The Shenandoah River is a tributary of the Potomac River, 55.6 miles long with two forks 100 miles long each, in the U. S. states of West Virginia. The principal tributary of the Potomac, the river and its tributaries drain the central and lower Shenandoah Valley and the Page Valley in the Appalachians on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in northwestern Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia; the Shenandoah River is formed northeast of Front Royal near Riverton, by the confluence of the South Fork and the North Fork. It flows northeast across Warren County. Beyond the I-66 bridge the river flows through a set of bends before turning to the northeast again, crossing into Clarke County 11 miles below I-66. Five miles downriver from the Clarke County border, the Shenandoah passes under U. S. Route 50 and passes through a triple bend. 14.5 miles below the Route 50 bridge, the river passes underneath State Route 7 and continues northeast another 8 miles where it crosses into Jefferson County in West Virginia.
Once in West Virginia the river completes six large bends before joining with the Potomac from the southwest near Harpers Ferry. The confluence is on the West Virginia-Maryland border and 0.4 miles from the Virginia-West Virginia border. The Shenandoah valley is underlain by limestone; the fertile soil made it a favored place for early settlement. It continues to be a major agricultural area of West Virginia; some karst topography is evident, the limestone is honeycombed with caves. Several have been developed as commercial tourist attractions, including Luray Caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, Skyline Caverns. On the riverbank a few miles above Harper's Ferry is said to be a cave with an opening just large enough for a mounted rider to squeeze through, it widened in the interior to a spacious room where hundreds of Col. John Mosby's raiding troops are said to have hidden from pursuing Union cavalry. Since 2005, the Shenandoah River has experienced several springtime fish kills that have affected several of its native fish species.
In 2005, redbreast sunfish and smallmouth bass along a 100-mile stretch of the South Fork Shenandoah River began dying of lesions caused by bacteria and fungi. Although the fish kill wiped out 80% of the adult redbreast sunfish and smallmouth bass, juvenile populations appeared to be unaffected; the following year more-localized fish kills in Clarke County spread to two of the Shenandoah's three species of sucker: the shorthead redhorse and the northern hogsucker – the former suffering from similar lesions witnessed in the previous year's fish kill. Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality received reports of fish kills near Elkton and between Bentonville and Front Royal in late April 2007 and observed fish exhibiting lesions and strange behavior. Various accounts tell the origin of the name. According to one, General George Washington named the valley in honor of Skenandoa, an Oneida "pine tree chief" based in New York, who led hundreds of Oneida and Tuscarora warriors in support of the American rebels on the frontier during the Revolutionary War.
He sent much needed corn to Washington and his troops during their hard winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1777-1778. However, the name was in use when Washington was a child, as evidenced in land grants and correspondence, it is said to be named after the Senedo people, a little-documented tribe said to have lived on the north fork of the river and destroyed by the Catawba, some time between 1650 and 1700. The Shenandoah River is a popular river for canoeing, river tubing, white-water recreation such as rafting and kayaking, several commercial outfitters offer a variety of guided trips and rentals; the South Fork is formed at Port Republic in southern Rockingham County, by the confluence of the North River and South River. It flows 98.5 miles northeast in a tight meandering course, past Elkton and Shenandoah, through Page Valley, with the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Massanutten Mountain range to the west. North River Middle River South River Back Creek Overall Run Gooney Creek The North Fork is 105 miles long and rises in northern Rockingham County, along the eastern flank of Shenandoah Mountain in the George Washington National Forest.
