ECW Weekender: An Irish Brigade Hike at Antietam

For St. Patrick’s Day weekend, there is hardly a better connection to this holiday and the Civil War than the famous Irish Brigade. The story of this brigade has been told countless times and numerous works cover the annals of the brigade’s Civil War service.

A detail from Don Troiani’s “Sons of Erin” painting

Though my mother always told me that spring does not formally arrive until we receive a good St. Patty’s day storm, it’s close enough to get outside and celebrate spring, St. Patrick’s Day, and the preservation of Civil War battlefields all in one weekend. Hence, this Emerging Civil War Weekender Trip.

No doubt many of the readers of this blog have been to Antietam before. It is also likely you have seen the Irish Brigade monument, dedicated in 1997, sitting at the base of the War Department Tower at the Sunken Road. Fewer people though have walked in the footsteps of the Irish Brigade at Antietam, where they suffered 40% casualties.

Below you will find a walking and driving tour of the Irish Brigade at Antietam. If you cannot make to Antietam this weekend, file it away for a future visit or enjoy the tour from the comfort of your chair. This tour was designed using Google Maps and can be downloaded directly onto your Google Maps app on your cell phone. It is a tool to aid you in visiting both some well-known and lesser-known Irish Brigade sites at Antietam. The tour stops are labeled A through F. Click on the corresponding balloon to read the text for each stop.

Enjoy it, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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