Relieving the Battle of Antietam: The Deadliest Day in America

The bloodiest day in the history of the United States was September 17, 1862, when the Battle of Antietam took place. Why do we say it was the bloodiest? A total of 22,717 people were affected by this battle, either dead, wounded or missing. This was how damaging this battle was.

The deadly nature of this battle could be understood from the fact that the first three hours were spent by both the sides, mainly over the possession of a cornfield that was about 24 acre in size.

During the first four hours itself, there were a total 10,000 casualties. Years later, the consequences of this American Civil War still haunt the people of the United States of America.

What Led to the Battle?

The Army of the Northern Virginia, under the leadership of Robert E Lee, had started a campaign to barge into the North. There were multiple reasons for this.

Firstly, he wanted to invade the North. Secondly, he needed resources for his army from this part of the country. Lastly, he had intended on including Maryland into the Confederacy.


General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) poses atop his horse, Traveler, after the end of the American Civil War. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

However, his journey to the North was not very smooth. The Federal Army of Potomac, under the leadership of George McLellan, proved to be the sole obstruction for the invading army.

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