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Articles by David J. Eicher

Posted on May 13, 2008 in War College

Virtual Tour Antietam: The Civil War’s Bloodiest Day

The Antietam battlefield represents one of the more pristine areas among Civil War sites. With the first days of September 1862 came a bothersome milieu of uncertainty on both sides of the American Civil War. The news from the Virginia front seemed unclear: Where was Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia? How badly whipped was Union Maj. Gen. John Pope’s Army of Virginia at Second Bull Run (Second Manassas) in August? What plans did Lee have to capitalize on that victory? What actions should Union forces take to counteract whatever Lee might devise as his next move? Certainly the momentum now seemed to have shifted toward the Confederacy in that Maj. Gen. George McClellan’s and Pope’s efforts had failed and Lee’s army was reasonably close to Washington. Soldiers and civilians alike were breathing far easier in Richmond, awaiting a continued upturn in news from the Southern armies. On hearing Lee’s report on Second Bull Run, the war clerk John B. Jones responded, “That is glory enough for a...

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