James McPherson was riding his horse on a road near Decatur, Georgia to his old XVII Corps. McPherson had a theory that the Confederates under John Bell Hood were going to attack the Union right flank. He was well on his way when Confederate skirmishers moved to block his path. Continue reading
The Union VI Corps commander was with his men when he made this remark about the accuracy of the confederate sharpshooters…
“Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”
The Battle of Antietam began at dawn (about 5:30) on September 17, when the 8,600 men of Hooker’s I Corps came crashing down the Hagerstown Turnpike and the North Woods, aiming for a small, whitewashed building called the Dunker Church. His troops were met by 7,700 defenders under Stonewall Jackson in strong defensive positions around and below the Cornfield and the West Woods.
If you haven’t already, please read my previous post: Battle Spotlight #8: Antietam: Part 1 – Introduction.
Preparations for Battle
On September 16, Generals Lee and McClellan spent the whole day maneuvering and positioning troops. Lee took a defensive stance on the west side of Antietam Creek, positioning Longstreet’s corps in a strong position in a straight line running from a little north of the town of Sharpsburg to the Lower Bridge, with his right anchored on the Antietam. Antietam Creek has three bridges: the Upper Bridge, which is about two and a half miles northeast of Sharpsburg; the Middle Bridge, a mile directly east of Sharpsburg; and the Lower Bridge, known as the Rohrbach Bridge by the locals and later called the Burnside Bridge, less than a mile southeast from Sharpsburg.
What happened this week in the american civil war?