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The Battle of Antietam: September 17, 1862

On September 17, 1862, the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, was fought. The battle was a decisive engagement in the American Civil War. It was the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, with 3,650 dead and more than 19,000 wounded, missing or captured.

Fold3 Image - Antietam, Maryland. Confederate dead in a ditch on the right wing
The battle came on the heels of the Maryland Campaign, an offensive led by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, that pushed troops northward and into Maryland in early September 1862.

Union troops, under the command of Gen. George B. McClellan, were demoralized. They had suffered defeats, including one at the Second Battle of Bull Run. The tides turned on September 13th, when Union soldiers discovered a copy of Special Order 191. The Order, issued by General Lee four days previously, outlined movement plans for Confederate troops. It was inadvertently left behind at a campsite that was later occupied by Union troops. An ecstatic General McClellan immediately planned a counter-offensive.

Four days later, the two armies met at the Battle of Antietam. During that day, Union soldiers would participate in three major attacks against the Confederacy. The first charge started that morning against Lee’s left flank in a cornfield on a farm occupied by the David R. Miller family.

In the center, a farm lane called Sunken Road (later known as Bloody Lane) became the scene of death and carnage during a fierce battle that resulted in 5,500 casualties. That afternoon, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside led a battle for control of a stone bridge that spanned Antietam Creek. By the time Burnside took control of the bridge, more than 600 soldiers had been killed or wounded. One of those casualties was Pvt. Peter Mann. His widow Ann gave birth to a baby girl a few months after his death. She named the baby Antietam Burnside Mann. The bridge is still known as Burnside Bridge.

On September 18th, Gen. Lee withdrew his troops from the battlefield. The retreat emboldened the North and paved the way for President Lincoln to issue his Emancipation Proclamation five days later. The Emancipation Proclamation gave a dual purpose to the war; the preservation of the Union and the abolishment of slavery.

Do you have ancestors that fought in the Battle of Antietam? Search our Civil War records to learn more about this battle and other Civil War battles.


  1. Hello,
    My ancestors, William Bowers and his brothers fought in this battle. The Avey farm, also related ancestors through the Bowers, is located near the battlefield and is part of the historical district. I have written about my ancestors in my blog. See website below.
    Thank you Fold3!

  2. Gregory Kent Laughlin says:

    My second-great-grandfather, two of his brothers, and other kinsmen fought there in the Cornfield, as part of the 27th Indiana. My ancestor and one of his brothers were shot. Both were disabled. The brother was transferred to the Veterans Corp. My ancestor was honorably discharged abd died from renewed infection of his gunshot wound a few years later. I’ve visited the battlefield several times, including for the 150th Anniversary.

    • John S. Arford says:

      My great grandfather and his brother were there too. 27th Infantry, from Odon, Indiana. Daniel was shelled in his foot. Didn’t answer roll call. All thought he was dead, he was not. My great grandfather finished the war thinking his brother was dead. William suffered mentally until the day he died, besides the through and trough wound he suffered in his jaw.
      It was a great devastation of loss of life and limb,
      Having a military background myself, no winners, just massive destruction and causalities all around.

  3. Bob. Mickert says:

    Yes my great grandfather William Hodgins was at Antietam. He was in the 63rd New York which was part of the Irish Brigade.

  4. Randy Peacock says:

    My gg grandfather David Peacock enlisted 1861 as pvt in 27th NC Infantry co K; was wounded in shoulder at Sharpsburg and in hand /breast at Bristoe Station. Surrendered with Lee at Appomattox. Died in 1904 Ga.

  5. Ed Drpaer says:

    It was NOT a decisive battle for the North. With Burnside in command the North blundered away the advantage they had and only “won” because Lee withdrew. Lincoln, not having any real victory to sustain his Emancipation Proclamation issued it anyway. And that Proclamation only freed the slave from the rebelling state, NOT the 3 Northern slave states

    • Albert Richardson says:

      It was decisive in the sense that the Union clearly won the battle. Unfortunately, the Union did not chase down and destroy the retreating Confederate army when they might have had the chance.

      Antietam did not IMO turn the course of the war in the way that Gen. Sherman’s march through the South and the Battle of Gettysburg did. Even these campaigns could not prevent the war from ending in a year long battle of attrition in the trenches around Petersburg.

      My GGF, Albert Ariel Richardson, was a SharpShooter in Hiram Berdan’s 1 Regiment, Company I, of the U.S.S.S. This regiment was attached to the Union Army 5th corps and held in reserve during the Battle of Antietam. My GGF certainly witnessed the aftermath of the battle. He wrote a letter home in which he mentioned a U.S.S.S. casualty shortly after Antietam at Blackford’s Ford that Capt. C. A. Stevens also mentions in his book, “Berdan’s United States Sharpshooters in the Army of the Potomac 1861-1865.”

