The Battle of Antietam Union Losses - 12,410
Confederate Losses - 10,700 On September 4, 1862
General Robert E. Lee crossed the Potomac into Maryland
with 40,000 picked troops. He was confident of victory.
The outcome would surprise everyone. Due to the lost
orders of General Lee, the Union Army was aware of his
plans. Word got back to Lee and he knew he had to move
quickly. On September 16 General George B. McClellan
confronted Lee's army of northern Virginia at Sharpsburg,
Maryland. At dawn on September 17 General Hooker's
Corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee's left flank. The
confederate army was still greatly outnumbered. This began
the single bloodiest day in American military history. Attacks
and counterattacks swept across Millers cornfield and
fighting swirled around Dunker Church. The Union assaults
against the sunken road (later known as Bloody Lane)
eventually pierced through the Confederate center. The
Federal advantage was not followed up. Later in the day,
General Burnside's corps got in to action, crossing the stone
bridge over Antietam Creek (later known as Burnside
Bridge) and rolling up the Confederate right. Nobody knows
exactly what happened at the bridge yet it is known that at a
crucial moment General A. P. Hill's division arrived from
Harpers Ferry and counter attacked, driving Burnside back.
Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire
force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his
army. In spite of crippling casualties Lee continued to
skirmish with McClellan throughout the 18th. After dark,
Lee ordered his battered army to withdraw across the
Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley. The result of the
battle: Well, that's any ones call. Yet when it comes to
strategy, it's definitely the North's win.