At its formation, the principal feeder on the North Fork is the German River. The North Fork flows southeast, down from the mountains northeast through a valley across Shenandoah County, along the western side of Massanutten Mountain, it flows past Strasburg. On the north end of the ridge it turns southeast to join the South Fork from the northwest to form the Shenandoah. Stikeys Run Double Run The American folk song "Oh Shenandoah" has been recorded in the 20th century by a number of notable artists; the song is about one estranged from the Shenandoah River. West Virginia's state song and the signature song of John Denver, "Take Me Home, Country Roads", prominently mentions the Shenandoah River. List of Virginia rivers List of West Virginia rivers Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries - South Fork Friends of the North Fork Shenandoah River Shenandoah Riverkeeper
Conococheague Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River, is a free-flowing stream that originates in Pennsylvania and empties into the Potomac River near Williamsport, Maryland. It is 80 miles with 57 miles in Pennsylvania and 23 miles in Maryland; the watershed of Conococheague Creek has an area of 566 square miles, out of which only 65 square miles are in Maryland. The word "Conococheague" is translated from the Delaware Indian or Unami-Lenapi term òk'chaxk'hanna, which means "many-turns-river." The Conococheague, or Connogochegue, as it was known at the time, was the northernmost extent of the range along the Potomac within which Congress in the Residence Bill of 1790 authorized the establishment of the Federal District, known as the District of Columbia. By presidential proclamation, George Washington placed the District at the lower end of the range, near the "Eastern Branch" Anacostia River, which marked the southernmost extent of the Residence Bill's range; the water divide between Conococheague Creek and Conodoguinet Creek is sometimes used as the boundary between the Hagerstown Valley and the Cumberland Valley.
Conococheague Creek, above its confluence with its West Branch, is sometimes referred to as the East Branch Conococheague Creek. At 53.1 miles, the "East Branch" is 7 miles shorter than the West Branch. It rises in the South Mountain range of south-central Pennsylvania, forming in northwestern Adams County between East Big Flat Ridge and Piney Mountain; the creek flows southwest, turning west at Caledonia State Park, continues past Fayetteville into the Great Appalachian Valley, turning southwest at Chambersburg and flowing west of Greencastle. The creek from Fayetteville to its confluence with Back Creek near Williamson is polluted from farm runoff. Over the past 30 years there has been a steady decline in the number of available native fish species, such as yellow perch, horned chub, calico bass, rock bass, white sucker, overall water quality due to sediment collection on the bottom, thereby limiting the ability of these native species to spawn; this in turn has made parts of the lower East Branch ideal for catching huge crayfish at night.
The West Branch flows for 60.0 miles the entire length of western Franklin County, before joining the main branch near the borough of Greencastle. The West Branch is the more pure of the two, owing to the fact that a large portion of it runs through wilderness, making for fine smallmouth bass and rock bass fishing. However, there are a few small sewage treatment plants on the lower West Branch, starting at Fort Loudon, that make the lower West Branch less hospitable to native species' spawning. Northern pike and pickerel have been caught in the creek; the West Branch flows southwest along the Tuscarora Trail to around Fort Loudon turns south, southeast, joining the main stem 8.2 kilometres north of the Mason–Dixon line. The Bridge in Metal Township crosses the West Branch Conococheague Creek at Metal Township in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Conococheague Creek continues south into Maryland and enters the Potomac near Williamsport, where the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road crossed the river at William's Ferry, continuing on to Winchester, Virginia.
The crossing is where Braddock's forces crossed the Potomac after leaving Frederick on their way to Winchester. The Tuscarora Trail crosses the Conococheague. List of Maryland rivers List of rivers of Pennsylvania U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Conococheague Creek Conococheague Creek at Maryland Department of the Environment
West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region in the Southern United States, considered to be a part of the Middle Atlantic States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, is ranked 38th in population; the capital and largest city is Charleston. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, after the American Civil War had begun. Delegates from some Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, although they included many secessionist counties in the new state. West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, was a key border state during the war. West Virginia was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the first to separate from any state since Maine separated from Massachusetts, was one of two states admitted to the Union during the American Civil War.
While a portion of its residents held slaves, most of the residents were yeomen farmers, the delegates provided for gradual abolition of slavery in the new state Constitution. The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States; however the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies West Virginia as a part of the Mid-Atlantic. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia; the unique position of West Virginia means that it is included in several geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, the Southeastern United States.
