The Battle of Antietam.
On September 17, 1862, one of this nations bloodiest battles of all time took place. It happened outside of a very small town in the Maryland countryside; called Sharpsburg. The name of the battle was the Battle of Antietam, named after the small creek that ran through the battlefield. In this writing assignment, I will write about the important facts of the battle rather than the actual troop movements. I will elaborate on the reasons why General Robert E. Lee was in Maryland, why both sides needed a victory, Special Order No. 191, General McClellan's role, the sunken road, and finally the overall outcome of the confrontation.
General Robert E. Lee was fresh off a victory on the peninsula around Richmond, Virginia. He was, however running short on supplies and needed to strike a demoralizing blow to the north. In order to achieve this, he would have to go north with his army. He took his Army of Northern Virginia and started toward Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The south central area of Pennsylvania was full of rich farmland thus would provide plenty of food rations.
In addition to supplies, General Robert E. Lee wanted to deal a blow to the moral of the northern people. His thinking was " what better way to bring your enemies moral down than to march around in his own backyard?".
The battle of Antietam was an important battle for both the south and north. For the south this battle, was important to them, for a couple of reasons. The most important of reasons was financial backing. The French and English governments had been watching the repeated successes that the Confederacy was having. The hope of the southern government was to have a major victory on northern soil and show the French and English it's strength so the foreign governments would decide to provide financial backing and help bring the war to an end sooner.
On the other end of the spectrum was the northern reason for a need to for a major victory.