    • Nancy Mott says:

      Nor did it free slaves in Southern states already in Union hands, like Tennessee. Nevertheless it confirmed what African Americans, both enslaved and free, knew instinctively: the war came on because of slavery and the need to defend that as a way of organizing Southern economy. As Frederick Douglass said early in the war, the war was about slavery whether the North knew it yet or not.

    • John W. Loosemore says:

      I’m certainly not one who thinks Confederate monuments should be taken down, or the Confederate battle flag should be banned, but generally speaking when one side gives up and leaves the battlefield then the other side can claim a legitimate victory. Whether they capitalize upon that victory in a wise way can be another story.

      Lincoln, as commander-in-chief of the military and exercising something halfway resembling reasonable “war powers” would not have had the constitutional authority to free slaves in states not at war with the Union.

      It is certainly frustrating to see it now fashionable to demonize great men such as Lee, when other national heroes such as Washington and Jefferson were slave owners just the same… or to hear the Confederacy ripped for allowing slavery for 3 or 4 years when the U.S. Constitution allowed it for several decades. In my opinion slavery was a flaw in the formation of our nation, without which it could never have been formed at all, and one which inevitably had to be worked out at great cost at some point. It is our joint, common history, not the unique fault of these men who were born into an already-existing system.

    • John Ha says:

      Ed it actually freed no slaves as the South was not under Lincoln’s command – thus it was only symbolic. It is also not widely know that the “slaves” were treated as property by Lincoln which was how he “freed” them – as war blunder

    • Jim Walters says:

      You are correct , sir. It was only a stalemate because the special orders 191 were found wrapping a couple of cigars at the camp. If they hadn’t been found….

    • Great defense of the truth!

    • The Union also had many regiments in reserve which if they were sent to engage while Lee’s back was to the river a complete victory was possible.

  6. Naomi Seppala says:

    My great great grandfather Albert Warmbold, Cpl. Co C, 5th Maryland was KIA at the Sunken Road. He was a 41 year old shoemaker from Germany and father of 4, recruited into a mostly German, very pro-Union company in Baltimore. I highly recommend looking for the pension records of your ancestors. The information I was able to find on this family was amazing.

    • Mary says:

      I wonder if your name, Seppala, is related to my ancestral name, Leppla. It looks very similar – the ‘L’ was often mistaken for an ‘S’ – or perhaps visa versa.

  7. Private William Marks of the Union Army, Company K, 8th infantry, was 21 when he died on September 17, 1862 from a bullet wound at Antietam. He was my 2nd great-uncle. He is buried in Mound Hill Cemetery, Seville, Ohio.

  8. Ron Lewis says:

    My 2nd great grandfather Solomon Lewis and his brother Daniel fought in the 7th Michigan, company I. They were in the battle in the cornfield. Companies I and K were so depleted, the companies were disbanded and remaining members absorbed into other companies. Daniel died shortly after from injuries received at Antietam. Solomon received a disability discharge a few months later just before battle of Fredericksburg. My understanding is that the 7th Michigan volunteered to go across river in bontoon boats to take out snipers that were firing on the Army Engineering Corp that were trying to build a bontoon bridge. It was considered a suicide mission. I might not be here if he wasn’t discharged a few days before.

  9. Tom Fenner says:

    My maternal grandmother’s father’s name was George Brinton McClellan. He was the nephew of the general. Three years ago, my wife and I visited Sharpsburg. We were in awe of how holy this ground felt. So sad that so many perished.

    • Michael E Brown says:

      I felt that same way when I visited Gettysburg, My maternal great great grandfather served in CAA and I hate the current culture for its lack of history and understanding of the Civil War, but history will repeat itself.

  10. John Hoover says:

    My 2nd great grandfather and two of his brothers were members of “C” Co. NC 48th Infantry. He was killed near the Dunker’s Church and both brothers were wounded. His body was never recovered.
    Family lore says he is buried among the unknowns in the Washington Confederate Cemetery, a section of the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland.

  11. Jen Stephens says:

    My 2nd great grandfather fought here as a Sergeant in Co.K 20th NY infantry. Known also as the Turner Rifles, they were mostly comprised of German immigrants. He was wounded near Dunker Church, but survived and was discharged soon after. I have visited once, years ago. It was such an awesome place full of history.

  12. Chris Moylan says:

    My great, great grandfather James Gaffney served as a Private with the 63rd NY Infantry, part of the Irish Brigade, He was killed in action attacking the Sunken Road. He was 44 years old and an Irish immigrant who lived in Brooklyn, NY. He probably joined to prove his loyalty to his new country and was probably recruited by the flamboyant Thomas Francis Meagher who hoped to return to Ireland someday to fight the British. As a 44 year old, I can’t even imagine the hardships he endured. He left behind a wife and three children in Brooklyn. Thanks for helping me piece this together!

