- Historic Sites
The Terrible Price Of Freedom
The bloodiest day’s fighting in our nation’s history took place on ground that has hardly changed since 1862. Antietam today offers a unique chance to grasp what a great Civil War battle was actually like.
April 1989 | Volume 40, Issue 3
It was this very question that engaged Abraham Lincoln when he was invited the following year to deliver his “few appropriate remarks” at the dedication ceremonies at Gettysburg. That battlefield, and by extension all the battlefields of this great civil war, he said, were consecrated and hallowed by the actions of the men who fought there. What was glorified there was the testing of freedom for all Americans—which, as a result of the Battle of Antietam, meant freedom for the slaves as well. It is this that gives meaning to the fighting at the Cornfield and the Sunken Road and at Burnside Bridge and along the Harpers Ferry road. To visit this battlefield, and to preserve it, is to recognize what we owe for our new birth of freedom.