Tag Archives: Battle of Antietam

“A Fury Unequaled”: A North Carolinian’s Account of Antietam

Finding personal accounts of battlefield experiences always raises my eyebrows, as it does for many of you. The details and immediate stories they contain are the stuff historians crave. When I read the account of James W. Shinn, a soldier … Continue reading

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Antietam Eve: The Night of September 16, 1862

“The quiet that precedes a battle has something of the terrible in it,” wrote an Ohio soldier recalling the night of September 16, 1862. That night in the fields and woodlots surrounding Sharpsburg was an awful night for those who … Continue reading

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“The numbers of cannoneers is so small”

Lt. Edward Williston commanded Battery D, 2nd United States Artillery at the Battle of Antietam. While at the National Archives, I found this revealing letter about the issues Williston’s battery encountered on the Antietam battlefield due to a shortage of … Continue reading

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Atop Reel Ridge: Examining Lee’s Fallback Position North of Sharpsburg

By 8:30 a.m. on the morning of September 17, 1862, the left end of Robert E. Lee’s line on the Sharpsburg Heights crumpled under repeated Federal blows. The Confederates of Alexander Lawton’s and J.R. Jones’s divisions had been forced back … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Not Just Antietam – September 17, 1862 In Perspective

Wednesday, September 17, 1862. is rightly classed as the bloodiest day in American history. In that 24-hour period, more Americans fell killed, wounded, captured, or missing, than in any like 24-hour period before or since. This contention rests almost totally … Continue reading

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They Fell On The Fields Of Antietam

Emerging Civil War welcomes back Kristen M. Pawlak (Trout) On the fields to the east of the small western-Maryland hamlet of Sharpsburg and interposed between the Potomac River and Antietam Creek, just under four thousand Federal and Rebel troops lay … Continue reading

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Voices of the Maryland Campaign: September 17, 1862

The flash of musketry fire illuminated the dark landscape around the sleepy town of Sharpsburg while the few visible stars still hovered in the early morning sky. With each passing moment, as the sun rose higher behind the peaks of … Continue reading

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September 16, 1862: The Night Of No Return

Civil War soldiers vividly remembered, and recalled, certain days of their military careers, both the highs and lows, the good ones and the bad ones. For those soldier participants in the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, the September 17, … Continue reading

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“A Period of Great Trial”: The 1st Massachusetts Cavalry in the Maryland Campaign

Recently while preparing for an upcoming tour of the Kelly’s Ford battlefield, I was reading through  A History of the First Regiment of Massachusetts Cavalry Volunteers by Benjamin Crowninshield. One of their officers, Maj. Samuel Chamberlain, played a critical role in … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Arms & Armaments, Campaigns, Cavalry, Common Soldier | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ECW Digital Shorts – The Union’s Great Crisis

This fall Emerging Civil War rolled out a soft release of three titles to kick off a new series called the Digital Shorts. These essays consist of extended blog posts, transcribed presentations, and “deleted scenes”–i.e., submissions that while well-written were … Continue reading

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