  13. Diane Choquette Shear says:

    My mother’s maternal great grandfather Moses A Foss was a prisoner of war at Antietam. I have his discharge papers from the union army but have been unable to find any papers on his service. If anyone can help direct me I would appreciate any help you could give me.

    • Linda Hiddema says:

      Hi Diane,

      It’s been 40 years since I ordered several Civil War military records from the Washington Archives, and things have changed, but it looks like you can still order his records by printing out the form at and mailing it in. A $30 fee (used to be only $6) will be charged to your credit card, but there is no charge for an unsuccessful search. In your case, I doubt that it will be unsuccessful for there is plenty of information on your g-grandfather, Moses Augustus Foss out there. He enlisted on 9 August 1862 as a Private serving the State of Vermont. He enlisted in Company F, Vermont 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment on 1 Sept. 1862. Mustered out on 17 May 1865. He was captured on 23 June 1864 at the Weldon Railroad, VA and held in Andersonville Prison and survived. He was born in August of 1843 in Irosburg, Vermont and married Lora E. Drown in Newport, Vermont on 1 January 1869. He died on 11 April 1914 in Brownington, Orleans, Vermont. His father’s name was Moses S. Foss born in Lyndon, Vt. and his mother was Malessa Turner born in Hatley, P.Q. This should give you enough information to fill out the form. Upon receipt, you should receive around 25 or more photocopied pages of his military and pension records. Good luck & I hope this helps you out.

  14. Gene Bray says:

    My Ancestors (Bray, Jack), Union soldiers, and my Wife’s Ancestors (Payne), Confederate Soldiers, fought each other at Bull Run and 2nd Manassas.
    We walked those Battlefields and it was sobering. We were walking where someone had died in Battle.
    Not all the fighting was in an open, flat, field.

  15. Steffanie Burgevin says:

    My second great grandfather, Jacob Ebersole, was attached to the 19th Indiana, known as the Iron Brigade. They fought in many of the battles in Virginia, and Gettysburg, and Antietum. He was a surgeon, a medical doctor, so earned the status of Major. He left many notes, etc, which my family gave to the Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Md, which is close to Sharpsburg (Antietum, which is the creek name that runs through the farm land there).

    • Scott Hottle says:

      the nephew of my wife’s 5 grat grandfather was Lt. Crocket East, Co. K, 19th Indiana Infantry, Iron Brigade…killed at Gettysburg, July 1. I have been studying him for some time…have a copy of a letter that discusses his fall in battle, if you are interested

    • John Arford says:

      I think we all would like to see it.

  16. Joel says:

    Hello fellow writers. My 2x great grandfather George Calvin Wilcher fought in this engagement with the 33rd Virginia Infantry Company G. He was wounded at this battle in the foot. I can’t seem to find the records on His brother James, Isaac and others were in the Civil War. I also had an 2x great grandfather fight for the Union with the Pennsylvania 195th Robert Bain. I am glad th Former Reply by Timothy referred the the “Slave Rebellion” most southerners and Sons of the Confederacy refuse to admit the Civil War was about Slavery. Later George fought with the Potomac Home Brigade in Maryland at Harpers Ferry.

  17. Ann Rhoads Koelling says:

    My great great grandfather John Matlack Rhoads was in this battle as a Sargeant. He was a volunteer with the Pa 124th and they had only been together for 6 weeks prior to this battle. He was from Oxford Pa. He was injured by falling onto a canon during this battle . The injury was to his lung and it affected his ability to work in his trade as a carpenter. He died of lung cancer at 42. While in the service his toddler son Robert died and his wife gave birth to my great grand father John Matlack Rhoads.

  18. Mark Miller says:

    Thank you all for sharing your stories.

  19. Jim Walters says:

    Joel, don’t use/equate Timothy’s racist archaic reply and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the same sentence, please. The SCV is an historical and genealogical organization that has different opinions as in any organization. Lincoln sent troops into the South to suppress the ‘rebellion’ of seceding states. PERIOD. Well known.. But, the states seceded because they thought Lincoln was going to stop slavery into the new territories. Now, for us constitutionalists, the elephant in the room is this… 1861, secession was constitutional..

    • John Bryan says:

      The slavery issue was whether or not new states could determine to be free or slave or did the central government have that power since it was NOT a power given to Congress by the Constitution. The states rightly assumed that since it wasn’t listed, the 10th amendment took precedence.

    • Judy Noecker says:

      My great grandfather fought in the civil war as a volunteer union soldier in the beginning. Then later re-enlisted.
      My comment is that I am sad that now in 2018 the Southern Civil War Statues are being removed. I don’t like this at all. This is our nation’s history and I would like them to stay as a tribute to everyone who was involved. Everyone, not just the soldiers. Don’t forget the families involved also.

