147th Anniversary of Antietam

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by Ferdinand Foch, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. Ferdinand Foch

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    Today, 147 years ago, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of Robert E. Lee, clashed at Sharpsburg, Maryland, with the Army of the Potomac, under the command of George McClellan.

    The Battle of Sharpsburg, also know as Antietam (named after the Antietam Creek), would be the bloodiest single day of the American Civil War, with a total of close to 23,000 casualties, and nearly 8,000 of those casualties proven fatal.

    Today, lets all take a small moment of silence for these men, who fought and died on one of the deadliest battlefields, in America's deadliest war. Lest we forget. :salute:
     
  2. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    Thanks for the reminder, FF.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    :salute:

    Lest we forget.
     
  4. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Its counted as The Bloodiest One Day Battle in American History....

    23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862...

    [​IMG]

    Antietam National Battlefield Superintendent J.W. Howard announced on Sept 9th that the remains of the unknown New York soldier found on the National Battlefield in October 2008 will be transferred to the State of New York for burial...

    Did u know that Robert Gould Shaw served as a Captain in the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry and was wounded in the Cornfield at Antietam before taking command of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry made famous in the movie Glory???


    [​IMG]
    Hagerstown Pike……..The casualties were of a Louisianian brigade from Gen. Jackson’s Corp, the Confederate left wing of the battle, who were under attack from elements from Gen. Joe Hooker’s First Corp., of the Union right wing. Both sides attacked across the pike multiple times, leaving hundreds of casualties behind each time. Most of this fighting occurred in the morning hours.

    [​IMG]
    Sunken Road………….Casualties in this photo are North Carolinians from Gen. R.H. Anderson’s Division of Gen. James Longstreet’s Corp, who were finally routed out of this farm lane by troops from Gen. Richardson’s Division of Gen. Sumner’s Second Corps, after repulsing wave after wave of attackers. They were finally outflanked, at which time it became a “shooting gallery” when Union infantrymen were able to fire down the length of the road. Much of this action occurred mid to late morning.
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Ive been there.

    One thing that struck me was how compact the battlefield was. Not only was this the bloodiest day, it probably had more blood spilled per acre than any other battlefield of civil war.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  7. Ferdinand Foch

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    Thanks guys. Nice photos Les. It's is frightening, though, to think about how many soldiers died in such a small area. Heard that there were many parts on the battlefield, especially in the sunken road, where you couldn't place your foot anywhere on the ground without stepping on a body.
     
  8. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why I expected the topograpy to change ?
    It's not hard to imagine the casualties in the new photos for this reason. *shudders*


    Wheels
     
  9. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    #9 Vassili Zaitzev, Sep 18, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
    Well, this is the result of using Napoleonic tactics with mordern weaponary. Civil Wars are anything but civil.
    :salute:
     
  10. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    #10 renrich, Sep 19, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
    Great stuff guys. Sorry I got in late. In the morning of that day, during a counterattack that repulsed a Union attack in and near The Cornfield, one of the regiments of the Texas Brigade, Hood's Division, suffered a casualty rate of 82%. That evening when Hood was asked by Lee where his division was, Hood replied, " They are there lying on the field." I have read that the mortalty rate in that battle has been vastly understated because so many men died in the next weeks following the battle. It certainly speaks well for bravery of the soldiers of both sides that so many men would do their duty.
     
  11. Ferdinand Foch

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    Hey renrich, no problem, glad you could join in. Your right, it does say well of the men who fought on both sides, knowing that a simple bullet wound could end your life (maybe not simple, but something along that line).
    To think though, the war could have ended (at least in the east) on this day, if McClellan just had the b@@ls to push forward. I heard that Lee did not have many reserves during the battle, but since McClellan only had his army attack piecemeal on one part of the field at a time, Lee just pulled units from one part of the field and send them to another.
     
  12. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    If McClennan had just two of his corps attack at the same time, they would have folded up Lee's army like a cheap accordion.

    If all three attacked simultaneously, Its quite conceivable that Lee's army would have been wiped out never to take to the field again.
     
  13. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Amazing what impact one single event could have had on the entire war.
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Lee actually never had more than 40000 men on that battlefield. Some have said only 30000. He was vastly outnumbered. This was the battle where John Gordon was asked to hold the Sunken Road and he replied something like this, " We will hold here all the damn live long day or until the sun goes down." What happened was that under pressure one CSA unit mistakenly pulled back and the Union got one part of the road and took the Gray troops under defilade fire. Gordon was hit 5 times, once in one cheek(of his mouth) and out the other. He was lying on the ground drowning on his own blood until someone turned him over so the blood drained out. He lived to command the Army of Northern Virginia at the actual surrender at Appomattox. Joshua Chamberlain commanded the Union forces. What is so ironic is that so many US Army posts are named for Confederate generals. I was at West Point once and went through a museum there. The largest exhibit in the museum was one showing in detail Jackson's Shenandoah campaign.
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Yea, but remember most were Union officiers before they were Confederate, but I understand your point.
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Very good point VB.
     
  17. Guns'n'Props

    Guns'n'Props Member

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    IMO Gen. McClellan was the cautious type possibly having a West Point reputation to uphold.
    Gen. Lee was more of a gambler who true to the Art of War "feigned strength when weak".

    One rather singular attribute of the US Civil War was that many generals on both sides knew each other, having served or been at West Point together. Lee seems to have used this knowledge/ assessment of his opponents' characters in the Federal camp to his advantage more than once.
     
  18. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Let's not forget that, not only did McClellan outnumber Lee, but had Lee's complete battle plan. He still managed to only stop Lee and not crush him. A incredible mistake.
     
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