The Battle Of Antietam


( or Sharpsburg) on September 17, 1862,
climaxed the first of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s two attempts to
carry the war into the north. About 40,000 southerners were against the
87,000- man Federal Army of the Potomac under General George McClellan.
When the fighting had ended, the course of the American Civil War had
greatly altered.
After his great victory at Manassas in August, Lee had marched his
Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland, hoping to find vitally needed men
and supplies. McClellan followed, first to Frederick ( where through rare
good fortune a copy of the Confederate battle plan, Lee’s Special Order
No.191, fell into his hands), then westward twelve miles to ...

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on the 16th,
Harpers Ferry having surrendered the day before, Lee consolidated his
position along the low ridge that runs north and south of the town. The
battle opened at dawn on the 17th when Union General Joseph Hooker’s
artillery began a murderous fire on Jackson’s men in the Miller cornfield
north of the town. Hooker’s troops advanced, driving the Confederates
before them, and Jackson reported that his men were “exposed for nearly an
hour to a terrific storm of shell, canister, and musketry.” About 7a.m.
Jackson was reinforced and succeeded in driving the Federals back. An hour
later Union soldiers under General Joseph Mansfield, counterattacked and by
9 o’clock had regained some of the lost ground. Then, in an effort to
extricate some of Mansfield’s men from their isolated position near the
Dunker Church, General John Sedgwick’s division of Edwin Sumner’s corps
advanced into the West Woods. There Confederate troops struck Sedgwick’s
men on both flanks, inflicting ...

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troops were driven back to the heights near the bridge
they had taken earlier. The Battle of Antietam was over. The next day Lee
began withdrawing his army across the Potomac River. More men were either
killed or wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862, than on any other
single day of the Civil War. Federal losses were 12,410, Confederate
losses were 10,700. Although neither side gained a decisive victory, Lee’
s failure to carry the war effort effectively into the north caused Great
Britain to postpone recognition of the confederate government. A few days
later, on September 22, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation
Proclamation that declared all slaved in Confederate- held ...

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Added: 3/25/2006 10:42:30 AM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1336
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