The Bloodiest One Day Battle in American History

Antietam (click here for some pictures)

Alexander Bennett was part of this battle. It must have made a big impression on him.

In mid-September 1862, the Civil War was only a year and a half old, and many Americans in the North and the South still clung to the view that this war was a noble, glorious, even romantic undertaking. That notion was shattered forever when Alexander Gardner and his assistant James Gibson, working for photographer Mathew Brady’s firm, came to Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Md.

Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac had collided there in a battle that was, and remains, the nation’s bloodiest day. It was called a Union victory, though the cost on both sides was enormous — 23,000 men killed or wounded.

Up until that time, war photography had primarily depicted only the landscape and individual commanders, long after the fighting was done. Gardner and Gibson arrived at the battlefield before all of the soldiers’ bodies had been buried, and they recorded a series of what they called “death studies” that, for the first time, showed the bloated, mutilated corpses that are the true aftermath of conflict.

The exhibition of those images, only a month after the battle, caused a sensation. A reporter for The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it.”

This is a Website dedicated to Antietam.

This is most interesting.

For pictures click here.

The bravest of the braves.

How many casualties did 2nd Vermont Infantry Co. G sustained?

Casualties

Coolidge, John T., 20, Ludlow, VT; enl 10/1/61, m/i 11/9/61, PVT, Co. E, 2nd USSS, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds, 12/19/62

Cooper, Edward S., 18, Rochester, VT; enl 9/9/61, m/i 9/21/61, Pvt, Co. E, 4th VT INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, tr to VRC 9/1/63, m/o 4/15/64

Crane, Cyrus R., 25, Bridport, VT; comn 1LT, Co. F, 5th VT INF, 9/4/61 (9/4/61), pr CPT 6/21/62 (6/21/62), wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, tr to Co. K, 1/24/63, dis/wds, 3/13/63

Dobson, William, 28, Richmond, VT; enl 6/26/61, 12th MA INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62 (gsw right leg), VRC

Drake, Oliver B., 21, Bristol, VT; enl 5/22/61, m/i 6/20/61, Pvt, Co. K, 2nd VT INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds, 4/19/63

Eggleston, George Dulton, 0, Cabot, VT; enl, 6/28/61, CORP, Co. E, 6th WI INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, wdd, Gettysburg, 7/1/63, wdd, Spotsylvania, 5/12/64, pr 2LT 1/14/65, m/o 6/9/65

Harris, Joseph Hartwell, 26, Woodstock, VT; enl, Lebanon, 4/27/61, m/i, Pvt, Co. K, 1st NH INF, 5/7/61, m/o 8/9/61; enl, Lebanon, 8/21/61, m/i, 1SGT, Co. C, 5th NH INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/dsb 6/8/63

Holbrook, Manlius, 17, Lemington, VT; enl 11/11/61, m/i 11/29/61, PVT, Co. E, 2nd USSS, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, wdd, Gettysburg, 7/3/63, reen 12/21/63, pr CORP 1/7/64, pr SGT 1/1/ 1865, tr to Co. G, 4th VT INF, 2/25/65, m/o 7/13/65

Holcomb, Chester, 18, Windsor, VT; enl 8/31/61, m/i 9/21/61, Pvt, Co. K, 4th VT INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dsrtd 10/28/62

Howard, Silas W., 20, Royalton, VT; enl 12/16/61, m/i 11/9/61, PVT, Co. E, 2nd USSS, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds, 3/5/63

LaClair, John E., 28, Highgate, VT; co. G, 13th MA INF, kia, Antietam, 9/17/62

Laythe, Gilman, 0, Newport, VT; enl, Clinton, 7/12/61, m/i, Pvt, Co. C, 15th MA INf, 7/12/61, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/dsb 1/6/63

Lewis, Luke Monroe, 22, Duxbury, VT; enl 10/30/61, m/i 11/9/61, PVT, Co. E, 2nd USSS, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, m/o 11/9/64

Marks, Lorenzo J., 18, Shelburne, VT; enl 5/7/61, m/i 6/20/61, Pvt, Co. G, 2nd VT INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, wdd, 5/18/64, m/o 6/29/64; enl 1/25/65, Hancock’s 1st A.C., 7th Regt, Co. I, m/o 1/30/66

Martin, William Henry, 22, Williamstown, VT; enl 8/19/61, m/i 9/21/61, 1SGT, Co. B, 4th VT INF, comn 2LT, Co. A, 7/17/62 (9/29/62), wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, wdd, Funkstown, 7/10/63 (neck, slightly), mwia, Wilderness, 5/5/64, d/wds 5/8/64

McClallen, Byron, 18, Westford, VT; enl 11/2/61, m/i 11/9/61, PVT, Co. E, 2nd USSS, kia, Antietam, 9/17/62

