A few Septembers ago, I plunged in, so to speak, and made the trek to Burnside Bridge. There are two ways to visit the bridge: Take the path from the parking lot, which is pretty much a continual downhill march, or walk a path from the bottom of the hill. We close the latter. When we first started out, it was cold, and I’m not a person who appreciates cold. But I pressed forward valiantly. (Okay, not too valiantly. We’d already been dropped off and I didn’t feel like walking back up to the car either).
By the time we got close to the bridge, I felt a thrill of excitement. This was history I was going to be walking on. Trekking across Burnside’s Bridge was one of those things you just did if you were a Civil War buff and didn’t live a bajillion miles away. I was hepped up for it now. Just as we reached the edge of the bridge, I was happy to see only one other person in sight. That meant peace, quiet, reflection time, and some great photos. I paused to take in Antietam Creek. Having always loved rivers, streams, creeks, and whatnot, this was one of my favorite parts of the visit. After I’d spent enough time appreciating the creek, I continued over to the other side, still cold, but more taken up with wonder than temperature now.
There was a path on the other side, it turned out. And this path led to a whole lot of monuments, including the 51ST New York Infantry shown here. The two visible markers to the left of the monument detail the actions of the Union 9TH Corps. After enjoying the views, we started back over the bridge and headed back to the car. The breeze was still chilly but somehow it didn’t matter as much. It was an accomplishment I hope to repeat in the near future.
PVT. HUGH ALEXANDER TATE
Co. D, 11TH North Carolina Infantry
Born June 26, 1841--- Died August 25, 1863 at age 22
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray