The trail map below shows the Final Attack Trail, current woodlots and the location of the historic 40-Acre Cornfield.
Stop 1 - Parking Area at Driving Tour Stop 9
The Final Attack Trail begins at Auto Tour Stop 9. The trail is 1.7 miles in length and takes 60 to 90 minutes to walk. The terrain is rolling and the trail can be uneven, so good walking shoes are recommended and please stay on the trail.
For two hours thousands of sweat stained, clanking, blue clad soldiers tramped by to your left and right in preparation for the final advance to drive Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army from Maryland. Approximately 8,000 Union soldiers would resupply and reorganize into a mile wide line of battle and advance across the ground that you will walk.
Stop 2 - Advance on Sharpsburg
The next two stops provide exceptional views of the Antietam Valley and the series of ridges and farms that the 9th Corps advanced across. At Stop 2 you are facing mostly east. Antietam Creek is at the bottom of the hill below you and the Burnside Bridge is 300 yards to your right. The Union 9th Corps gathered behind the hill on the other side of Antietam Creek and made their assaults on the bridge.
Stop 3 - Sherrick Farm
Notice the stone Observation Tower at the Sunken Road to the north. To the west is the modern water tower on the edge of Sharpsburg. In the valley in front of you is the Sherrick Farm. The farm was built in the 1830s by Joseph Sherrick Jr. and was leased to Leonard Emmert at the time of the battle. The Mumma family, whose farm on the north end of the battlefield was destroyed during the battle, moved into the Sherrick house while they rebuilt their farm. On the high ground behind the brick Sherrick house, marked by the tall evergreen trees, is the National Cemetery. Dedicated after the battle in 1867, this dominant ground was a farm field at the time of the battle. Confederate artillery was positioned there to take full advantage of this commanding piece of terrain. In fact, several of the guns were aimed directly at the ground you are standing on.
Last updated: February 2, 2021