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Cacadores

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Apr 27 11 10:53 PM

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Antietam

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Battle of Antietam by Thulstrup

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE'S first invasion of the North culminated with the Battle of Antietam, in Maryland (or Sharpsburg, as the South called it). The battle took place on Wednesday, September 17, 1862, just 18 days after the Confederate victory at Second Manassas, 40 miles to the southeast in Virginia.

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Cacadores

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Apr 27 11 10:53 PM

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Not only was this the first major Civil War engagement on Northern soil, it was also the bloodiest single day battle in American history.

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Cacadores

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Apr 27 11 10:54 PM

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Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker


The Battle

After pursuing Confederate General Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Union Army Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan launched attacks against Lee's army, in defensive positions behind Antietam Creek. At dawn on September 17, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee's left flank.

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Cacadores

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Apr 27 11 10:55 PM

Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller's cornfield and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. In the afternoon, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's corps entered the action, capturing a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and advancing against the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, Confederate Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill's division arrived from Harpers Ferry and launched a surprise counterattack, driving back Burnside and ending the battle. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout September 18, while removing his battered army south of the Potomac River.

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Cacadores

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Apr 27 11 10:55 PM

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Despite having superiority of numbers, McClellan's attacks failed to achieve force concentration, allowing Lee to counter by shifting forces and moving interior lines to meet each challenge. Despite ample reserve forces that could have been deployed to exploit localized successes, McClellan failed to destroy Lee's army. Nevertheless, Lee's invasion of Maryland was ended, and he was able to withdraw his army back to Virginia without interference from the cautious McClellan. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, it had significance as enough of a victory to give President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from potential plans for recognition of the Confederacy.

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Cacadores

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Apr 27 11 10:59 PM

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The Lutheran Church just east of Sharpsburg marks the extent of the Union offensive during the Battle of Antietam, 1862. Union skirmishers moved to the cross street just beyond the church as a Confederate division commanded by A.P. Hill arrived on the Shepherdstown Road, surprising Burnside's troops and driving them back

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Cacadores

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Apr 27 11 11:03 PM

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Confederate guns on the hill above poured fire into the Union ranks at Burnside's bridge. Photo taken just after the Battle of Antietam, 1862.

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