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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
9/30/2020 11:53:08 AM
Once again, Larry, I must thank you for providing these articles.

For the public to be so fully informed as to the extent of the casualties, so soon after the battle, is remarkable.

There was absolutely no intent on McClellan’s part to hide the extremity of the Union casualty list ; and although he indulged in an exaggerated report of rebel losses, the overall tenor of the thing speaks of candour and is also concise and comprehensive .

It makes me aware that there was a significant - perhaps unique - robustness in the democratic credentials of the American people at that time.

How sad it is to reflect that such a noble attribute was to Impart such fervour and bloody resolve to their Civil War.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1257
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
9/30/2020 1:29:27 PM
Hi Phil. Glad you're enjoying this running thread on Antietam/Sharpsburg campaign. If time permits I will do the same for Fredricksburg in December.

Best regards, Larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2875
Joined: 2010
News from Antietam.
9/30/2020 3:04:18 PM
Thanks as always Larry.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1257
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/1/2020 8:47:43 AM
From the Cleveland Daily Leader, Cleveland Ohio. October 1, 1862.

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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/1/2020 8:58:58 AM
Another good one, Larry !

Heck, we could make a good conflation with Gettysburg here : the flying blacksmith’s store at Antietam , and Hancock’s tenpenny nail comment about the rebel ammunition when he was dangerously wounded on Day Three at the ‘burg!

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1257
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/2/2020 8:40:59 AM

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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/2/2020 3:45:38 PM
Larry,

Who was more prone to putting lipstick on the pig : the Union or the Confederate press ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Gregory C. White
Canton GA USA
Posts: 357
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/2/2020 7:41:05 PM
Quote:
Larry,

Who was more prone to putting lipstick on the pig : the Union or the Confederate press ?

Regards, Phil


Phil,

I've done extensive research of Georgia newspapers in the days & weeks after Gettysburg.

Initially they were getting feedback via rumor and reports received out of Richmond
after the first two days of the battle. Of course, it was a glorious victory.

After the 3rd day they were reliant on Northern newspaper coverage. Peter Wellington
Alexander, "PWA" , star war correspondent of the "Savannah Republican" and other
newspapers, his reports did not appear until about the third week of July. He did
not sugarcoat anything, and was often critical. By then, once the reports and soldier
letters were received in Georgia, the various newspaper editors were much more
critical and damning of the Confederate government for what started out as a most
promising campaign.

As for the lipstick, it all depended on the news and when it was received.

Best Regards,

Greg
were received back home i Georgiaodid not file re
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“Any society which suppresses the heritage of its conquered minorities, prevent their history, and denies them their symbols, has sown the seeds of its destruction.” Sir William Wallace, 1280 A.D.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/3/2020 4:48:42 AM
Greg,

Your observations are most helpful.

How much investment, in terms of blood, had Georgia made in Lee's Maryland foray of September 1862 ?

I wonder how the record of Antietam and Gettysburg compare in this respect, and how far this shaped the perception in Georgia.

Gettysburg and Georgia.....Rans Wright, Tige Anderson, Semmes, Gordon, Wofford and Doles : four thousand battle casualties sustained by the state in that battle, with Wright and Anderson taking the worst punishment. Gordon made a rather spectacular claim in the moment of his big triumph on Day One, when he declared that his brigade had no dead men : he certainly got off lightly compared with Wright's command, but he still took significant casualties, with commensurate fatalities. I must find out when, and where, the brigade's loss was incurred in the fighting.

At Antietam, Lawton’s Georgians come to my mind. Are these the poor boys who got caught up in Hooker's artillery onslaught in the Cornfield ? It's one of the most harrowing stories of the battle, much emphasised by Thomas Keneally in his haunting novel, Confederates. At least, that's what I think I read.....so many times I begin to doubt my memory ! Another thing for me to check. Right now, looking at my shelves, I can't find it. The things are never there when you want them, are they ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/5/2020 5:13:17 AM
Quote:

How much investment, in terms of blood, had Georgia made in Lee's Maryland foray of September 1862 ?

I wonder how the record of Antietam and Gettysburg compare in this respect, and how far this shaped the perception in Georgia.



Almost on cue, I've revisited an excellent site : Antietam on the Web.

This is a wonderful enterprise, invaluable for anyone who wishes to research the overall records of the individual soldiers who fought and died in this dramatic moment in American history.

