson Plan File for touring tips and extra resources.