National Geographic : 1961 Jul
"The crisis involved nothing less than the continued existence as one nation of the United States ... What America is and hopes to be dates from the fight along Antietam Creek." PULITZER PRIZEHISTORIAN EDITOR."AMERICANHERITAGE" "When Lee marched over the mountain-wall"-wHITTIER In our illustration, you see "Burnside Bridge" over Antietam Creek as a wartime artist sketched it. Here, on September 17, 1862, Union troops stormed across, later to be driven back by A. P. Hill's Con federates in the last bitter action of the Civil War's bitterest day. Come to Sharpsburg, Maryland, and stand where that artist stood. You will be pleased by how well the National Park Service has preserved and marked the battlefield as a tribute to the courage on both sides. The sapling by the bridge is much larger now, but so is history's judgment of this battle. In '62, many thought Antietam indecisive. We know now it saved the Union. If a Confederate staff officer had not lost a copy of Lee's marching plans, Antietam would not have been fought. But a Union volunteer found the or ders, wrapped carelessly around three cigars, and this battle blazed into history. Its legends have become immortal: white-haired Barbara Frietchie defying "Stonewall" Jackson, Clara Barton (who later founded the American Red Cross) saving lives under fire. And, poignant symbol of war's heart- break, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes searching among the wounded for the young Union captain who lived to interpret, as a Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, the laws of the nation he gave his blood to defend. Men died at Antietam to save the American idea and all that it might mean. Many are buried here. Stand by their graves with your head bowed and gratitude in your heart. And bear this in mind: our generation, too, faces perils to its freedoms. May it find inspiration to measure up to the courage and devotion, North and South, to which this battlefield is now a proud memorial. FREE CIVIL WAR MAP. Ask your Sinclair Dealer about Sinclair's Civil War Centennial Map. Shows battle lines of 20 great engagements, colorful illustrations of Civil War battles, uniforms and guns. You'll treasure it as a collector's item! FREETOUR INFORMATION. Let Sinclair help plan your trip to Antietam, or other Civil War battlefields during the Centennial. Write: Tour Bureau, Sinclair Oil Building, 600 Fifth Avenue, New York 20, N.Y. S nclar AGreat Name inOil PUBLISHEDIN COOPERATIONWITHTHE CIVILWARCENTENNIALCOMMISSION,ESTABLISHEDBY ACTOF CONGRESSTO INCREASEAWARENESSOF OUR HISTORICALHERITAGE-THE MEN ANDEVENTSWHICHSHAPEDOURNATION'SGROWTH.