    • Joel Wilcher says:

      If the statues were to honor those who fought they might be of value. However most were erected during the time of Jim Crow which was to suppress the black vote. I think if they are moved to an appropriate location would be of more historical value.

    • Gwen R Ragland says:

      Removing and not displaying them would be a crime, they are our history. Moving them to a museum where the history is taught properly and respectfully would be a better solution. Honoring all those who have come to this country willingly and unwillingly.

  20. Katherine mcabee says:

    My great great grandfather John w. Mcabee confederate union married to Kate Mcabee his son Robert Mcabee had my dad Timothy Mcabee

    John w. Mcabee Fought on the Virginia bridge and in tenesse I believe. We have all his original letters home to his wife my great great grams katy and all of his Hand drawn pictures from the war 1862 to 1864
    No matter the reason or cause of a war all troops should be honored for there bravery and there stand against or for whatever they believe in they did it for our country. K. L. Mcabee

    • LKL says:

      Katherine I think it is incredible your family has the letters and drawings from your ancestors. I hope you have copies of everything so the information is never lost. It is easy for someone today to dismiss the sacrifices made by our ancestors because they refuse to look at the people as individuals. A tragic loss of life on our own soil should never be be discarded by opinion, be it 5 years or 150 years later. The real truth lies in those letters from the people who were there and whatever they felt they had to do to protect their families.

  21. Terry Jackson says:

    Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!

  22. Jeffrey Nash says:

    James A Burrows, 14th North Carolina infantry. Survived the “Bloody Lane”. Later mortally wounded on the third day of the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. Died on May 5th, 1863. My great-great grandfather’s younger brother.

  23. JoAnn Stevens says:

    The ones who were captured, taken from their homes, chained together, treated like animals with less care than that of animals, made to develop this country and care for their oppressors, deserve National and world honor for enduring such atrocities. And to still be faced with the system that subscribed to these atrocities is demeaning and heartbreaking. And the spirit of racism and discrimination which has resurfaced denoting it didn’t do away but was dormant. We love people but all of our actions and ways are not noteworthy. We need to have a true open conversation from the top down. And if you could just imagine yourself and/ or your children, family, ancestors in the shoes of the captives, what would your response be to the events we’re speaking of. Please study the middle passage and the atrocities of chattel slavery.

    • Janet Runyan Irion says:

      My Great Grandfather, Henry Harrison Runyan was in the Bucktail Unit of Pennsylvania. I have a book written about the unit and their battles. The History of the Bucktails – Kane Rifle Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corp (13th Pennsylvania Reserves, 42nd in Line). This book was written by O. R. Howard Johnson and William H. Rauch. Copywrited by Rauch in 1906. I could follow my Great Grandfather through the war by the book. He Joined in April 1862 and was shot and disabled at the Spottsylvania Courthouse battle on May 10, 1864.

  24. Richard Haddon says:

    My great uncle Albert Higham came from England and enlisted in the Union army in Doylestown Pennsylvania. He was wounded in the head at Antietam and eventually mustered out in Doylestown.

  25. My Great Great Grandfather William S. Brown was in company B of the 10th Alabama regiment. The regiment played a minor part in this battle. Brown got wounded at Gaines Mill and Gettysburg, then he was sent home. I don’t know what his views were about slavery or succession but I know he was caught up in his times and had social pressure to go to war. He might have gone off thinking it would be an adventure. I know his granddaughter, my Aunt was racist. I knew a man who was a German soldier in WW2. He seemed to be reconciled to the fact that he had fought on the wrong side. People say it is my heritage. Is the Kmer Rouge part of the heritage of Cambodia? Heritage or not it is history, and we need to look at it objectively. I for one do not glorify organized slaughter.

  26. Jim Ramsey says:

    Let’s not be so quick to associate Timothy’s rude and senseless comments with the South. Although the comments may be, often members from the far left, antifa or other fringe obstructionist groups use such tactics to spread divisiveness among otherwise civil people.

    Let’s agree to ignore it rather than give anyone any satisfaction for disrupting a civil and touching conversation about our history.

    From a southerner with numerous relatives who were veterans of the CSA.

    • Jackie says:

      Jim, well said. If you truly read his remarks, you would clearly see the intent. It was not to make a truthful statement.

  27. Michael Everett says:

    I had ancestors on both sides. But my Great Great Grandfather Sylvester Everett a Northerner, fought in no battles as he was a Copperhead.

  28. Rick Schmidt says:

    Thanks to everyone who shared their story of one or more of their brave relatives who fought on either side of the Civil War. I have relatives who fought for the Union and against the British in the revolutionary war.
    Unfortunately, since mankind has many serious faults, there will never be a world without discord and warfare. I fear that too many on the Left don’t recognize that the best defense is an overwhelming offense. PC is killing the fabric of our country, along with the garbage spewed by the so-called elites in D.C. and within universities. Good luck to all.

