Maryland opened its first comprehensive driving tour of Civil War sites Friday.
The tour was created to interpret the events leading up to and following the Sept. 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single day of fighting in American history.
The Antietam Campaign Trail covers 90 miles of scenic and historic roads starting at White's Ferry in Montgomery County and traveling through Frederick into Sharpsburg in Washington County.
Bugle trailblazer signs lead visitors to waysides where interpretive markers contain both military and anecdotal accounts of the two opposing armies as they maneuvered toward their encounter on that fateful day in 1862.
The Antietam Campaign trail also highlights recreational opportunities found in the region, from biking on the C&O; Canal to rafting on the Potomac River. Maps of the tour include several human-interest stories, including features on Civil War photography, transportation and medicine.
Maps are being distributed by the Maryland Welcome Centers.
Visitors may also call 800-719-5900 or order via the Internet at mdisfun.org
"Maryland has a proud and rich heritage, from our early Native American ancestors, through the fight for American independence, the War of 1812 and the penning of The Star- Spangled Banner, to the bloody days of the Civil War," said Gov. Parris N. Glendening. "The Antietam Campaign driving tour is an outstanding way for visitors to gain a unique perspective on the Civil War in Maryland and we are very excited about this opportunity to preserve and share these special Maryland Civil War stories."