In early 2021, the Antietam Battlefield Guides launched a new tour option with the “Road to Antietam.” This new 6-hour tour option has many advantages that allows visitors another alternative to experiencing the 1862 Maryland Campaign in whole or in part. It features conflicts that caused the armies to meet at Sharpsburg and by what routes they traveled.
Visitors often experience the standard 3-hour tour or the 4-hour extended tour of Antietam only to learn afterwards that there is an 8-hour Campaign tour that covers the Battle of South Mountain, the 1862 siege at Harpers Ferry, and the Battle of Antietam all in a single day. Others are aware of the 8-hour tour but either do not have the time to devote to the tour or feel it would be too physically demanding to do in a single day.
With the Road to Antietam tour, visitors that have already experienced the Antietam tours can return on another visit to experience a 6-hour tour devoted to the Battle of South Mountain (visiting all three mountain passes or gaps) and the 1862 siege at Harpers Ferry. Another option that the new tour offers for those wishing to devote more time in the area is the opportunity to accomplish a tour of the campaign over two days by combining the Road to Antietam tour one day followed by either the 3-hour standard (basic) tour or the 4-hour extended tour of the Battle of Antietam on the following day. This latter combination also allows the visitor to experience the campaign in greater depth and detail. Another advantage with the aforementioned combination tours is that the pace is not as rigorous as the 8-hour campaign tour which often allows limited time for food and refreshment. For purposes of continuity, this two-day combination would be with the same guide. The visitor also has the option to work with their guide (in advance) to adapt this tour to address the movements and or locations of a specific unit such as that of an ancestor. Otherwise, the tour will proceed as described, below.
As with all ABG tours, the new tour originates and concludes at the Antietam National Battlefield Visitors Center. During the tour, visitors will experience all three battlefield sites of South Mountain (Turner’s, Fox’s and Crampton’s Gaps) as well as the siege at Harpers Ferry that preceded America’s bloodiest day. Upon departing Harpers Ferry, the return route to Antietam will be generally by way of the Confederate march to Sharpsburg with a wayside visit to the Shepherdstown Ford (Boteler’s Ford, Blackford’s crossing) where Confederate troops crossed the Potomac River to and from Sharpsburg. The ford is also in the vicinity of the Shepherdstown Battlefield. The tour route passes through historic Shepherdstown, WV (VA in 1862) which was described as “one vast Confederate hospital” following the battles.
After crossing the river back into Maryland and approaching Sharpsburg, the tour passes the former site of General Robert E. Lee’s headquarters on the Shepherdstown Pike before arriving back at the Antietam Battlefield Visitors Center.
1 – 10 people: $215.00
11 – 29 people: $335.00
30+ people: $395.00
- Note – Due to the terrain, tour routes may vary depending upon the number and size of vehicles (such as buses) and detours.