Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Burnside's Bridge

I think Burnside got unfairly criticized for what happen at Rohrbach Bridge. I think Henry Kyd Douglas exaggerated when he said the Antietam could be forded anywhere. During the roundtable's study of the battle this was a part of the fighting that I presented. I don't want to go into all the details but generally I think Burnside did his job about as well as he could. His lone mistake was in not finding the true location of Snavely's Ford earlier. Had he done this then he might have taken the bridge earlier and might have put Lee in a much worse situation before AP Hill's arrival. But just about everything else Burnside did was better than historians have depicted. Here are several views of the bridge. This first one was taken from the Confederate side of the creek.
Now on the same level as the bridge but still on the Confederate side. The 51st New York monument can be seen at the end of the bridge.
Looking towards the Confederate side from the stonewall the 51st Pennsylvania used for protection during their assault.
From the Union side showing how narrow the bridge is. We lined up a row of guys and a column of four is about the best that could be done. We had 6 guys across but that was perfectly tight, no movement allowed. So to move across 4 is as wide as the formation could be.
The view from near the 11th Connecticut's monument. Some clearing of trees has been done in this area. On my previous trip I don't remember being able to see this monument but it was quite visible this time and was the reason I wandered over there.

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