Quick Facts About Battle of Antietam
Also known as: Battle of Sharpsburg.
Location: Near the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek.
Principal Confederate commander: General Robert E. Lee.
Principal Union Commander: Major General George B. McClellan.
Union forces engaged: Army of the Potomac.
Confederate forces engaged: Army of Northern Virginia.
Number of Union soldiers engaged: Roughly 60,000.
Number of Confederate soldiers engaged: Roughly 35,000.
Union casualties: 12,401 (2,108 killed, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing).
Confederate casualties: 10,316 casualties (1,546 killed, 7,752 wounded, and 1,018 missing).
More Americans died on September 17, 1862, than on any other day in the nation’s military history.
Clara Barton cared for wounded soldiers at the Battle of Antietam.
The Battle of Antietam was the first major battle of the American Civil War to be fought on Northern soil.
Photographer Alexander Gardner took the first photos of dead soldiers on an American battlefield after the Battle of Antietam.
Three Union generals were mortally wounded during the Battle of Antietam: Major General Joseph Mansfield, Major General Israel Richardson, and Brigadier General Isaac Rodman.
Three Confederate generals were mortally wounded during the Battle of Antietam: Brigadier General William Starke, Brigadier General George Anderson, and Brigadier General Lawrence O. Branch.
Technically, the Battle of Antietam was a slight tactical victory for the Union because Lee withdrew his army from the battle first. More realistically, the battle was a tactical draw, as both armies suffered heavy casualties and neither was a clear victor.
Strategically, the Battle of Antietam was a Union victory because it forced Lee to end his Maryland Campaign and withdraw back to Virginia.
President Lincoln and Union General-in-Chief Henry Halleck were so upset that General McClellan did not pursue Lee’s army during its retreat into Virginia after the Battle of Antietam that Lincoln relieved McClellan of his command on November 7, 1862.
President Lincoln used the Union’s strategic victory at the Battle of Antietam as an opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862.