Three days before the Battle of Antietam, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army tried to hold South Mountain at three gaps. From north to south, they are Turner’s Gap, Fox’s Gap, and Crampton’s Gap. This mountain chain is the northern extension of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can see in the following map that Antietam National Battlefield lies between the Potomac River and Antietam Creek. Eight miles separate the creek and the mountains to the east.
View of South Mountain from the Visitor Center
The mountains are clearly visible from the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center. The following photo shows the view looking northeast. Turner’s and Fox’s Gaps break through the mountains, here. I trained eye can see Boonsboro and then scan right to find the gaps.
View of South Mountain from The Cornfield
Here is a view looking southeast from the D.R. Miller Cornfield. (Crampton’s Gap is hidden by Elk Ridge).
View from Near The Sunken Road
After you ride past the Observation Tower on the east end of Richardson Avenue, the road bends south and east toward the mountain range. The photo below shows the scene.
Turner’s Gap, Historic Markers
On September 14, 1862, Union Gen. George B. McClellan secured Turner’s, Fox’s, and Crampton’s Gaps. The following cast-iron tablets line Old National Pike near the Old South Mountain Inn, where both Union and Confederate officers stayed at different times during Gen. Lee’s Maryland Campaign. Hikers can access the Appalachian Trail from the inn parking lot on the other side of the road.
Fox’s Gap, North Carolina Monument
Crampton’s Gap, Correspondents Memorial Arch
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