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September, 2002

September 17 is the 140th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

The Battle of Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland.

 


"Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home." -- Union Major General George B. McClellan's statement upon finding Robert E. Lee's Special Order No. 191 in September, 1862. Special Order No. 191 ordered the Confederate Army to split into two divisions during its invasion into Maryland. With this knowledge, McClellan believed he could find and defeat the Confederate Army. The two armies met at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, and the battle ended in a draw. Months later, McClellan was replaced as Commander of the Union Army.


Union Major General George B. McClellan

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The Battle of Antietam (Video)
Study the Battle of Antietam and Robert E. Lee's invasion into the north in September, 1862. When the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia met on September 17, it turned into the bloodiest single day of the American Civil War.

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Question:
During the Battle of Antietam, who commanded the Union Army of the Potomac and who commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia?

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Did you know the Battle of Antietam is also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg?

Yes, during the American Civil War, the North and the South referred to the same battle by different names. The North named the battles after nearby rivers, and the South named the battles after towns. This engagement occurred near the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, where the Antietam Creek runs. Therefore, the North called this battle Antietam, and the South called it Sharpsburg. The official name of the site run by the National Park Service is Antietam National Battlefield.


Burnside Bridge (Lower Bridge) crosses Antietam Creek at the Antietam National Battlefield

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"Abraham Lincoln is my hero. He was an honest and caring person. As President, Lincoln was very careful to end slavery and save the Union." -- Paula A.

Abe Lincoln

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Question:
When was the Emancipation Proclamation issued?

Answer:
On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation stating the Emancipation Proclamation would take effect on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation freed about 4 million African-Americans held as slaves in the Southern states.

The Emancipation Proclamation states, "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom."

Abe Lincoln

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Question:
During the Battle of Antietam, who commanded the Union Army of the Potomac and who commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia?

Answer:
George B.
McClellan commanded the Union Army of the Potomac, and Robert E. Lee commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. In September, 1862, Robert E. Lee led his army into northern territory for the first time during the Civil War. Lee's army met McClellan's army on September 17 at Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Union Army (87,000 troops) outnumbered the Confederate Army (40,000 troops) by more than 2-to-1. The battle was tactically a draw. The next day, Lee's army withdrew into Virginia, and the Union claimed Antietam as a victory. Five days later, President Abraham Lincoln used this victory to issue a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

George McClellan     Robert E. Lee

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>>Read about the Army of Northern Virginia Leaders

       

 

 

 


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