Monday, December 30, 2013

Lost Roads of the Maryland Campaign: Part 2

Google Earth view of Maryland Route 65
as it runs past the west side of the Park.
In the early 1960s highway planners laid out Maryland Route 65 to bypass the Antietam National Battlefield Park. The improved road would follow the original Hagerstown Pike northward from Sharpsburg, then as it approached the Park, would curve around to the west before continuing north and connecting to the original Pike north of the field.

The route of the highway followed the old farm trace that ran between the Alfred Poffenberger farmstead and the Nicodemus farmstead to the north and, of course, ran right between the Federal and Confederate battle lines.

Most of Sedgwick's division would find itself on the east side of the new highway while Semmes' brigade and remnants of Hood's and Grigsby's divisions were to the west.

The curving of the route south of the Park entrance abandoned a 200 yard portion of the original Hagerstown Pike. The original Carman iron tablets mark its route now covered by grass.

Detail of the westward curve just south
of the field.

The original Hagerstown Pike traced in graphic pen. The
red circle shows one of the Carman iron tablets visible in the
following ground-level photo.
A view of the original Hagerstown Pike looking south.
Three iron tablets are visible and mark the original
Pike (as well as the original tour route). 

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