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In 1836 the master bridge builder John Weaver put the finishing touches on Lower Bridge, a beautifully proportioned, 192-foot-long stone bridge over Antietam Creek. Twenty-six years later the bridge became the battleground for the bloodiest day of fighting in the Civil War. On that pivotal day, September 17, 1862, nearly five thousand Americans lost their lives in the rolling hills and farmland near Sharpsburg. Ever since, the bridge has borne the name of General Ambrose P. Burnside, commander of the Union troops that stormed the bridge under withering Confederate fire. Now under the care of the National Park Service, the three-arch bridge has been faithfully restored to its original condition, including the wooden coping that tops its walls.
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