  29. Barbara Stultz says:

    My great grandfather’s brother was killed at Antietam. He was from Coal City Indiana. He and his brother both died in that horrible war.

  30. Gregory Rogers says:

    My 2ndGreat-Grand uncle Cyrus Zeru Covell was in Co.H.107th N.Y INF. private . He was killed at Antietam by a Cannon Ball. His brother Herny Covell also fought there but served the Battle .

  31. My g grandfather wa in the Illinois 12th cavalry, troop F. His horse was shot from under him while jumping a fence, resulting in many broken ribs and sternum. I believe they were on a scouting mission at the time. He did survive and fought till the end of the war.He was born in Ky in 1840 and walked to Sangamon Co. Ill at the age of 5. He died in 1919. He never attended school and signed his wedding paper with an x.

  32. Frank Gallegos says:

    In the retreat of Gen Pope from 2nd Manasses, Jackson rode around Popes left flank to try and cut off Popes retreat back to Washington. They met at Ox hill. The battle of Ox Hill ended in a thunderstorm and Pope set up a line of artillery at Fairfax courthouse to protect his retreat and the Confederate artillery was on or along Ox hill. There is a mall there now ( Fair Oaks Mall.) and the monuments for 2 generals who were killed in that battle. I used to live in an old log house that I was restoring there. Lee’s troops camped there at the Waple farm before moving toward Leesburg and on to Antietam the next day. The old log house was just full of bullet holes and minie balls falling out of the ceiling as I was restoring it. After that project I built my house on a lot I bought that was more or less cornered on Bull Run and Popes head creek where the RR crossed Bull Run to Manasses Junction. There were the remains of old trench works in my back field. We determined that the troops that faced each other and skirmished on our property were my relatives from the Michigan 4th and my wife’s relatives who were Confederates. I don’t remember exactly what the confederate unit was. In April of 1861 Andrew Cross abandon that farm and moved north and met Henry Waple who was headed south from PA. They met in Fredrick MD where they traded deeds and that property became the Waple farm .

  33. My great great grandfather James Horner was a Union Soldier who was wounded at the Battle.

    • Joel says:

      Do you know if you have relatives from Cambria County, Pa or Johnstown, Pa? I have HOrner relatives from that area of Pa. My gg grandfather Robert Bain was from Johnstown as well who enlisted with the 195th Pa volunteers never actually fought in any engagements.

    • Kevin says:

      My gg grandfather immigrated from Ireland in1861. He married a Helen Mooney in NYC. He served in the NY 4th infantry and was wounded at Antietam at the sunken road. They resided in Patterson New Jersey after the war.

  34. Art Arway says:

    My GGF Sgt Patrick McShea, a native of Ireland, was with the 28th PA Vols (McAdoo area), Company C during he entire campaign and fought at Antietam.

    Near the site of Dunkers Church he fought hand-to-hand with a soldier from a NC regiment to capture their flag. It was documented in a citation report from the battle. He was captured in Millen GA during Sherman’s March to the Sea, and survived the war.

  35. Rebecca Waid says:

    My great-great-grandfather, Charles Waid, and his younger brother, James, were in Co K, 42 VA Infantry. James was the flag bearer. Needless to say, he didn’t last long at Sharpsburg. Charles tried to get his body to send back to Rocky Mount, VA, but couldn’t. In 1870, Charles and his wife and children moved to Hunt County, TX. Two years ago we placed a memorial marker for James in the family cemetery in Campbell, TX. A cousin brought a small bag of dirt from the family home place in Rocky Mount where both boys were raised (now known as Waid Recreational Facility). Thank you for your service. Your family is very proud of you.

  36. Margaret Murdock says:

    If we leave it to the African Americans this war didn’t happen.
    I hate to see this happen.
    I also had some ancestors in the war I’m proud of them!
    This was real and never should be taken out of history

  37. Laura says:

    My great-grandfather, Nehemiah Lane, was killed at Antietam. His wife, my great-grandmother, Caroline Smithson Lane received a pension as a result.

    My great-grandfather’s unit lost two thirds of its members at the Battle of Antietam. My grandfather who was born in 1861 and his older brother who was born in 1858 never got to know their father.

  38. Dorothy says:

    My great grandfather, Travis Bedsole was a confederate soldier from North Carolina. He was at the morning battle in the cornfield. He was born in 1830 died in 1906. Later, he was awarded a pension. An examination of old war injuries by a doctor was recorded.