It is the only state, within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The state is noted for its mountains and rolling hills, its significant logging and coal mining industries, its political and labor history, it is known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various prehistoric mound builder cultures survive in the areas of present-day Moundsville, South Charleston, Romney; the artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of village societies. They had a tribal trade system culture. In the 1670s during the Beaver Wars, the powerful Iroquois, five allied nations based in present-day New York and Pennsylvania, drove out other American Indian tribes from the region in order to reserve the upper Ohio Valley as a hunting ground. Siouan language tribes, such as the Moneton, had been recorded in the area. A century the area now identified as West Virginia was contested territory among Anglo-Americans as well, with the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia claiming territorial rights under their colonial charters to this area before the American Revolutionary War.
Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and present day Kentucky, but failed. This rivalry resulted in some settlers petitioning the Continental Congress to create a new territory called Westsylvania. With the federal settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute, creating Kentucky County, Kentuckians "were satisfied, the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful."The Crown considered the area of West Virginia to be part of the British Virginia Colony from 1607 to 1776. The United States considered this area to be the western part of the state of Virginia from 1776 to 1863, before the formation of West Virginia, its residents were discontented for years with their position in Virginia, as the government was dominated by the planter elite of the Tidewater and Piedmont areas. The legislature had electoral malapportionment, based on the counting of slaves toward regional populations, the western white residents were underrepresented in the state legislature.
More subsistence and yeoman farmers lived in the west and they were less supportive of slavery, although many counties were divided on their support. The residents of this area became more divided after the planter elite of eastern Virginia voted to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Residents of the western and northern counties set up a separate government under Francis Pierpont in 1861, which they called the Restored Government. Most voted to separate from Virginia, the new state was admitted to the Union in 1863. In 1864 a state constitutional convention drafted a constitution, ratified by the legislature without putting it to popular vote. West Virginia abolished slavery by a gradual process and temporarily disenfranchised men who had held Confederate office or fought for the Confederacy. West Virginia's history has been profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain and vast river valleys, rich natural resources; these were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of its residents, who tended to live in many small isolated communities in the mountain valleys.
A 2010 analysis of
Grant County, West Virginia
Grant County is a county in the U. S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,937, its county seat is Petersburg. The county was named for General Ulysses Simpson Grant. Most of the 47 people killed in the 1985 Election day floods were in Pendleton and Grant counties, according to the National Weather Service. At Franklin, the Pendleton County seat, the South Branch of the Potomac River crested at 22.6 feet during the incident. Flood stage in the shallow riverbed was only 7 feet. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 480 square miles, of which 477 square miles is land and 2.9 square miles is water. U. S. Route 48 U. S. Route 50 U. S. Route 220 West Virginia Route 28 West Virginia Route 42 West Virginia Route 55 West Virginia Route 93 Mineral County Hardy County Pendleton County Randolph County Tucker County Preston County Garrett County, Maryland Monongahela National Forest Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area As of the census of 2000, there were 11,299 people, 4,591 households, 3,273 families residing in the county.
The population density was 24 people per square mile. There were 6,105 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 98.33% White, 0.67% Black or African American, 0.26% Indigenous American, 0.14% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, 0.45% from two or more races. 0.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 4,591 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.50% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.70% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.87. In the county, the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 26.80% from 45 to 64, 15.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years.
For every 100 females there were 97.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.50 males. The median income for a household in the county was $28,916, the median income for a family was $33,813. Males had a median income of $24,796 versus $18,354 for females; the per capita income for the county was $15,696. About 12.60% of families and 16.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 18.70% of those age 65 or over. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,937 people, 4,941 households, 3,435 families residing in the county; the population density was 25.0 inhabitants per square mile. There were 6,366 housing units at an average density of 13.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 97.7% white, 0.7% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.5% from other races, 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.9% were German, 15.0% were American, 9.3% were Irish, 5.3% were English.
