What are facts about the Battle of Antietam?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Additional facts not mentioned in the previous posts concerning the American Civil War Battle of Antietam.

  • Earlier in the day, Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's corps had captured the Union stronghold at Harper's Ferry. The Union garrison gave up without much a fight, surrendering more than 12,000 men.
  • Following the surrender at Harper's Ferry, Jackson learned of Gen. Robert E. Lee's grave situation at Sharpsburg. He sent the fast-marching Light Division under Gen. A. P. Hill to assist. They reached the Antietam battlefield at 3:30, and their decisive counterattack against Gen. Ambrose Burnside's IX Corps saved the day for the Confederates and ended the long day's fighting.
  • Jackson's easy victory at Harper's Ferry and his decisive quick-thinking in sending Hill's division to Antietam furthered his growing reputation to almost legendary status in the South.
  • The fighting of September 17 ended in a draw, but when the Confederates withdrew from the battlefield the next day, it gave Union Gen. George McClellan a technical victory. McClellan failed to pursue the retreating Confederates, however, and for this President Abraham Lincoln soon relieved him--ending McClellan's military career.
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This battle was, of course, a battle in the Civil War.  It was fought in September of 1862.  The battle was fought in the western part of the state of Maryland.

During this part of the Civil War, the South was on the offensive.  Robert E. Lee, in charge of the Army of Northern Virginia, invaded the North (Maryland was a Union state).  By defeating Lee and his army at Antietam, the Union, led by George McClellan, was able to stop this first attempt to invade its territory.

This was a horribly bloody battle, with over 23,000 out of the 100,000 men involved getting killed or wounded.


besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


The Battle of Antietam (also known as the Battle of Sharpburg, especially in the south) was the bloodiest single day of war in American history. It was the first major battle of the Civil War on northern soil. It was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland Campaign. There was approximately 23,000 casualties. Lee had troops that numbered 45,000 and McClellan had troops that 90,000. Two Union soldiers found Lee's battle plan wrapped around three cigars.

After 12 hours of fighting, the battle came to an end on September 17, 1862.

lit24 | Student

The Battle of Antietam otherwise known as the Battle of Sharpsburg was fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg Maryland, and the Antietam Creek. It was the first major battle in the American Civil War  which took place on Northern  soil. It was a horrifying battle with about 23,000 casualties in one single day.

In spite of such heavy casualties both sides stubbornly held on to their positions. However, on the night of the 18th Lee’s army withdrew back across the Potomac to Virginia. Lee’s retreat gave  President Lincoln the opportunity he had been waiting for to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. From now on with this proclamation the war had a dual purpose of not only preserving the Union but also ending  the pernicious practice of slavery.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Battle of Antietam, also called Battle of Sharpsburg, which took place on September 17, 1862, represents perhaps the bloodiest day in the history of American Civil War. it took place at at Sharpsburg, a town on Antietam Creek in Maryland. In this battle bout 2,000 Northerners and 2,700 Southerners were killed on the battlefield that day. Additional 3000 die later because of wounds suffered in the battle. In this battle neither side won a decisive victory. However it was very important in halting the advance of Confederate army in to Union territory.

This result of this battle signified sufficient success for the Union side to make it a good opportunity for Abrahan Lincoln to issued a preliminary order to free the slaves.  He had been waiting for a Northern victory as a good time for the proclamation.  The preliminary proclamation, Issued on September 22, 1862, declared that all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union on Jan. 1, 1863, would be forever free.

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Battle Of Antietam

  • The Union Victory persuaded England and France to remain neutral
  • A victory at Antietam probably would have won Confederate independence because France and Britain were on the verge of recognizing the confederate government
  • The battle of Antietam was particularly critical because it probably prevented intervention by Britain and France on behalf of the confederacy
  • North’s victory at Antietam allowed President Lincoln to issue the Emaciation Proclamation
  • Turning point of the American Civil War