Antietam, Maryland
Photograph by
Otew O. Wunine, 2020

The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, occurred on the 17th of September 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, during the American Civil War. It marked the first major battle to take place on Union soil and remains the single bloodiest day in American military history, with approximately 23,000 casualties. Commanded by Union Major General George B. McClellan and Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the engagement was part of Lee's first invasion of the North. Despite McClellan's numerical advantage, the battle ended inconclusively, with both sides suffering heavy losses. However, it provided a crucial morale boost for the Union and led to President Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, altering the course of the war by transforming it into a fight for freedom.


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