Of the 4,941 households, 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.5% were non-families, 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 44.0 years. The median income for a household in the county was $35,593 and the median income for a family was $46,193. Males had a median income of $35,000 versus $24,643 for females; the per capita income for the county was $19,358. About 10.6% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over. Petersburg Bayard Whereas most of West Virginia has become a Republican bastion in the 21st century after having leaned Democratic between the New Deal and Bill Clinton, Grant County has always been among the most rock-ribbed Republican counties in the country. Since Grant County was created in 1866, no Democrat has managed to receive forty percent of the county’s vote in any Presidential election, only Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Jimmy Carter in 1976 received over thirty percent.
The only Republican to lose Grant County has been William Howard Taft in 1912 when the Republican Party was divided and Progressive Theodore Roosevelt claimed the majority of the county’s vote. Notably, in 2016, Donald Trump received the highest percentage of the vote cast for a presidential candidate in this county, holding Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to just over 10% of the vote. National Register of Historic Places listings in Grant County, West Virginia Grant County - Gateway to the Potomac Highlands Grant County Chamber of Commerce Grant County Press Grant County Development Authority Grant County Schools Grant County Historical/Genealogy Society, Inc. WVGenWeb Grant County
The Monocacy River is a free-flowing left tributary to the Potomac River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay. The river is 58.5 miles long, with a drainage area of about 744 square miles. It is the largest Maryland tributary to the Potomac; the name "Monocacy" comes from the Shawnee name for the river Monnockkesey, which translates to "river with many bends." The first town settled in Western Maryland, Monocacy gets its name from this river. The Monocacy National Battlefield lies alongside part of the river, marking an 1864 engagement during the American Civil War, the Battle of Monocacy Junction; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal crosses over the river at the Monocacy Aqueduct, the largest of the 11 aqueducts on the canal. The river rises in Carroll County, west of the unincorporated town of Harney at the Maryland-Pennsylvania border; the river is formed by the confluence of Marsh Creek and Rock Creek, which flow out of Adams County, Pennsylvania. Maryland tributaries include Furnace Branch, Tuscarora Creek, Carroll Creek, Linganore Creek and Ballenger Creek in Frederick County and Double Pipe Creek in Carroll County.
About 60% of the Monocacy watershed is dedicated to agricultural use. The city of Frederick and its suburbs form the largest urban area within the watershed; the 960 square mile water shed averages a flow of 600 Mgd at the mouth where it enters the Potomac River. Dendrology of the Watershed: The vegetation of the watershed is similar to what one would expect to find through the Piedmont and valley and ridge regions; some invasive species. A good source for plant and tree information is the USDA-NRCS Plant Fact Sheets; some Native or Established species that are viewed as beneficial vegetation in the watershed White oak Red Maple Cattail Silver Maple Bald Cypress Some invasive species that threaten to disrupt the ecosystem of the watershed: Tree of Heaven Parrott feather The State of Maryland designated the Monocacy as a Maryland Scenic River in 1974. However, it has one of the greatest nonpoint source pollution problems in the state due in large part to runoff from the 3,500 farms, livestock operations and dairies in the watershed.
The Maryland Department of the Environment has listed the Monocacy with impaired water quality for sediment and fecal coliform bacteria. A major tributary basin, the Double Pipe Creek watershed, is impaired for sediment and bacteria; some farmers in the Monocacy watershed participate in the national Conservation Security Program operated by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, designed to help stem pollution due to erosion and pollutant runoff from farming. In the 1990s the watershed was part of a national water quality demonstration project sponsored by USDA, which helped farmers reduce fertilizer usage and reduced discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus to the river. Point Source pollution within the watershed is well identified and regulated with few options to further reduce inputs outside investment in better technologies to remove contamination from water to be discharged into the system; because higher tech systems come at a higher cost it may be more effective for users to pay for removal of an equal or larger amount of nutrients from the system by installing natural storm water treatment features in urban and agricultural areas that will provide a better return on investment than trying the remove the last 5 mg/L of a nutrient out of wastewater discharge point.
