Battle of Antietam
(also known as Sharpsburg)
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Location: Sharpsburg, MD
Dates: September 16-18, 1862
Union Commander:  George B. McClellan, Major General
Confederate Commander:  Robert E. Lee, General

Battle Summary:
After a stunning victory, against John Pope, at 2nd Manassas, General Lee pushed his troops north, into the border state of Maryland.  Lee's strategy was to win an overwhelming victory on northern soil, opening the way for European recognition of the Confederate States of America - and possible European intervention in the war.  Additionally, Lee believed he could fill his ranks with dissatisfied Maryland residents that were sympathetic to the Confederate cause.

After hard fighting in the gaps of South Mountain, the battle erupted on the morning of September 17 on the banks of the Antietam creek at Sharpsburg, MD.  After a brutally hard day of fighting, over 23,000 men were listed as casualties - the bloodiest single day in U.S. history.  A record that still stands today.

Campaign: Maryland

Outcome: U.S. Victory

Troop Strengths
Union: 75,000
Confederate: 38,000

Casualties (estimated):
Union: 12,410 (killed, wounded or missing/captured)
Confederate: 10,300 (killed, wounded or missing/captured)

Battle Aftermath:
While the battle was a technical "draw," the North considered it a victory, as Lee crossed back into Virginia.  Waiting for a victory, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation following Antietam.  This proclamation is widely considered to have changed the North's strategy of reunification of the Union, to a battle to eradicate slavery in the United States.  The South's desire to receive European recognition, and new troops was never realized.
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