The Battle of Antietam

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September 16-18, 1862, outside of the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, between the Potomac River and Antietam Creek, was the location of the bloodiest battle in American history. Confederate Colonel Stephen D. Lee described it as “Artillery Hell” because of the frightful toll on his gunners and horses from Federal counter battery and infantry fire. (AotW, 2014) The battle of Antietam, or the Battle of Sharpsburg, would collect an estimated 23,100 total casualties (Luvaas and Nelson, 1987). The body count far exceeded any of the other three battles waged in the Maryland Campaign (Harpers Ferry, South Mountain, and Shepherdstown). This battle was a contributing factor in the outcome of our country and the rest of the world. The Union Army desperately needed a victory at Antietam; however, a victory for the Confederate rebels may have very well gained them international recognition as a sovereign country in the eyes of the rest of the world. The Federal Army, which belonged to the Union States, consisted of an all-volunteer army and was a larger army than the Confederate States. Even though the Battle of Antietam was inconclusive, President Lincoln went on to read the Emancipation Proclamation to the country, effectively ending slavery, and ensuring that no foreign nation would intervene on the Confederates behave. The Battle of Antietam was filled will weaponry that was state of the art at its time. Smooth barrel and rifling barrel cannons where employed on both sides which helped to contribute to the high death toll; terrain was also instrumental at key locations on the battlefield. Such key locations were the cornfield North of Sharpsburg, Dunker church, Sunken Road, and Burnside bridge all of which contributed to bot... ... middle of paper ... ... addition to preserving the Union. By the end of the war, it had influenced citizens to accept the abolition for all slaves in both the North and South. The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, passed on December 6, 1865. Works Cited Alexander T. (2013). “” Battle of Antietam: Two Great American Armies Engage in Combat <> . 3/21/2014 Elder D. (2003). “” Remarkable Sergeants: Ten Vignettes of Noteworthy NCOs <> 3/21/2014 Luvaas J., & Nelson H.W. (1987). The U.S. Army War College Guide to the Battle of Antietam The Maryland Campaign of 1862. (pg. 302). 3/21/2014 “Antietam on the Web”<> 3/21/2014 Battle Maps 3/21/2014

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