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150th Anniversary of Antietam

September 17, 1862 – America’s Bloodiest Day

 

Since I started studying history, I’ve never been one to care about specific dates.  I’ve always concerned myself with the bigger picture of why or how circumstances led to a certain event in history.  However, today is an exception to that rule, because today marks one of the most significant events in U.S. history.  Most of the time, September 17 goes unnoticed by the American public.  However, 150 years ago today, September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest single day in American history. 

 

In Sharpsburg, Maryland, the Union and Confederate armies fought to a stalemate, at the end of the day both sides suffered more than 23,000 casualties combined.   The Battle of Antietam marked the end of General Robert E. Lee’s bold initiative to take the Civil War to the north and out of the Virginia.  Following three months of fierce fighting, which included victories at the Seven Days Battles and Second Battle of Manassas, Lee continued on his offensive through Maryland.  The bold offensive maneuvering in 1862 earned Lee his reputation as an outstanding field commander. 

 

The Battle of Antietam began in the early morning hours of September 17 and by 5:30 in the afternoon the battle concluded when Robert E. Lee withdrew from the battlefield.  The Confederate forces were outnumbered almost 2:1. The Union forces had 2,108 killed in action and the Confederates had 1,546 killed in action.  From a military vantage point, the Battle of Antietam was a draw.  From Abraham Lincoln’s point of view, the Battle of Antietam was a victory.  President Lincoln used the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which is considered one of the most important documents in U. S. history. 

 

Many Texans fought at the Battle of Antietam.  Perhaps most notably, John Bell Hood was a division commander under General Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet.  Hood and his fellow Texans would quickly earn a reputation for their boldness and aggressiveness during the Civil War. 

 

List of Confederate Veterans buried at the Texas State Cemetery who fought at the Battle of Antietam.

 

John S. Ash – Co. D, 15th Georgia Infantry

W. H. Wilson – Co. A, 5th Virginia Infantry

Isaac Honigsberger – Co. H, 1st Texas Infantry

Thomas D. Coker – Co. F. 2nd Georgia Infantry

P. D. Bird – Co. D, 13th Alabama Infantry

Frank Strohmer – Co. B, 4th Texas Infantry

J. F. Shilling – 2nd Stuart Horse Artillery

John B. Small – Co. G, 5th Texas Infantry

Robert H. Calhoun – Co. C, 2nd Georgia Infantry

Stephen H. Darden – Co. A, 4th Texas Infantry

George W. Pittman – Co. B, 7th Georgia Infantry

George Washington Pilgrim – Co. G, 6th Georgia Cavalry

 

During the next three years you will begin to see many 150th anniversary events around the country marking significant events during the Civil War.  The Cemetery is proud to honor these veterans who fought in the Civil War.  

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Walker