Battle of Antietam

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On September 16, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan confronted Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn September 17, Hooker’s soldiers mounted a powerful assault on Lee's troops that began the single bloodiest day in American military history. Fighting swept across Miller’s cornfield and fighting continued around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually penetrated the Confederate center, but the Union advantage was not followed up. Late in the day, Burnside’s troops crossed the stone bridge over Antietam Creek . At a crucial moment, A.P. Hill’s division arrived from Harpers Ferry and counterattacked, driving back Burnside and saving the day. Although outnumbered 2-1, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Union to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of heavy casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout the 18th, while removing his wounded south of the river. McClellan did not renew the assaults. After dark, Lee ordered the Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw across the Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley. The battle resulted in a union strategic victory, but no distinct winner.

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This page contains a single entry by AndrewSchell published on March 15, 2009 2:18 PM.

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