One section of the site is a compilation of all the dead in the Maryland Campaign that have, thus far, been identified and contextualised.

Therein are several lists, dealing with thousands of soldiers who died according to rank, or state, whether in the Battle of Antietam itself, or in the wider Maryland Campaign.

The results for the Battle of Antietam are remarkable testimony to the role played by Georgia.

The compilers of the list are sure that more names will come to light, but even the incomplete roster reveals that 2,425 Confederate soldiers were killed or mortally wounded at Antietam in the fighting of 16, 17 and 18 September. Of these, 573,( 23.6%), are Georgians. The corresponding figures for the Battle of Gettysburg - these fully complete, and compiled by John Busey - give 5,446 killed or mortally wounded, of whom 892, (16.4%), are identified as Georgian.

Georgia's troops took a disproportionate amount of punishment at Antietam.

I wonder how many of them fell victim to that murderous cannonade that Hooker was supposed to have unleashed on that Cornfield.

Edit : For the sake of perspective, the Antietam list, with its 2,425 Confederates, identifies 3,185 Federals. Georgia lost 808 dead in the entire campaign, indicating significant loss in the South Mountain fighting. Again, this is yet to be increased, if the compiler of the list finds more names.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2875
Joined: 2010
News from Antietam.
10/5/2020 3:47:34 PM
Phil,

Antietam on the Web is a brilliant site. Brian Downey was often on MHO back in the day.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/5/2020 4:10:19 PM
Trevor,

Your endorsement carries weight !

It’s very reassuring to know that you’re in surveillance .

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/7/2020 12:06:16 PM
Artillery at Antietam interests me. One of three panoramic “burg “ battles, along with Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, Sharpsburg gave the gunners the battlefield that allowed them the chance to ply their trade.

How far was Hooker’s attack predicated on preventing the confederates from exploiting the advantage of the Dunker Church plateau as a gun platform ?

Hazel Grove at Chancellorsville and the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg were likewise defining terrain in the story of their respective battles .

In a war in which, we are told , artillery caused fewer than ten percent of casualties, it’s remarkable how much importance was bestowed on the deployment of cannons .

I’m convinced that artillery at Antietam inflicted much more than one tenth of the killing in that battle.

Which side was better able to damage its foe there ?

The southern depiction of the battle as “ Artillery Hell “ speaks volumes. Yankee long range artillery- rifled - made havoc. Rebels in the Cornfield sector were massacred by Hooker’s guns.

But what of the yankees who were advancing into the fire of those pieces deployed around the Dunker Church ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1257
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/7/2020 4:05:24 PM
Sobering news from the Southern Confederacy. Atlanta Georgia. September 25, 1862.

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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/8/2020 4:40:00 AM
Sobering news indeed, Larry.

And these are just for the Second Mannassas ( and Cedar Mountain) fighting !

What was coming to hit those poor folks when the Maryland Campaign casualty returns hit the newspapers ?

Judging by what I’ve seen in Brian Downey’s Antietam death list, Georgia was adrift on a sea of grief.

Look at that discreet advert for a slave trading premises : a very timely reminder of what was at stake and the price in lives and blood that was being shed to conserve it. The Emancipation Proclamation had already been pitched three days before the newspaper article.

Editing : Allow me to put these Civil War casualty lists into a kind of perspective. Bear in mind that the white population of the Confederacy was in the order of five and a half million, a little more than one tenth of them from Georgia . Half a century later, the British people engaged in their most intense warfare ever, with a population about eight times greater than those white southerners of 1860. Britain's worst day in that conflict - the 1st of July, 1916 - cost her roughly twenty thousand killed : Brian Downey’s list reveals that, in proportionate terms, the Southern loss at Antietam was every bit as bad as the First Day of the Somme was for my country. For Georgia, this per capita death rate from Antietam was doubled.

Of course, the warfare of 1914-18 was far more relentless than that of 1861-65, with its more spasmodic battles, and so my comparison requires circumspection . But, look at what Larry has sent us : within a week of Antietam, the people of Atlanta are being informed as to the fate of their menfolk in fighting that had raged in the campaign prior to Lee’s Maryland foray ; then there had been the Seven Days, a monstrous blood bath for the South. Fredericksburg , Chancellorsville and Gettysburg were yet to come, and the final meat grinder of the Virginia Campaign of 1864-65 was going to transcend everything else. Not such a spasmodic affair after all.