Mosher, Edward, 21, Alburgh, VT; enl 7/16/61, 13th MA INF, wdd, Bull Run, 8/30/62, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds 2/15/63

Pasha, Antoine, 21, Burlington, VT; enl 10/4/61, m/i 10/15/61, Pvt, Co. F, 6th VT INF, wdd, Lee’s Mill, 4/16/62, mwia, Antietam, 9/17/62, d/wds 5/18/63

Richardson, George A., 22, Jamaica, VT; enl 12/7/61, m/i 12/31/61, PVT, Co. H, 2nd USSS, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds, 12/4/62 (occupation: cooper, 6′ 4 1/4″, dark complexion, black eyes, dark hair)

Richardson, Israel Bush, 0, Fairfax, VT; USMA 36, 2LT, 3rd US INF 41, Bvt CPT and MAJ for gallant conduct in battles of the war with Mexico, CPT, 3rd US INF 51, resgd 55, COL 2nd MI INF, 4/61, B.G. USV, 5/17/61, commanded bgd at the first Bull Run, M.G. USV, 7/4/62, commanded 1st Div, 2nd AC, 62, mwia, Antietam, 9/17/62, d/wds 11/3/62  [College: USMA 36]

Rollins, Andrew J., 24, Greensboro, VT; 12th MA INF, occ. painter, enl, Boston, 6/61, PVT, Co. D, kia, Antietam, 9/17/62 (minnie ball in side)

Sanborn, Asa J., 18, Stowe, VT; enl 10/30/61, m/i 11/9/61, PVT, Co. E, 2nd USSS, reen 12/31/63, wdd, 6/4/64, mwia, Antietam, 9/17/62, d/wds 6/21/64

Slade, George H., 21, Bennington, VT; enl 9/9/61, m/i 10/4/61, PVT, Co. F, 89th NY INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/dsb 6/5/63, Frederick, MD

Stanton, John, 20, Charleston, VT; enl 4/22/61, m/i 7/16/61, CORP, Co. D, 3rd VT INF, kia, Antietam, 9/17/62

Stockwell, Arthur E., 22, Stowe, VT; enl 10/28/61, m/i 11/9/61, Pvt, Co. E, 2nd USSS, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, reen 12/21/63, wdd, Wilderness, 5/6/64, tr to Co. G, 4th VT INF, 2/25/65, pr CORP 5/1/65, m/o 7/13/65

Thompson, Samuel H., 36, Cabot, VT; enl 8/20/61, m/i 9/21/61, Pvt, Co. H, 4th VT INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, kia, Spotsylvania, 5/12/64

Tyler, George E., 22, Readsboro, VT; enl 5/27/61, m/i 6/20/61, Pvt, Co. A, 2nd VT INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds, 8/26/63

Vance, Lorin A., 18, Lowell, MA; enl, Lowell, MA, 10/14/61, m/i, Pvt, Co. K, 2nd MA INF, 10/23/61, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, reen 12/31/63, m/o 7/14/65

Whitman, John Norton, 33, Brighton, VT; enl 8/24/61, m/i 9/21/61, Pvt, Co. D, 4th VT INF, pr CORP, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds, 11/3/62

Whitman, Shepard B., 23, Newbury, VT; enl 11/5/61, m/i 11/9/61, PVT, Co. E, 2nd USSS, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/wds, 12/4/62

Williams, Silas Hudson, 27, Sheffield, VT; enl, Northbridge, 1/22/62, m/i, Pvt, Co. H, 15th MA INF, wdd, Antietam, 9/17/62, dis/dsb 1/24/63

Winship, David H., 19, Bradford, VT; 9th NH INF, mwia, Antietam, 9/17/62, d/wds, 11/14/62, Falmouth, VA

This is most interesting.

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3 thoughts on “The Bloodiest One Day Battle in American History

  1. Indeed a horrific battle… but one thing readers may not realize. If a soldier was wounded, the likelihood of death by infection was all too common an outcome. A round entering a body is not only gruesome but it shatters bone. The round itself is a source of infection, too. And if the round hitting the poor soldier was a ricochet off wood, those pieces too, would enter the body.

  2. Speaking of Antietam, my first cousin, Calixte Paquet-Lavalle, who was a well-known Canadian musician, famous for writing the score for the Canadian national anthem, (and who was also the son of my great aunt Caroline Valentine and Augustin Paquet-Lavalle) inexplicably joined up to serve in the Union Army, and ended up fighting at Antietam. Everytime I think about this, I wonder what possible reasons a well-known, highly gifted, sensitive Canadian musician would have for joining the American Union Army? I can only surmise that he was stark-raving mad…
    Carol Valentine

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