17 September 2006 by Published in: General musings 2 comments

144 years ago today, September 17, 1862, the Battle of Antietam was fought. In a day-long slugging match along the banks of Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, that marked the climax of the first Confederate invasion of the North, the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia fought the bloodiest single day of the war. Lee’s army, outnumbered nearly two to one, held against McClellan’s assaults for an entire day. At the end of the day, 12,401 (2,108 killed, 9,540 wounded, 753 captured/missing) Union soldiers, and 10,316 (1,546 killed, 7,752 wounded, 1,018 captured/missing) Confederate soldiers–nearly 23,000 in all–were casualties. Lee waited for McClellan to attack him again on September 18, but McClellan had had enough. Finally, on September 19, Lee retreated back across the Potomac to the safety of Virginia. The first invasion of the North was over.

This post is dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who fought and died at Antietam. Their memory and their sacrifices are not forgotten.

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  1. Charles Bowery
    Mon 18th Sep 2006 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for the Sharpsburg shout-out. Brings back memories of many an Antietam Campaign staff ride- Harper’s Ferry, the South Mountain passes, Shepherdstown, Sharpsburg. It still chills me to the bone to stand at the Dunker Church with a copy of the Frassanito book and just think about what happened there. Truly hallowed ground.

  2. Mon 18th Sep 2006 at 6:48 pm


    It is indeed. Antietam has always been one of my favorite battlefields–kind of the anti-Gettysburg, in a lot of ways–and I love the pristine beauty of the place. It’s hard to imagine that such a beautiful place witnessed such horrors.


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