Another point to bear in mind : the battlefield carnage of 1914-18 was, in a sense, mitigated by the very diminished effects of fatal disease. Not so in the American experience fifty years before. The hardship and squalour of camp life, the lethal conditions in POW camps and the relatively primitive state of medical practice was to swell the overall cost of warfare to appalling levels.

Regards, Phil

Regards , Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1257
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/8/2020 8:53:17 AM

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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/8/2020 3:05:53 PM
Good grief, Larry !

Doesn’t that vignette say it all, both in regard to the calibre of the men and the ties of community ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1257
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/8/2020 3:30:24 PM
News articles like this had to tear the hearts out of communities, North and South.
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2939
Joined: 2007
News from Antietam.
10/12/2020 1:15:51 PM
Phil mentioned in an earlier post about the number of Georgia casualties at Sharpsburg.......what drove up Georgia casualties was Crampton`s Gap...where 43% of the men in the 24th Georgia Regiment were killed wounded or missing. Several men, including Cap. William Alexander Sumpter, who organized and commanded company C of the 24th from White County Georgia, were killed at Crampton`s Gap.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/12/2020 3:24:07 PM
Morris,

It comes as a surprise to see the regimental records of Georgia’s war.

The great preponderance of the blood that was shed by troops from Georgia was spilt fighting under Lee’s command in the battles of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

I see relatively little evidence of this being the case in the western theatre, despite the fact that Georgia herself was a major battlefield in that war.

Yes, of course, you do find Georgia regiments that fought hard in the West, but they are thin on the ground compared with the returns from the fighting in the East.

Did Georgia feel more identified with the society of the “Old South “ of Virginia than she did with the more frontier culture of the western Confederacy ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2939
Joined: 2007
News from Antietam.
10/12/2020 4:17:23 PM
Phil, I have no idea if Georgians thought of themselves as eastern or western....but Georgia was second only to Virginia in slave population by 1860, so the "plantation mentality" was certainly a strong identity with the Old Dominion.
When I do a battlefield walk at Chickamauga, I still have to remind myself I am on a field of "the Western theater."

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/13/2020 4:30:54 AM
Morris,

Exactly one year separates Lee’s withdrawal from Sharpsburg with the opening of the Battle of Chickamauga, and it’s true that Longstreet’s men were present at both events, with, no doubt, Georgia contingents fighting on home soil when they saw the yankee centre break at Chickamauga.

Shelby Foote opined that September 20 1863, the second day at Chickamauga, might have been the bloodiest day of the war. Too much of a stretch, I reckon, although oceans of blood were spilt there, with the victors paying excessively. How many Georgia regiments were present at Chickamauga ? Benning’s Brigade comes to mind.

Ironically, by setting up the Battle of Chattanooga , Chickamauga rendered Georgia vulnerable to invasion.

When Sherman and Johnston were grappling at Resaca, there were thousands of Georgia men fighting desperately to hold the lines in Virginia , and I wonder how anxious they were about what was happening at home, and whether they fretted about not being there to defend their state.

Regards , Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2939
Joined: 2007
News from Antietam.
10/13/2020 3:24:31 PM
At Chickamauga, there were a few :

1st.Georgia....5th Ga....25th Ga......29th Ga......30th Ga......37th Ga.....42cd Ga.....and 47th Ga......are the most memorable Georgia Infantry Regiments for battle ( there were also cavalry regiments, artillery batteries, and the 1st and 2cd Georgia Battalions of Sharpshooters...remember, McClaw`s division was not able to arrive by rail on time for the battle of the 20th.)

It became extremely hard on Georgians to fight in Virginia in late 1864, when the situation back home was dire. There was an increase of desertions because soldiers were concerned by word from home, the deprivations, the criminal activities.....General Wofford would remove himself from service in the ANV in order to tackle the roving renegade criminals in northwest Georgia and a menace to his own home at Cassville.

I remember reading, in the Southern Watchman I believe, notes taken during the vote of the men of the 3rd Battalion Sharpshooters as they had to wrench with the decision to re-enlist...or go back home where many problems were obvious and they were needed. Most decided to "see the thing through to the end," but it was difficult.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/13/2020 6:33:49 PM
Morris,

Many thanks for such an authoritative and heartfelt answer to my question.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1257
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/14/2020 9:45:39 AM

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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2875
Joined: 2010
News from Antietam.
10/15/2020 12:48:43 PM
An excellent video on Antietam.

