In September 1862, the South hoped to end the war by invading Maryland just before the mid-term elections. But its hopes were dashed after the bloodiest day in American history.
A largely accidental battle, pitting Robert E. Lee against George B. McClellan, became the single deadliest day in America's history and changed the course of the Civil War.
The events of 9/11 were horrific, almost beyond comprehension. But when our nation was sorely tried before, it emerged stronger and better than before.
In September 1862 the New York Tribune ran a masterly account of the Battle of Antietam. Here were no vague claims of “Great and Glorious Victory” or “Great Slaughter of the Rebels.” Instead, the paper offered six columns of accurate, forceful prose—and got it to the readers less than thirty-six hours after the fight.
The bloodiest day’s fighting in our nation’s history took place on ground that has hardly changed since 1862. Antietam today offers a unique chance to grasp what a great Civil War battle was actually like.