  39. My great great great grandfather, Pvt Simon Francis Hawley, Company F, 9th PA Resevere Corps, was wounded at the Battle of Antietam. He was wounded in his right forearm from musket ball shot & left hand and spent 2wks. at Belle’s Island. He also survived Typhoid fever. He was rated 75% disabled and given a pension of $6/month (Civil war pension number 19736). He was rated totally disabled in 1867. He was honorably discharged on accounts of wounds received in battle. He received $40/mo and then received increase of $60/mo. in 1920 for battle wounds. It was reported that he always kept his shirt sleeves extremely starched so that no one could tell that his arm was disabled. His granddaughter also said you could put your thumb down in the hole where he received the musket ball shot to his arm. After the war he turned his attention to farming & dealing in farms in Armstrong County, PA. Simon Hawley died at the ripe old age of 82 on May 22, 1925 in Freeport, PA and is buried at The Guardian Angel Cemetery in Cadogan, PA.

  40. Lookimng for George Washington (G.W.) Gaddy who was killed in the West
    Woods during the Antietam Battle.

  41. grace says:

    Many years ago, after days of heavy rain, I was walking along Bloody Lane with my husband, remarking on the terrific loss of life there. “After rains like we’ve had,” I said, “artifacts should simply be bubbling up out of the earth.” At that very moment, I looked down in the mud, and there it was, a lead bullet – with 3 rings. We tingled as we picked it up, remembering all the poor boys who fought and died in this horrific battle.

  42. Jennifer says:

    My 3GGF, Martin J Forbes fought at the Battle of Antietam with the 108th New York. He lost 3 fingers and another was badly injured, all on his right hand.

  43. Sylvia says:

    Possibly the slaves should have heralded John Brown of Harpers Ferry who wanted to free everybody he lost his life was hung and his son was killed black slave owners have not been written about or truth told. My great grandfather was in the civil war twice. My father in WW ll. My immigr ant ancestor in the revolution ary war with Washing ton at valley forge my brother in Viet nam my husband served during the Korean conflict

    • Joel Wilcher says:

      Racism is very subtle sometimes. My confederate 2x gg grandfather was well accepted when he ended up in Braddock Pa.
      He forgave people in the north. Why are people still fighting a war that was lost 160 yrs ago? My relatives fought in all the wars as well but they aren’t whinning about what was lost. Flags songs and attitudes need to move on.

  44. Mike C Shaw says:

    This battle is of particular interest to me because my great-grandmother’s brother died there. Her son, my grandfather’s oldest brother George Turner Shaw described his death in his last letter home, shortly before he died at Gettysburg.

    In that letter he wrote: “You can tell Ma that her brave brother has fallen, that is Uncle Lin Davis. He was commanding the company that day and his company say that he was wounded very badly and we had to retreat and he was left on the field. He has made a good soldier and has been all the fights and fought bravely for his country, but he had to fall. I know that his connections will hate very much about him being left on the field, but it could not be helped. All the field officers from our regiment were wounded and killed, two of them left on the field, Col. Beetle and Major Evans. We could not get them. Col. Liddle was badly wounded. We had three killed out of our company and 8 or 9 wounded. Sam Wilson was wounded 3 times, but he was hurt bad.

  45. The link you have to Special Order 191 (AKA “The Lost Order”) is incorrect. Your link references either SO 111 or 171. The correct link to Special Order 191 is this:

    • John Arford says:

      The Lost order was found by one of my great-grandfather’s fellow Soldier colleagues from the Indiana volunteer 27th infantry unit.
      Most of those boys in that unit were from Raglesville, Indiana, and most of them didn’t read very well if it all. So many of them would not have had any idea what they had in their hands.
      Great-grandfather was William J Arford, from Odon, Indiana.

  46. Rick Hope says:

    My great grandfather Henry A. Hope was in the 137th Pennsylvania. I have visited Antietam and still remember the “Bloody Lane”. I found myself looking over my shoulder to see who was following me.

  47. Barbara Sherrod says:

    Thank you John Loosemore for putting into words exactly my opinion & thoughts regarding Civil War. I just wish more people were so well read in history.

  48. Gary Eaton says:

    William Bingham Goodrich was my 1st cousin 4x removed and a Civil War Union Army Officer. Commissioned as a Captain in Company A, 60th New York Volunteer Infantry on September 11, 1861, by May of 1862 he had risen to Colonel and commander of the regiment. During the September 1862 Antietam Campaign, he was leading the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of the Army of the Potomac’s XII Corps when he was killed in action in the early hours of the Battle of Antietam on 17 Sep 1862.

  49. Stacey Strickling says:

    Thank you, JoAnn Stevens. I couldn’t agree more.

  50. Sal paradise says:

    The United States Army held firm and turned back the anti-American forces here and, in doing so, began their long march back from where they came. Those forces never conceded or declared defeat. They never apologized to the American people and ask for forgiveness for starting a war which led to so much destruction, death and devastation. To them, the cause went underground and, years later after efforts to integrate their region into the country, returned thru their politics and the people they elect to represent them. Today, those policies and politics continue to create derision and turmoil among the American people. The war never really ended, it just took another route. From the shape of our nation today you have to wonder if they, indeed, have finally started to win.