[Read More]

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/17/2020 4:41:18 AM

One of the best, Trevor, thanks.

A bit agitated at the claim that nearly twice as many Americans died on that one day as in the Wars of the Revolution , 1812, with Mexico and the Spanish American combined. That doesn't bear scrutiny. Perhaps Antietam rivalled, and even exceeded, the battle deaths in the American Revolution : that’s a stretch. I’ll check and report back.

Not raining on the parade, though. It was indeed excellent.

Editing : As I suspected, there has been a prodigious exaggeration. There were twenty three thousand casualties at Antietam. Most of these - seventy per cent or so - were wounded men who survived, although many of them were damaged for life : a life foreshortened in too many cases....but we must also remember that there were slightly wounded men represented in that figure, too. Brian Downey has identified and named 3,858 who were killed and another 1,752 who died of their wounds after the battle : a total of 5,610 confirmed battle deaths. There are undoubtedly several hundred more who are yet to be added.

Brian Downey’s counterpart for the Revolutionary War is Howard Peckham. His meticulous research has revealed that 6,824 Americans were killed in battle in that war. Antietam might just have rivalled that ; but I doubt it.....I reckon that 6,000-6,300 is feasible . Good Grief , that’s bad enough to stand without embellishment ! Why, I wonder, do historians and commentators of such calibre repeat these citations about Antietam costing more lives than so many other American wars combined ? For the record , US deaths on D-Day 1944 have been stated at about 2,500 by the Battlefields Monuments Commission, so it’s also exaggerating to suggest that four times as many Americans died at Antietam as in Normandy 6 June 1944.
They’re conflating casualty figures with deaths : a common mistake, but a very surprising one to be endorsed by such as James McPherson. Forgive my pickiness.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2939
Joined: 2007
News from Antietam.
10/17/2020 10:29:58 AM
Trevor, thanks for posting the video. I have not had time to view it yet, but I am sure I will get to it this weekend and comment after.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2875
Joined: 2010
News from Antietam.
10/17/2020 6:02:44 PM
This animated Battle map video gives a good overview.

[Read More]

Here is another excellent video but more focused on the experiences of the soldiers fighting.

[Read More]

I think the three videos together each with a different focus give a good idea of the campaign/battle and of the men experiencing it.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2875
Joined: 2010
News from Antietam.
10/17/2020 8:12:13 PM
Quote:

One of the best, Trevor, thanks.

A bit agitated at the claim that nearly twice as many Americans died on that one day as in the Wars of the Revolution , 1812, with Mexico and the Spanish American combined. That doesn't bear scrutiny. Perhaps Antietam rivalled, and even exceeded, the battle deaths in the American Revolution : that’s a stretch. I’ll check and report back.

Not raining on the parade, though. It was indeed excellent.

Editing : As I suspected, there has been a prodigious exaggeration. There were twenty three thousand casualties at Antietam. Most of these - seventy per cent or so - were wounded men who survived, although many of them were damaged for life : a life foreshortened in too many cases....but we must also remember that there were slightly wounded men represented in that figure, too. Brian Downey has identified and named 3,858 who were killed and another 1,752 who died of their wounds after the battle : a total of 5,610 confirmed battle deaths. There are undoubtedly several hundred more who are yet to be added.

Brian Downey’s counterpart for the Revolutionary War is Howard Peckham. His meticulous research has revealed that 6,824 Americans were killed in battle in that war. Antietam might just have rivalled that ; but I doubt it.....I reckon that 6,000-6,300 is feasible . Good Grief , that’s bad enough to stand without embellishment ! Why, I wonder, do historians and commentators of such calibre repeat these citations about Antietam costing more lives than so many other American wars combined ? For the record , US deaths on D-Day 1944 have been stated at about 2,500 by the Battlefields Monuments Commission, so it’s also exaggerating to suggest that four times as many Americans died at Antietam as in Normandy 6 June 1944.
They’re conflating casualty figures with deaths : a common mistake, but a very surprising one to be endorsed by such as James McPherson. Forgive my pickiness.

