Cornfield Trail Guide-Stop 2

Cannon firing demonstration

Stop 2 - Southern Battle Line

You are walking down the Confederate line of battle, positioned across this field in anticipation of the Federal attack at dawn. Brig. Gen. Alexander Lawton's Division was on this side of the Hagerstown Turnpike and "Stonewall" Jackson's Division was on the other, commanded by Brig. Gen. John R. Jones. Brig. Gen. John Bell Hood's Division was in reserve behind the Dunker Church. In all over 10,000 soldiers awaited the Federal onslaught. Artillery fire from every direction opened the day. Confederate Col. Alexander Pendleton remembered "such a storm of balls I never conceived it possible for men to live through. Shot and shell shrieking and crashing, canister and bullets whistling and hissing most fiend-like through the air until you could almost see them.”

Here where you stand was Col. Marcellus Douglas’ Brigade of Georgians (that’s the gray Georgia monument to your front right along Cornfield Ave). Col. Douglas was wounded by rifle fire, then killed by an artillery shell that blasted him into the air. As the men in blue broke out of the corn they faced this solid line of infantry in these open fields. Deadly Confederate volleys initially halted Hooker’s advance, but soon more Union troops were sent in, pushing the Southerners back.
Continue east along the line to the Smoketown Road.

Last updated: August 12, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 158
Sharpsburg, MD 21782


301 432-5124

Contact Us