Fourteen bridge constructions were commissioned to connect roads in Washington County. Master bridge builder John Weaver completed construction on five of them in 1836, including one built by local Dunker farmers. That particular bridge, three-arched, 12-foot wide, 125-foot long, was located on Antietam Creek and allowed farmers to move their livestock to the Sharpsburg markets. The three arches were made of the local limestone. It cost $3,200 to build the bridge at the time. Also known as Rohrbach's Bridge after a farmer named Henry Rohrbach who lived nearby and Lower Bridge, referencing the nearby Upper Bridge and Middle Bridge.
Backstory and Context
James Nagle's 1st Brigade from 2nd Division attempted the sieze the bridge next. The 2nd Maryland and the 6th New Hampshire Infantry rushed the bridge using a farm road. The Georgian sharpshooters spotted and engaged them. The Union troops were stopped less than half way to the bridge and turned back. The 14,000 Union soldiers had been stopped by a force of 450 Georgians.
The 51st New York and the 51st Pennsylvania Infantry from Brigadier General Edward Ferrero's brigade assaulted next. Attacking from the Union side of the creek, they were temporarily stopped at the walls near the bridge. After a duel with the sharpshooters that delayed the Union force longer than expected, the New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians finally charged siezed the bridge. After the war, the U.S. government acquired the bridge and surrounding land and put a stop to all vehicle traffic over it. Foot traffic is still allowed. As part of the Battle of Antietem it is a national landmark, and remainds one of the most photographed bridges of the Civil War.