Sharpsburg, Maryland

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Sharpsburg is a town in Washington County, Maryland, United States, approximately 13 miles (21 km) south of Hagerstown. The population was 691 at the 2000 census.

During the American Civil War, the Battle of Antietam (or Battle of Sharpsburg) was fought on what is now Antietam National Battlefield, in the vicinity of Antietam Creek.



A settler named Joseph Chapline settled in the area around 1740. After the conclusion of the French and Indian War, he founded the town in 1763, naming it in honor of his friend Horatio Sharpe, the Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland.

Situated to the east of the Potomac River and its water power, the town attracted industry in the early 19th century, particularly after the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was extended to Sharpsburg around 1836. It was incorporated in 1832.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland in the late summer of 1862 and was intercepted by Union General George B. McClellan. Their armies met in the Battle of Antietam (or Battle of Sharpsburg) on September 17, 1862—the single bloodiest day of the American Civil War and all of American military history, with nearly 23,000 casualties. The inconclusive but strategic Union victory politically enabled Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

This victory was a turning point of the war because it stopped the Confederacy from advancing and winning an important battle on Northern soil. Sharpsburg claims its Memorial Day commemoration as one of the first in the U.S., having their 142nd consecutive celebration in 2009.[1] The city also celebrates an annual Heritage Festival in mid-September.

The town core was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008 as the Sharpsburg Historic District.[2]


Sharpsburg elects a mayor and six town councilmen, all to four-year terms.


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