Nutrients from waste water can be reduced to around 10 ppm using low tech solutions, in order to achieve lower concentrations to meet TMDL’s higher technology systems must be used. Green solutions to addressing runoff pollution include using natural filtration systems like a buffer strip or bio filtration system to treat storm water and reduce the volume and velocity in which the storm water enters the drainage system; the benefits of developing green infrastructure are many and reach beyond water treatment they include: Reduced runoff quantity Longer resonance time of water in the system Habitat Improvement Soil conservation Improved livability through green space Enhance property value Low impact and low cost Promotes native planting and growth Promotes stream restoration and healthBecause parts of the watershed near are underlain by karst topography it will be important to ensure that we are not loading groundwater in those areas to avoid destabilizing the subsurface resulting in a sinkhole, but that does not limit the use of bio retention and infiltration trenches, as long as they are lined in those areas.
Bio filters in a laboratory setting have been shown to remove up to 85% of phosphorus, 70% nitrogen and 95% of suspended solids from storm water prior to discharge for a properly sized unit. Although these results were observed in a controlled setting, a lower % removal would still make a significant impact in real world use given proper sizing and maintenance. In urban areas the goal is to treat and address storm water where it falls and to mitigate storm surges in the water system that increase the sediment and trash in the water course; this approach has an additional benefit of reducing scouring of the local stream beds to allow for stream bank stabilization. A side benefit is an increase in quality of life in hares with a high % of impervious surfaces, which coincide with poorer areas in municipalities; the state of Maryland has several good examples of storm water manageme
The Potomac River is located within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and flows from the Potomac Highlands into the Chesapeake Bay. The river is 405 miles long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles. In terms of area, this makes the Potomac River the fourth largest river along the Atlantic coast of the United States and the 21st largest in the United States. Over 5 million people live within the Potomac watershed; the river forms part of the borders between Maryland and Washington, D. C. on the left descending bank and West Virginia and Virginia on the river's right descending bank. The majority of the lower Potomac River is part of Maryland. Exceptions include a small tidal portion within the District of Columbia, the border with Virginia being delineated from "point to point". Except for a small portion of its headwaters in West Virginia, the North Branch Potomac River is considered part of Maryland to the low water mark on the opposite bank; the South Branch Potomac River lies within the state of West Virginia except for its headwaters, which lie in Virginia.
The Potomac River runs 405 miles from Fairfax Stone Historical Monument State Park in West Virginia on the Allegheny Plateau to Point Lookout and drains 14,679 square miles. The length of the river from the junction of its North and South Branches to Point Lookout is 302 miles; the average daily flow during the water years 1931-2018 was 11,498 cubic feet /s. The highest average daily flow recorded on the Potomac at Little Falls, was in March 1936 when it reached 426,000 cubic feet /s; the lowest average daily flow recorded at the same location was 601.0 cubic feet /s in September 1966 The highest crest of the Potomac registered at Little Falls was 28.10 ft, on March 19, 1936. The river has two sources; the source of the North Branch is at the Fairfax Stone located at the junction of Grant and Preston counties in West Virginia. The source of the South Branch is located near Hightown in northern Highland Virginia; the river's two branches converge just east of Green Spring in Hampshire County, West Virginia, to form the Potomac.
As it flows from its headwaters down to the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac traverses five geological provinces: the Appalachian Plateau, the Ridge and Valley, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont Plateau, the Atlantic coastal plain. Once the Potomac drops from the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line at Little Falls, tides further influence the river as it passes through Washington, D. C. and beyond. Salinity in the Potomac River Estuary increases thereafter with distance downstream; the estuary widens, reaching 11 statute miles wide at its mouth, between Point Lookout and Smith Point, before flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. "Potomac" is a European spelling of Patawomeck, the Algonquian name of a Native American village on its southern bank. Native Americans had different names for different parts of the river, calling the river above Great Falls Cohongarooton, meaning "honking geese" and "Patawomke" below the Falls, meaning "river of swans"; the spelling of the name has taken many forms over the years from "Patawomeck" to "Patomake", "Patowmack", numerous other variations in the 18th century and now "Potomac".