  51. sirbenjonson says:

    Another revisionist attempt to re-write history. McClellan was never “ecstatic” about anything. He was a coward and incompetent.

    Burnside simply sacrificed a lot of his men at Antietam Creek, but no one cared cuz they were lowly Yankee soldiers . . .

    Lincoln was never “emboldened” by the Battle of Antietam to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. It was planned long before by Lincoln, who was doing nothing in those days but fretting about the huge losses being inflicted on the Yanks by Lee’s military prowess . . .

    • Jim Walters says:

      Correct, sirbenjonson, McClellan was called a coward and incompetent… Pres. Lincoln……also, the lowly Yankee soldiers ? They were immigrant Irish and Germans, yes, the North didn’t care

    • I was surprised that he came on as quickly as he did. Usually , it would have normally taken him at least another week doing numerous recons etc making sure the way was clear before advancing. He was probably personally more inclined to go back to DC and dig in but was afraid of being shamed and drummed out of the army if he did not follow Lee.


  53. Roy Perry says:

    The Emancipation Proclamation “freed no one” as implied, and only was directed only towards the Southern States in rebellion which did not recognize the document anyway. All northern slave states including the new unconstitutionally formed state of West Virginia was allowed to keep their slaves. The emancipation proclamation didn’t apply

    Lincoln himself said that “If I could save the Union without freeing “one” slave I would do it…” His wife owned slaves, Grant owned slaves and so forth. Read the Corwin amendment to the constitution signed sealed and delivered prior to the war. It allows “all” States the right to own slaves.

    Lincolns sole purpose was to “preserve the Union” by any means.

    The 14th amendment to the Constitution was the document that abolished slavery.(get the facts straight).

    As for Antietam, my great great “uncle in law” James Martin, Co. A, 30th Virginia Infantry was killed in the cross fire in the cornfields at the Millers farm. His remains were left behind to rot. His wife, my great great aunt Isabella Perry had 2 children that were killed Dec.13th when Fredericksburg was bombed. She lost her husband, children, and her mind in this “glorious” genocide of our beloved South. History is always taught by the winners but facts will never change.

    • Jim Walters says:

      Correct, Roy Perry. the 14th Amendment was passed because prior to it, secession was constitutional (see W.VA.); as is any law that is newly passed, it was legal beforehand.. I will forgive the U.S. Gov’t when they apologize for enslaving a race of people for economic gain, invading sovereign states after constitutionally seceding, attempting to exterminate civilians because of the state they lived in and waging unconventional war on it’s own citizens.

    • Grant had a slave by his wife whose family were slave holders.Grants family did not own slave. Grant as president did more for the constitutional rights of blacks than any other president. He also destroyed the early rise of the KKK. He was hampered by his efforts for the inequality of blacks by southern politicians .

    • Joyceann Rollins says:

      Thank you! When I read the wording of Emancipation Proclamation in high school I realized exactly that! Maryland had slaves but were not freed by the document as the state decided to side with the Union (only because of it’s proximity to D.C.).

  54. Graham Baldwin says:

    Last time I checked, it was the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery.

    As for secession, Lincoln had himself opined years prior to the CW that the oppressed had the right to overthrow tyranny. Most assuredly, the Union had no difficulty in recognizing the secession of that section of Virginia which became West Virginia.

    True, the victors write the history books.

  55. My ancestors fought on both sides being Scottish and Irish/ German immigrants and felt they had to participate for the Union from both sides. The African men brought to this continent by shameless means fought and died for both sides. The civil war was one of the most bloody of all. What was accomplished actually when all was said and done. Black people are still persecuted every day in a country that SAYS they were set free. No acclaim to common decency here.

  56. Allan Payton says:

    My GG Grandfather was in Archers Brigade in A.P. Hills Light Division. They arrived at Sharpsburg from Harpers Ferry late in the afternoon to keep Lee’s army from being destroyed.

