During the fighting in the West Woods, the Philadelphia Brigade, commanded by Gen. O.O. Howard, lost more than 550 men in about twenty minutes of combat. Thirty years later the Philadelphia Brigade Association purchased eleven acres for their monument. The veterans decided to use the excess property around the monument to establish a public park. They planted trees, erected a gate, and in 1896 dedicated a monument in what is known today as Philadelphia Brigade Park. Over seventy feet tall, the Philadelphia Brigade Monument is the tallest monument on Antietam National Battlefield.
"They poured their blood out like water, and we must look to God and our country for a just reward."
Gen. O.O. Howard, Commander of the Philadelphia Brigade
"My comrades of the Philadelphia Brigade...you have erected a magnificent monument in honor of the private soldier who laid his life on the alter of his country in the time of need. No one could do more, and, therefore none more deserving of this honor. You have fittingly placed it on the field where so many brave comrades fell, and the imperishable nature of it is a guarantee that it will remain long after we have all passed away."
Capt. John E. Reilly,
monument dedication, September 17, 1896