Regards, Phil


Phil,
McPherson is being misquoted. In Battle Cry of Freedom he wrote " War of 1812, with Mexico and the Spanish American combined". No mention of the Revolutionary War. Similarly, he writes "casualties" not deaths in relation to D-Day.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
borderstates
Lafayette LA USA
Posts: 277
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/17/2020 10:47:59 PM
I am late to this party, but Antietam is one of my favorite fields. A couple of quick points: A shot in the foot to Hooker may have turned the whole battle. When Hooker was hit, command was in flux. However, G.S. Greene had rolled up Jackson with his very small division (2,200 men from memory). Hooker was going down and XII Corp, nearly 15,000 men was coming on line. Bull (headed) Sumner put Uncle John in that killing box in the West Woods and the morning slipped into a lull.

Walking behind the Dunker Church, you can see flank markers from some of Greene's division. They are some 200 - 300 yards behind the Church. He was able to hold there till he ran out of ammunition and withdrew, somewheres in the 2:00PM ish range. Ok, all of this if from memory. I have plenty of holes in it.

The rolling hills of the land and the name of Artillery Hell are both points to remember. The Irish Brigade (Ranger Mike St. Pat's Day Battle Walk in 2005 or 2006) was maybe only 60-70 yards from the Sunken Road when they popped into view. Longstreet and his house shoe comes into play here.
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Respectfully yours, Mike OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES. President Harry S Truman
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 6:40:27 AM
Quote:
Quote:

One of the best, Trevor, thanks.

A bit agitated at the claim that nearly twice as many Americans died on that one day as in the Wars of the Revolution , 1812, with Mexico and the Spanish American combined. That doesn't bear scrutiny. Perhaps Antietam rivalled, and even exceeded, the battle deaths in the American Revolution : that’s a stretch. I’ll check and report back.

Not raining on the parade, though. It was indeed excellent.

Editing : As I suspected, there has been a prodigious exaggeration. There were twenty three thousand casualties at Antietam. Most of these - seventy per cent or so - were wounded men who survived, although many of them were damaged for life : a life foreshortened in too many cases....but we must also remember that there were slightly wounded men represented in that figure, too. Brian Downey has identified and named 3,858 who were killed and another 1,752 who died of their wounds after the battle : a total of 5,610 confirmed battle deaths. There are undoubtedly several hundred more who are yet to be added.

Brian Downey’s counterpart for the Revolutionary War is Howard Peckham. His meticulous research has revealed that 6,824 Americans were killed in battle in that war. Antietam might just have rivalled that ; but I doubt it.....I reckon that 6,000-6,300 is feasible . Good Grief , that’s bad enough to stand without embellishment ! Why, I wonder, do historians and commentators of such calibre repeat these citations about Antietam costing more lives than so many other American wars combined ? For the record , US deaths on D-Day 1944 have been stated at about 2,500 by the Battlefields Monuments Commission, so it’s also exaggerating to suggest that four times as many Americans died at Antietam as in Normandy 6 June 1944.
They’re conflating casualty figures with deaths : a common mistake, but a very surprising one to be endorsed by such as James McPherson. Forgive my pickiness.

Regards, Phil


Phil,
McPherson is being misquoted. In Battle Cry of Freedom he wrote " War of 1812, with Mexico and the Spanish American combined". No mention of the Revolutionary War. Similarly, he writes "casualties" not deaths in relation to D-Day.

Trevor



Thank you, Trevor .

That explains things.

Antietam does fullfill those criteria.

I hope that I haven’t misquoted McPherson !

What I feel keen to emphasise about Antietam is not that it has been exaggerated : more a case of too many other awful days in that war not acknowledged for how bloody they were too. The second days of Gettysburg and Chickamauga and the Wilderness, the first day of Shiloh, to name but four, were not that far behind. Several other contenders come to mind.

No doubt about it, though, Antietam was the only single day in which more than twenty thousand men were killed or wounded. I can think of quite a few when the number reached or even exceeded fifteen thousand.
If pressed to pick the ultimate horror, I would cite the loss of life suffered by the yankees between 5 and 12 May 1864 in the Wilderness -Spotsylvania fighting, which was, in essence, one big battle...with no breather to speak of for weeks to come.

Another thing : did you pick up on the insistence of one of the commentators that Burnside was successful in so far as he took objectives with the lowest casualty total of any of the Union corps that was heavily engaged in the battle ? I wonder if he’s right : didn’t Mansfield’s corps suffer fewer casualties ? More to the point, Burnside was the least successful in terms of the casualty exchange rate, suffering double the loss he inflicted. I’d better check this...I might be firing from the hip, and will have to apologise if I’m wrong.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 9:42:40 AM
Quote:
This animated Battle map video gives a good overview.