  57. The Battle of Antietam was a cat’a meow compared to the one raging at Mesa Vista Inn Healthcare-a nursing home in San Antonio, Texas. I am on one side and the facility on the other. I’m pretty sure who symbolizes the North and who symbolizes the South in this analogy. I’m just not sure which day in the 10 month- long war could be considered “the bloodiest”! Let’s see..there was the time Grady Trew, the administrator cut off my food supply everyday for 2 whole months. And I called the state abuse line and reported him. Then there was the time he tried to evict me in court. He was a no show. I won by default. I had made a motion to frivolous. Even though I prevailed, we’ll call that one a draw. At our first appeal hearing before judge Rowena Barnes, they were crushed! I pointed out the errors in the 30 day notice to discharge for non payment. Turns out..they are the reason medicaid didn’t pay the claim! A decisive win for me. The hearing officer..or Abe Lincoln for the sake of my quip..proclaimed in an ORDER on Aug. 22, that the snf violated the Federal Registrar and discharged me while the matter was under appeal. Like the Rough riders charging up San Juan Hill, the TX Administrative Codes came to my rescue that day as well. Grady had ignored nursing home transfer and discharge procedure. But that skirmish didn’t count as the worst day of the war. On March 28, a nurse, Mary Ann fractured my finger hitting it repeatedly and then tried to lock me in the parking lot where I was smoking a menthol. With one hand, I held the door open using my good leg for leverage. I got in..It was a hellacious stand off..but not the worst. The day my mentor, Jean Jones, a humble genious from FL by way of Mississippi, called into day one of the medical necessity for long term care medicaid appeal hearing, could be compared to us dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. Mesa Vista was stunned. Caught in a lie on an assessment by Dr Parks and Rn, Patrice Johnson. There were some bloody noses that day. But the bloodiest one-day battle occurred on August 31, 2018 at 8:20 pm 10 days after the August 22 ORDER. Instead of complying, Grady Trew, Estella, Javier, Benny, & except for my 5 compadres- 3 on staff & 2 residents-ALL staff conspired and locked me and my boxed up belongings out of the building in the parking lot. Then had security- hired that day, to guard the entrance much like angel with flaming swords guarded the garden of Eden after God kicked Adam and Eve out of it. I countered by blocking the doorway with my good foot and right wheels of, “WINGS”- the name I affectionately bestowed upon my power wheelchair. If I couldn’t get in the building. ..neither was anybody else! After 3 hrs of sitting on one side of the locked doors watching Yolanda and Raymond talking trash to the staff on my behalf and munching fried chicken in their wheelchairs…Grady relented. Other then a panic attack that gripped me in the middle of the ordeal and security leaping in front of Wings as I tried to gain entrance earlier in the evening, there was no other physical contact. Still, I call tthis Battle at Mesa Vista Inn, the bloodiest one- day battle of our ongoing war. The fact that a lone resident went toe to wheels with an entity like Mesa Vista Inn, and defeated it. In comparison, makes the Battle at Antietam look like two kittens tusseling over a ball of yarn!

  58. wayne says:

    The Union Army at Antietam contained many Irish and German immigrants but also a majority of old stock Americans .
    As for Lee’s so-called military genius in this campaign- he failed in his all his strategic goals and lost 31% of his men in a battle he did not have to fight.
    I’ve often wondered how you unreconstructed rebels feel when you look in the mirror and think ” We lost “.

  59. Nora Eden says:

    The person that left the copy of Gen Lee’s Special Order 191 is totally responsible for the Battle.
    If he had not done so, the Battle that Lee had in mind would not have occurred this way and certainly not as bloody a one.
    I’m sure whoever was responsible for receiving this order knew it’s importance and should not have let it out of his hands.
    If it had been me, I would have checked my coat pockets for it before I left camp.
    I think he is the one that is responsible and if he didn’t get killed in battle he should have been court martialed afterwards.

    • John Arford says:

      That order of General Lee’s was found wrapped around 3 cigars. Not cheap cigars but decent cigars. So it was of someone of some importance who carried those orders. It may have been that they simply fell out of his pocket. However where they were found was there a camp that had had a campfire the night before. There are lots of “ifs”, lots of speculation for those of us who live in the present age. I know that my great-grandfather and my great-uncle both were in the 27th infantry volunteers unit that found those orders. My ancestral family members did not know how to read nor write, but they did smoke whatever cigars they could find or were given to them, and they did enjoy they’re chewing tobacco. Great grandpa was shot through the jaw that day, and his brother Daniel was shot in the in step by a cannon shell. Daniel was felled at the spot, thought to be dead, but carried off later that evening. Even his brother, my great-grandfather thought he was dead.
      What that special order held for Lee was a game changer, but a failing decision on the union side could have certainly turned the odds back into the Confederate side.
      All sad, such a massive loss of life. At the end of that day the numbers of arms and legs sawed off reached the second story of the makeshift hospital building.

  60. Richard Armstrong says:

    Looking for casualty lists and battle reports for Carpenter’s Battery, also called Alleghany Artillery (CSA). I have checked the OR, and on-line, but the records are missing. Any help appreciated.

  61. Chris says:

    This is rediculous whining by many Southeners (glorious genocide of the South??). There was much loss on both sides; unfortunately for the south it was fought on your soil. War is always a sad thing. And no, it is not always written by the ‘winners’.
    I think much was written by Southeners simply because it was on your soil.
    One thing you can be sure if, there were many positive and negatives to point out about everyone. There are no saints here. Anything painted in a altruistic, good boy appearance will be in the wrong. There is plenty of blame to go around- for both the north and the south