There are seventeen surviving 19th century stone arch bridges on Antietam Creek in Washington County, Maryland. Built between 1823 and 1875 to carry horses and wagons, most of these bridges are still in use in the 21st century. The pastoral setting of some of these bridges belies the history these bridges have seen. With all but two of these bridges built before the American Civil War, Union and Confederate soldiers crossed and re-crossed these bridges to maneuver against each other. Burnside's Bridge, on the Antietam National Battlefield, played a key role in the September 1862 Battle of Antietam when fewer than 500 Georgians held back Major General Burnside’s army of 12,000 men. With the Confederate’s withdrawal from Antietam, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862.
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