[Read More]

Here is another excellent video but more focused on the experiences of the soldiers fighting.

[Read More]

I think the three videos together each with a different focus give a good idea of the campaign/battle and of the men experiencing it.

Trevor


The animated map is really good, Trevor. It does what it says on the tin : brings things to life.

The rendition is also disciplined and accurate when it comes to the casualty figures : it cites three thousand six hundred killed and nineteen thousand wounded or captured, more American lives lost than on D-Day, or at Pearl Harbor, or on Nine Eleven.

Pleased to report that I was right about Burnside's Corps suffering more than Mansfield.

Hooker : 2,590
Sumner : 5,139
Mansfield : 1,756
Burnside : 2,349

It's been estimated that Burnside inflicted barely half the damage that he suffered. The other corps meted out as good as they got. Poor Mansfield was the only corps commander who was killed. Was the Greene who commanded a division in that corps the same general who held Culp's Hill at Gettysburg ? If so, why was he only a brigade commander at Gettysburg when he had commanded a division at Antietam ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
borderstates
Lafayette LA USA
Posts: 277
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 10:02:11 AM
Phil,

Yes, it was George Sears Greene that was in command of a very small division at Antietam. That is the same Greene that stands in bronze on Culp's Hill. Mansfield was not a battlefield commander. This was his first command and he went down very quickly. This, in essence, put his whole corp out of the fight. They with drew and seemed to hold a position for most of the morning. This is one of the many instances where Lil' Mac should have not just been sitting on his duff, but engaged. This was a point in the mornings affairs where he could have changed things with a little bit of leadership.

For years, I had a paper that was given to me by one of the rangers at Antietam. It explained Greene's break through in detail. I walked out from the visitor's center with him and we did a 30 minute impromptu battle walk. That was the beauty of Antietam I was one of a small handful of visitor's on this week day.
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Respectfully yours, Mike OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES. President Harry S Truman
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2939
Joined: 2007
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 10:20:23 AM
I have always wondered if Lincoln turned command over to Burnside because Burnside did have the partial success of a break through against the confederate right...until Hill came up....this was the only real success of McClellan at Sharpsburg....though short-lived. How many casualties did Burnside incur in the rather strange tactic of taking the bridge by running regiments down along the creek on the Rohersville Road....taking pounding from Toombs 500 men and two batteries like the ducks in a shooting gallery. A lot of life was wasted until the 51st Pennsylvania, and the 51st New York make their attack on the bridge by forming behind the ridge, then charging straight down it to take the bridge.

On the other flank, you have Sedgwick walking into a blind, French attacking in successive brigades, so that when Gorman attacks, some 50 yards to his rear, the supporting men of Dana can`t fire without hitting their own men out in front...and behind them another 50 yards, O.O. Howard`s men face the same problem.

Then, in the center...the sunken road, you have Lt Col Lightfoot take over for the stricken Gordon of Georgia, and misunderstand Rhode`s order to refuse the line with his right two companies so that they can fire into Barlow`s men ...and instead, orders the withdrawal of all his troops. Like every battle I suppose, you have the specter of blunder, improper communication, and bad tactical deployments.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2875
Joined: 2010
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 11:05:39 AM
Quote:
Phil,

This is one of the many instances where Lil' Mac should have not just been sitting on his duff, but engaged. This was a point in the mornings affairs where he could have changed things with a little bit of leadership.


And compare that with Lee´s performance. He was all over the field, present and reacting at each crisis point throughout the day.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
borderstates
Lafayette LA USA
Posts: 277
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 1:14:20 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Phil,

This is one of the many instances where Lil' Mac should have not just been sitting on his duff, but engaged. This was a point in the mornings affairs where he could have changed things with a little bit of leadership.


And compare that with Lee´s performance. He was all over the field, present and reacting at each crisis point throughout the day.

Trevor


Trevor, I hold that Lil' Mac was the worst Union general of the Civil War. Antietam was one of the very few chances to actually trap Lee and crush the AoNV. V Corp and VI Corp were hardly engaged (period). I am wrong in that it was II Corp that Bull (headed)Sumner was in charge of. XII Corp was under the command of Mansfield. Swiss cheese memory of mine. The whole business of the 2 51st regiments and Burnside's inaction is another whole thread. Yes, there was a viable crossing some 1 mile down Antietam Creek that could have been used.

