The Battle of Antietam

By: Gabe Franklin and Andrew Phillips

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September 17th, 1862

Antietam, Maryland

The Battle of Antietam was fought between the Northern General George McClellan and Southern General Robert E. Lee. This battle was the bloodiest in the Civil War, resulting in a total of 10,318 Confederate casualties and 12,401 Union casualties.

Starting Causes

The Battle of Antietam was part of the of Confederate Campaign during the Civil War. The Battle of Antietam was the first battle fought in North in the Civil War. So the Army of the Potomac had to stop the Confederate advance. General McClellan and General Robert E. Lee had kicked off the battle whilst General Burnside of the Union and General A.P. Hill of the Confederacy show up later in the fight. Also note there were various other small generals in the battle as well on both sides.

Build Up

Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1862 at 6:45am

5831 Dunker Church Rd

Sharpsburg, MD

Union troops advance towards Dunker Church and just across the way in David Miller's cornfield Confederate troops wait to strike.

First Shots

Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1862 at 7-9am

5831 Dunker Church Rd

Sharpsburg, MD

The Union troops spot the bayonets of the Confederate troop in the cornfield and line in position to begin to fire, this creates a 2 hour long skirmishing period and in between is to be considered to be bloodiest spot in the United States.

An Advancement on Robert E. Lee's left flank

Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1862 at 9:30am

Dunker Church Road

Sharpsburg, MD

General Edwin Sumner of the Union Army decides to led a force of 5,000 troops to attack the West flank of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Whilst advancing through some wood to attack, the groups suddenly becomes under fire and 2,000 men are killed in under 20 minutes.

The results of Sunken Road

Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1862 at 11am-1pm

Sunken Road

Fredericksburg, VA

An area in Sharpsburg, Maryland where a lot of the fighting in which the Battle of Antietam took place has ended and has moved on to other areas in Sharpsburg, leaving behind it about 5,600 casualties which it earned its nickname "Bloody Lane".

On the Offensive

Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 10am-1pm

5831 Dunker Church Rd

Sharpsburg, MD

Whilst fighting at Sunken Road is going on, General Ambrose Burnside is order to attack Lee's right flank. . Burnside sends General Isaac Rodman downstream to cross Antietam Creek and attack Confederate troops on the west side of the stream. It takes the Union three attempts to cross Rohrbach’s Bridge, now known as Burnside’s Bridge, the southernmost crossing of the creek.

Mile Long Wall

Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1862 at 3pm

5831 Dunker Church Rd

Sharpsburg, MD

Now that the Union had gained control of the bridge, Burnside’s men form a mile-wide battle line, pushing Confederate forces back toward Sharpsburg.

Reinforcement for One Side

Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1862 at 4pm

5831 Dunker Church Rd

Sharpsburg, MD

General A. P. Hill’s Confederate reinforcements arrive from Harpers Ferry and immediately engage in a counterattack against the Federal left flank. Burnside’s troops fall back to a position on the west bank of Antietam Creek, where Burnside makes an urgent request for more men. General George McClellan tells him he can spare only one battery, famously saying, “I can do nothing more. I have no infantry.” In fact, nearly a third of McClellan’s army remains in reserve. Burnside’s men therefore spend the rest of the day guarding the bridge they had taken hours earlier.


Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1862 at 5:30pm

5831 Dunker Church Rd

Sharpsburg, MD

The battle ends with no clear winner. It is, however, a turning point in the Civil War because it ends Lee’s strategic campaign and allows President Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Of 23,000 casualties on both sides, 3,600 are dead, making this the bloodiest day in American history.
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Union Eye Witness

  • We were finally however ordered to lie down in a cornfield & stray shot and shell began to whiz over our heads and burst around us. Of course every one thought it incumbent upon him to dodge every time he heard a chirra whoo even though it was flying a hundred feet above us. This feeling soon passed away however and the boys were decidedly too anxious to get up and see what was going on. They were soon satisfied. We were ordered to get up and throw off our bundles (I in this way lost my rubber and woolen blankets & have not seen them since) & march to the left into the woods [East Woods]. Lying just in front of our lines was a great number of dead and wounded. One poor fellow lay just before us with one leg shot off; the other shattered and otherwise badly wounded; fairly shrieking with pain.

Lt. Sebastian Duncan, Jr., 13th New Jersey Infantry, 12th Corps

Letter to his Mother, Sept. 21, 1862, Duncan Papers, New Jersey Historical Society
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