Lee Invades Maryland
Fresh from victory at the Second Battle of Manassas, Gen. Robert E. Lee Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River on September 4-6, 1862, to bring the Civil War to Northern soil and to recruit sympathetic Marylanders. Union Gen. George B. McClellan Army of the Potomac pursued Lee who had detached Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson force to capture the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry. After the Federals pushed the remaining Confederates out of the South Mountain gaps, Lee awaited Jackson return near Sharpsburg and Antietam Creek.
On September 17, at the Battle of Antietam, the two armies clashed in the bloodiest single day in American history and suffered some 23,000 casualties. Lee soon retreated across the Potomac, ending his first invasion of the north.
Follow in the footsteps of Gens. Lee and McClellan along Maryland Civil War Trails? Antietam Campaign: Lee Invades Maryland, a 90 mile tour route that allows you to explore the stories of triumph and tragedy at more than 60 Civil War sites. Please travel carefully as you enjoy the beauty and history along the trail.
Illustration captions on marker
"Gen. Robert E. Lee" [photo, upper middle]
"Gen. George B. McClellan" [photo, center middle]
"The Confederate army crosses the Potomac River into Maryland" [engraving, upper right]
"Franklin's Corps storming Crampton Gap on South Mountain" [engraving, lower middle]
"1862 Antietam Campaign - Lee Invades Maryland" [map of Confederate movements in the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Frederick and Washington]