To the numbers a bit (my apologies to Phil and his expertise). Lil' Mac had ~23,000 men that were lightly or not engaged at all during the entire conflict. Lee may have had as little as ~25,000 infantry fit for duty. The stories of the dysentery, eating of green corn, lack of food rations, etc. are fairly well known. Porters; I command the last reserve of the last Army of the Republic still stands as one of the most glaring failures of duty of two general officers that I can recall.
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Respectfully yours, Mike OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES. President Harry S Truman
Steve Clements
Toronto ON Canada
Posts: 786
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 1:35:25 PM
Hi Morris,

Quote:

I have always wondered if Lincoln turned command over to Burnside because Burnside did have the partial success of a break through against the confederate right...

,
Lincoln offered command of the AoP to Burnside - twice - before Antietam. So I would argue that Lincoln already had a positive view of Burnside before Antietam. Not that Burnside's performance at Antietam was much to brag about-:)

I have asked the same question...and the response I had been given was that Lincoln was very impressed with Burnside's successes on the North Carolinian coast. Via an amphibious campaign, Burnside won battles at Roanke Island (Feb. 7th/8th/62) and New Bern, March/62) which helped to shut out Confederate shipping in most of the state for the rest of the war.

And of course, there were not a lot of Union victories in the east in 1862, so my impression is that Burnside received a lot of positive publicity for his direction of this campaign.

s.c.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5007
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 2:39:04 PM
Using the animated map that Trevor pitched, and looking at the casualty figures for the battle, it comes as a surprise to see just how heavy Burnside's casualties actually were.....all the more so, since one of the commentators made much of the Federal IX Corps taking lower losses. Moreover, the rebel forces were very thin on this southern flank of the battle, with several hundred Georgia riflemen doing their best to replicate Sparta's Thermopylae down by that bridge.

But what really catches my eye is the casualty return of Rodman's Division. What happened here ? With the division engaging 2,914 men, the outcome was pretty dire. A loss of 1,077 was reported, with the significant number of 220 being posted as killed outright. There were also 787 wounded and 70 missing. Note the high ratio of killed : normally the wounded would outnumber the killed by nearly five to one ; in this case it was only three and a half to one, implying very lethal fire striking the yankees. Was this testimony to the greenness of the troops, hit by AP Hill's battle hardened warriors fresh from Harper's Ferry ? Something very nasty happened to them. The most notorious slaughter of a division in the battle was, of course, that of Sedgwick's command, which engaged 5,437 men and lost 2,210, of whom 373 were killed.....one of the worst episodes of divisional carnage of the war. In percentage terms, the loss in killed suffered by Rodman's division was worse still.

Looking at the Confederate record of the battle, I see that McLaws deployed almost exactly the same number as Rodman : 2,961, of whom 1,119 were casualties ....again, almost identical to Rodman's total. But McLaws, according to Carman, lost fewer killed, "only" 160, with 933 wounded and 26 missing. Even if all his missing men had been killed, it's still a lower fatality rate than that suffered by Rodman's command. The nearest proportion of killed was suffered by JR Jones's division of 2,094, which lost 145 killed, along with 486 wounded and 17 missing. That's an even worse ratio of killed to wounded than that suffered by Rodman's men. We know what happened to them : it's all too apparent in that grisly photograph of the corpses of Starke's Louisianans littering the fence area of the Hagerstown Pike.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
borderstates
Lafayette LA USA
Posts: 277
Joined: 2004
News from Antietam.
10/18/2020 6:24:14 PM
Quote:
Using the animated map that Trevor pitched, and looking at the casualty figures for the battle, it comes as a surprise to see just how heavy Burnside's casualties actually were.....all the more so, since one of the commentators made much of the Federal IX Corps taking lower losses. Moreover, the rebel forces were very thin on this southern flank of the battle, with several hundred Georgia riflemen doing their best to replicate Sparta's Thermopylae down by that bridge.


The Georgian's rifle pits were in a good place. They were well elevated and well dug in. They had a great view of the bridge and both entrances to the bridge. Once again, there was a crossing some 1 mile down stream.

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Respectfully yours, Mike OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES. President Harry S Truman
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