History: Union General William B. Franklin's VI Corps marched out of Buckeystown on September 14, 1862, with orders to drive through this gap by attacking a much smaller force under Major General Lafayette McLaws. Confederate soldiers used the terrain of South Mountain to their advantage, but were eventually driven from the summit. However, the Union commander, thinking he was outnumbered, called a halt instead of potentially routing the Confederates here. Thus, the stage was set for the Battle of Antietam three days later.
More to Explore: Part of the Antietam Campaign Scenic Byway, this historic mountain area is contained within Gathland State Park, once the home of Civil War journalist George Alfred Townsend and now the site of a monument to fallen war correspondents. Fox's Gap and Turner's Gap also saw fierce fighting, and relics of the battles can be found in a museum in Boonsboro. Access is available to the Appalachian Trail.
Photo Credits: “Stripping a rail fence for fires” & “Spare Cartridges” Courtesy of: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division