The Battle of Antietam
April 30, 2004 12:26 PM   Subscribe

The Battle of Antietam is the single bloodiest single day battle American history. Historically told in words, the battle illustrated in pictures [SVG required] shows jostling strategies that resulted in a loss of over 20,000 troops in 13 hours.
posted by pedantic (7 comments total)
Single out one of the singles. Thanks.
posted by pedantic at 12:27 PM on April 30, 2004

the bloodiest 30 minutes
posted by clavdivs at 1:12 PM on April 30, 2004

Thanks Pedantic. Interesting map. I am currently living on the other bank of the Potomac from Sharpsburg. The railway shown on that map runs right past my house. I pass by or go through the battle field about once a week and it is interesting to see the real time movement through the landscape.

sidebar: there's a little store here in Shepherdstown that has on its sign: Shepherdstown, Western Virginia. The two easternmost counties in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia did try to rejoin Virginia after the war but the attempt was struck down (by maybe the US Supreme Court?)./sidebar
posted by Dick Paris at 1:49 PM on April 30, 2004

Great map, pendantic. It's always difficult to visualize battles from text and Antietam had a lot going on so this is interesting to see. Maybe one day the park service will hand out PDAs with animated maps and GPS stuff to make the interpretation even better in person.

This is a quote from a friend after showing him the map: "Too bad it didn't have a voice track, you don't really get the impression that the early morning fighting (Hooker vs. Jackson) left both sides literally destroyed in the space of an hour and a half, or that Richardson's assault on Bloody Lane was purely by accident as he missed his assignment supporting Franklin."

I'm not one to usually believe in ghosts but years ago I went to Antietam on a rainy cold weekday night by myself, it was after midnight I could not sleep and was out for a drive. Anyway I took a dirt access road into a field along the river just east of the sunken road in an area that is normally used for farm equipment. It was then I became aware of what looked like through the fogged up windows in the rain 100s of Union soldiers walking towards my car. At this point I freaked out and hit the gas into reverse and ended up digging into the muddy field, stuck! It took a while of rocking back and forth to get unstuck.. surely an overactive imagination but it seemed like eternity stuck there with 100s of curious Union soldiers watching.
posted by stbalbach at 3:16 PM on April 30, 2004

*discreetly sidesteps away from stbalbach*
posted by quonsar at 9:55 PM on April 30, 2004

stbalbach has been watching too many Japanese films these days.
posted by zaelic at 4:37 AM on May 1, 2004


The key concept this animated map conveys about Antietam is that despite having the entire Confederate plan of battle right there in his hands, plus superior numbers, McClellan couldn't coordinate his attacks, sending them in piecemeal instead. What a map can't depict is the notion that West Pointers trained in Napoleonic tactics found those tactics lethally counterproductive in the age of rifles with an effective range out to 200 yards and much deadlier and more accurate field artillery.
posted by alumshubby at 5:16 AM on May 1, 2004

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