The river's name was decided upon as "Potomac" by the Board on Geographic Names in 1931. The river itself is at least 3.5 million years old extending back ten to twenty million years before present when the Atlantic Ocean lowered and exposed coastal sediments along the fall line. This included the area at Great Falls, which eroded into its present form during recent glaciation periods; the Potomac River brings together a variety of cultures throughout the watershed from the coal miners of upstream West Virginia to the urban residents of the nation's capital and, along the lower Potomac, the watermen of Virginia's Northern Neck. Being situated in an area rich in American history and American heritage has led to the Potomac being nicknamed "the Nation's River." George Washington, the first President of the United States, was born in, spent most of his life within, the Potomac basin. All of Washington, D. C. the nation's capital city lies within the watershed. The 1859 siege of Harper's Ferry at the river's confluence with the Shenandoah was a precursor to numerous epic battles of the American Civil War in and around the Potomac and its tributaries, such as the 1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff and the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown.
General Robert E. Lee crossed the river, thereby invading the North and threatening Washington, D. C. twice in campaigns climaxing in the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. Confederate General Jubal Early crossed the river in July 1864 on his attempted raid on the nation's capital; the river not only divided the Union from the Confederacy, but gave name to the Union's largest army, the Army of the Potomac. The Patowmack Canal was intended by George Washington to connect the Tidewater region near Georgetown with Cumberland, Maryland. Started in 1785 on the Virginia side of the river, it was not completed until 1802. Financial troubles led to the closure of the canal in 1830; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal operated along the banks of the Potomac in Maryland from 1831 to 1924 and connected Cumberland to Washington, D. C; this allowed freight to be transported around the rapids known as the
Antietam Creek is a 41.7-mile-long tributary of the Potomac River located in south central Pennsylvania and western Maryland in the United States, a region known as the Hagerstown Valley. The creek became famous as a focal point of the Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War; the creek is formed in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, at the confluence of the West and East Branches of Antietam Creek, about 2.3 miles south of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Welty's Mill Bridge crosses the East Branch of Little Antietam at Washington Township in Franklin County, Pennsylvania; the stream runs for about 0.5 miles upon its entering Washington County, Maryland. The course proceeds southward in a meandering pattern, the creek empties into the Potomac south of Sharpsburg about 50 miles upstream of Washington; the watershed area includes parts of Franklin County and Washington County. Major tributaries in Pennsylvania include Red Run and Falls Creek. Major tributaries in Maryland include Little Antietam Creek, Beaver Creek, Marsh Run.
Communities in the watershed include Waynesboro in Pennsylvania. The term "Antietam" is thought to be a derivative of an Algonquian phrase meaning "swift-flowing stream"; the creek is noted for numerous well-preserved stone arch bridges dating to the 19th century that still traverse the creek, the most famous of, the 125-foot-long Burnside's Bridge in the Antietam National Battlefield. The creek was a major topographic feature during the Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, fought on September 17, 1862, near the creek's mouth. Burnside's Bridge became a major focus of combat as Union forces under General Ambrose Burnside tried to capture the bridge from Confederate forces guarding the crossing from a high bluff overlooking the creek; the day of the battle is known as "the day Antietam Creek ran red" due to the blood of thousands of Union casualties mixing with the creek waters. Both sides lost about a fourth of their number but, despite General McClellan's refusal to press on his attacks, it served as a tactical Union victory, as Lee was forced to withdraw from Maryland.
Most of the watershed area is rural in nature, but the area surrounding Hagerstown is threatened by urban sprawl. The area is heavily cultivated, waste runoff from farms is a growing water quality concern; the Maryland Department of the Environment has identified farm runoff as the largest source of sediment in Antietam Creek and its tributaries. The second largest source is urban runoff. MDE recommends that farmers implement best management practices on their lands to control runoff, such as installing riparian buffers. List of Maryland rivers List of Pennsylvania rivers Baynes, T. S. ed. "Antietam", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 127 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. "Antietam", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2, Cambridge University Press, p. 124 Antietam Creek Watershed Alliance Antietam Watershed Association Battle of Antietam