Battle of Antietam Facts - American Civil War History

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The South's name for this battle of Antietam is Sharpsburg, the North's name is Antietam Creek. The Confederates name battles for the nearby town whereas the Union named battles for the nearby river or creek.

The Battle of Antietam took place in September 1862 during the American Civil War. The Confederate General, Robert E. Lee wanted to take the war to the north to quickly end it. The South needed a decisive victory to win European support. Lee also wanted to relieve Virginia of the burden of supplying the army and hosting many of the war's battles. It was harvest time. The army could take supplies from the north instead of from Virginians. Lee crossed the Potomac and decided to fight at Sharpsburg also known as Antietam Creek. At this point in time, Lee learned that Stonewall Jackson had taken nearby Harpers Ferry. Meanwhile, The Union General, McClellan claimed he thought the Union Troops were outnumbered and waited for his troops to regroup. This allowed time for Jackson and his troops to join Lee at Sharpsburg. After which, McClellan attacked. Lee had failed to entrench his troops which resulted in tremendous losses for the Confederates. McClellan failed to follow and crush the Confederate's troops. He had the opportunity to crush Lee's army but he did not. McClellan always tended to hesitate which caused him to be accused of being a Southern sympathizer. President Abraham Lincoln was furious with McClellan for hesitating on the field of battle which resulted in McClellan's removal from command.

The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in the war up to this point in time.