Total casualties 22,717 Union losses: 12,401 Confederate losses: 10,316
September 17th 1862
The battle of antietam (or sharpsburg as it was called in the south) was the single bloodiest day of the war. It lasted for roughly 12 hours and in that 12 hours nearly 23,000 lives were lost.
There were two main generals in this fight. On the Union side there is General George B Mcclellan with around 87,000 troops. On the Confederate side there is General Robert E. Lee with 45,00 troops.
Lee was confident from a series of victories in the south. He believed that if he could win a battle on northern soil then he could win the entire war, so he invaded Maryland in September 1862
The battle of antietam can be broken up into a couple of smaller battles. One of these was that at Miller's Cornfield. In just an 8 hour span 15,00 lives were lost. At another part of the battlefield was the Bloody Lane. 26,000 Confederate troops faced off against 5,500 Union troops. around 5,00 of these troops were lost.
That battle took place by Antietam creek, just outside of Sharpsburg, Maryland. several miles from the creek itself was the Miller's Cornfield conflict, and just south of that was Dunker Church and even further south was Sunken road, where Bloody Lane took place.
The battle was a draw, however, Lincoln used Lee's retreat to claim victory. Lincoln decided to use this victory to declare the Emancipation Proclamation. This freed all slaves in Confederate held territory. Lincoln also removed McClellan from his leadership for not pursuing the confederates when they fled.