The Battle of Antietam and its Impact In American History.

The Battle of Antietam and its Impact In American History.


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I remember walking the trails in rural Sharpsburg, Maryland, absorbing the surroundings. The air was warm and the landscape was desolate. The silence was deafening. The irony of it all was that 150 years before, a massive battle had taken place right where I was standing, a battle referred to by many as the bloodiest battle in the american civil war. This event was the Battle of Antietam. over 22,000 soldiers died in this battle, with many more being injured and/or captured.

On the morning of September 17, 1862, general George B. McClellan of the union army launched an attack on confederate soldiers who were making their way through Maryland after their victory in Bull Run, Manassas, Virginia. Confederate general Robert E. Lee had hoped that a southern victory would gain them financial support in the war from the British government and also gain them international recognition. Upon arriving however, southern forces were attacked by union soldiers and a battle ensued for more than half of the day. Troops charged, orders were given and bodies dropped through the entire day.

After a very long day of battle, late in the night general Lee pulled out his forces and retreated back to Virginia due to heavy losses and being outnumbered more than 3 to 1. The union happily accepted this victory after having taken a beating in the several battles prior. The result of all the bloodshed was the President Abraham Lincoln decided that now was the time to eradicate slavery from the United States and issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This proclamation freed slaves that were enslaved in all of the confederate states, excluding the states which had kept slaves but did not succeed from the union, ei:(Maryland, Kentucky, Delaware, and Missouri.).


The issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation was a turning in point in not only the war, but this nations history. African American men and women in the Confederate states were given freedom for the very first time, and the issuing of the proclamation sparked an even greater revolution than before in the fight for African american freedom.