Antietam Turning Point

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September 17, 1862 not only marked the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, but also defined the Battle of Antietam to be the bloodiest day in American history. On this infamous day General Robert E. Lee, of the Confederate army, led his troops to Sharpsburg, Maryland, only to be met by General George B. McClellan and the Union army already defensively positioned. This battle initiated a turning point in the war to the Union’s advantage. With a result of more than 22,000 causalities, this gory event enlightened the nation not only on the atrocities of war, but also paved the way for peace by creating an opportunity for President Lincoln’s to announce the Emancipation Proclamation.

Following the Union’s success at the Second Battle
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The aftermath of the battle caused even the toughest soldiers to become scarred by the events that took place of the fields of Antietam. Of battle casualties, Antietam took a total of 12,400 Union lives and 10,300 Confederates. The battle took a heavy toll on the hearts of Americans. The farm paths previously occupied buy Antietam citizens now served a different purpose, a road for the dead. The Sunken Road, or the Bloody Lane marked the spot where Northerners battled Southerners for more than four hours near Antietam Creek. This pathway carved a tricky strategic positioning for Confederate troops which the Union took advantage of. Soldiers fired their weapons killing countlessly claiming more than 5,000 people at the end of the day. General Lee’s reaction was recorded within a message to the Army of Northern Virginia stating: “…I was astonished to observe our troops moving along the front and passing over what appeared to be a long column of the enemy without paying it any attention whatever. I borrowed a glass from an officer, and discovered this to be actually a column of the enemy’s dead and wounded lying along the hollow road- afterward known as Bloody Lane.” The loss of life presented on the fields on Antietam not only highlighted the devastations of the war, but shocked the entire

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