American Sycamore Tree

Burnside Bridge
Antietam National Battlefield Sharpsburg, Maryland

The sole living witness to America’s bloodiest day...

With over 23,000 casualties, the Battle of Antietam was not only the bloodiest single day of the Civil War, but was the bloodiest single day battle in all of American military history.
As Union General George McClellan’s troops narrowly thwarted Confederate General Robert Lee’s attempt to take the war to the North, Major General George Burnside was charged with taking the stone bridge that spanned Antietam Creek. The bridge, an integral part of Union success, was a focal point of the battle. Photographs taken within days of the battle show the American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) at the foot of the bridge as a mere sapling. Today, however, the grand tree stands as the sole living witness of America’s bloodiest day.

Photo courtesy National Park Service
educational partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

John A. Brooks, Inc. • The Brown Foundation • Charles Butt • The City of Charleston • Barb & George Cochran • Topher Delaney• Jungle Gardens, Inc. • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens • Marc Dutton Irrigation, Inc. • Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation • L. Cary Saurage II Fund • Jeff & Patsy Tarr • Seibert & Rice