The battle of Antietam is known as the bloodiest single day in American history during
the Civil war. The battle took place near Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862 between
the Union Army of the Potomac under the command of General George McClellan and the
Confederate Army of Northern Virginia led by General Robert E Lee. The battle of Antietam is
known as the bloodiest day in American history because there was one casualty every 2 seconds
for the 12 hours the battle lasted totaling 23,000 men killed or wounded in the fields, woods and
dirt roads, and it changed the course of the Civil War. (Bowman, 2012)
This was Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the north. Following his ...view middle of the document...
The intelligence found would have given General McClellan the advantage he
needed to defeat General Lee but due to General McClellan being over cautious the information
provided was not acted on in a timely manner. General McClellan reportedly gloated after
receiving General Lees plans saying, "Here is a paper with which if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee,
I will be willing to go home." (Union troops discover Rebels' Antietam battle plan, 2014) .
The fighting took place in three different areas of the battle field, the Dunker Church, the
West woods, and Millers Cornfield which saw the most bloody and brutal fighting of the entire
The corn was head high and very thick. Troops on both sides blindly fought each other in
hand-to-hand combat, shot and shell ripped through the corn hitting soldiers from all
sides. (Antietam, 2013). "The thing about Antietam is it's a very personal battle, the vast
majority of combat here is done at very close range — 100 yards and closer. It's savage and
personal. So when you pop out, the enemy is right there." (Bowman, 2012)
There was no real winner of the battle of Antietam it was considered a tactical draw but it
was claimed by General McClellan after General Lee was forced to leave the battlefield and
retreated back to Virginia due to the number of casualties his Army suffered . The claimed
victory was enough to give President Abraham Lincoln the advantage he needed to issue his
Emancipation proclamation freeing the slaves.
The major lesson learned from the battle of Antietam is that...