The Bloodiest Day In American History – Antietam

Julie Clopper /

The War of Northern Aggression is such a better name than the Civil War.  For there was nothing civil about a war with over 1.1 casualties and costing the lives of 620,000 people.  To try and put that into a modern scope, it would be like having the attacks 9/11 occur everyday for the next 206 days.

But today, August 17th marks the anniversary of the bloodiest day of that war…which also happens to be the bloodiest day in American history.

Dave Jolly of writes:

On this day, September 17, 1862, Union Generals Ambrose Burnside, Joseph Hooker, Joseph Mansfield and Edwin Sumner mounted charges against the Confederate troops. The creek bottom was foggy in the early morning, but the fog soon burned away and was replaced with the smoke from thousands of rifles firing at each other.

Union forces seemed to make progress and advance only to be driven back by the Confederate forces. Several of the battle locations such as Miller’s cornfield and the West Woods became slaughter sites with hundreds of bodies covering the muddy ground.

Over the course of 8 hours, the Battle of Antietam was over and around 23,000 soldiers lay dead or wounded or they were missing. The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest single day battle in American history. Many of the houses, stores, churches and barns in the area were turned into makeshift hospitals for the wounded on both sides of the creek. There were so many wounded that disease quickly spread, claiming more soldiers and even consuming many residents of the Sharpsburg, Maryland area who also became victims of the bloodiest battle in American history.

Some sources claim that the Battle of Antietam was a much needed victory for the Union Army of the Potomac but others say that neither side won. McClellan successfully stopped Lee’s March north and thwarted the Confederate plans to reach Harrisburg but at the same token, McClellan’ Union forces suffered over 10,000 casualties and failed to defeated Lee’s army, hence if it was a Union victory, it was a costly and ineffective one. Lee was forced for take his army back to Virginia.

Today, the site of America’s bloodiest battle, the Battle of Antietam is preserved by the National Park Service as part of the National Battlefields. To plan your visit to this historic battlefield, visit their website – Antietam.

You can read the rest of Jolly’s article that recounts the lead up to the battle and shows a documentary narrated by James Earl Johns by going to

Today, September 17, 1862: Antietam – Bloodiest One Day Battle in American History [VIDEO]

I think many people lose scope of just how much life was lost during the War of Northern Aggression.  More Americans died in that conflict than in World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict…COMBINED.

2 percent of the population of this country…dead.To grasp that percentage, applied today that total would 6.5 MILLION people dead, with another battle like Antietam claiming over 241,000 lives.

A stark reminder of just how bloody a “civil” war can be.

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