AntietamCrossroads of freedom By Rachel Nicole Tunnell
Chapter One: The Pendulum of War 1861-1862 The first chapter focuses on the reasons for the American Civil War and the beginning of a long journey Civil Wars usually start when one side is trying to control the others land or government, but in the case of this civil war the confederates only needed to defend what was already theirs. The Civil war began on April 12, 1861 In the beginning of the Civil war the union had only few victories A humiliating defeat along the banks of bull run in July 1861 for the Union After Bull Run defeat Abraham Lincoln called in George B. McClellan to take command of the army of the Potomac as well as taking the position of general in chief George B. McClellan was known as the “the young Napoleon” He did very well in training the army and turning into a very well-disciplined fighting force McClellan was a perfectionist and was very concerned and had very little action with his army
Chapter One: The Pendulum of War 1861-1862 McClellan's inaction approach and political conventions injected a dangerous poison into relations between the army and government Postmaster General Montgomery stated, “Lincoln himself begins to smell a rat” referring to McClellan Ulysses S. Grant later took McClellan position as General in chief just 4 months after McClellan was relieved from it. Succession of Union triumphs beginning in February 1862 that seemed to portend the imminent end of the confederacy. By the early 1862 the cotton famine was beginning to hurt , almost all their crop stayed at home. The Union had got New Orleans and news had traveled back to Europe
Chapter Two: Taking Off The Kid Gloves June-July 1862 The first cloud on the horizon of the Union military success in 1862 appeared in the Shenandoah Valley. Nathaniel P. Banks was one of the North’s “political generals” appointed for political influence not military skills was up against the South’s most renowned commander, Thomas J. Jackson also known as “Stonewall” after his defeat at Manassas Out of Jackson’s 5 victories against the Union in the months of May and June, the main victory took place at Winchester on May 25 when the Confederates drove Bank’s routed division in precipitate flight all the way into Maryland The first of the Seven Days Battle McClellan had probed Confederate lines south of the Chickahominy When confederates assaulted the 30,000 federals north of the Chickahominy at Gaines Mill, McClellan had 70,000 men facing only 25,000 south of that river. McClellan wired Washington on June 28 that he was under attack by superior numbers on both sides of the river. McClellan then retreated
Chapter Two: Taking Off The Kid Gloves June-July 1862 As soon as Jackson’s efforts in the valley (greatly magnified) made it across the Atlantic to Europe, they had started beating the drums for discussion on an Intervention Only a trickle of cotton had made it across that year from America because of the Blockade Frederick Douglass pressed Abraham Lincoln into the thought and motive to make the war for Union into a war for freedom in 1862 Abraham then decided on the Emancipation Proclamation and perfected it to start gradually starting with the south Frederick Douglass
Abraham Lincoln and The Emancipation Proclamation
Chapter Three: The Federals Got a Very Complete Smashing In this chapter it portrays the smashing on the Federal army, the Union, by General Robert E. Lee and General Jackson “Stonewall” After the capture of Corinth on May 30, Halleck went back to Washington to become general in chief, leaving Ulysses S. Grant to command the forces and deal with guerillas, contrabands, Northern merchants seeking trading permits, and efforts by two small armies to recapture Corinth On July 4 John Hunt Morgan left Knoxville with eight hundred troopers, Kentucky rebels and they destroyed several supplies depots, captured and paroled twelve hundred prisoners at various Union posts and then returned home with the loss of fewer than ninety men. Meanwhile Nathan Bedford Forrest rode out of Chattanooga on July 6 at the head of a thousand men and tore up railroad that brought supplies to the Union troops and stole million dollars worth of supplies and burned three bridges Lee and Jackson were doing their best to see that pope was “disposed of” and were the only two wishing this upon him. McClellan purposely refused to help and join popes troops when order by Halleck and Lincoln to join up immediately claiming that the troops were unable. Pope’s trooped experienced great defeat once again at the second Bull Run battle Pope managed to only get 32,000 of his men in action against Jackson’s 22,000 on August 29 and had a defeated result with no help from the “detained” McClellan who later they discovered had not shown on purpose
Chapter Four: Showdown at Sharpsburg Walter Taylor declared on September 7 that “now is the time for Maryland or never. After this if she does not rise , hush up ‘my Maryland.’” Many thought that Maryland would convert over to the south’s side and a Southern Carolina soldier thought that they would get 50000 soldiers to join on their cause. A resident in Frederick told a reporter that he had smelled the Confederate army before he saw it. The men were filthy, strong smelling and starving. Lee launched an invasion of 55,000 men. 10,000 were strewn over miles of the Virginia and Maryland countryside with a few hundred refusing to cross the Potomac because they said that they enlisted to defend the South not invade the North. Until September 1862 the Union army had been the invading force, fighting in enemy territory where Confederates had the advantage of knowing the terrain and defending their own turf. Lee issued special orders no.191 dividing the army into four parts while he was in Frederick on September 9. Corporal Barton W. Mitchell found the special orders no.191 under a tree when he went for a rest and discovered what they were and brought it to attention right away. The odds against the occurrence is one to a million.
Chapter Five: The Beginning of the End The army of northern Virginia was not destroyed at Antietam, as Lincoln had hoped, but it was badly hurt. 3 of the nine division commanders, eighty-six of the 173 regimental commanders were killed or wounded and 19 of the 36 brigade commanders. The confederate army was forced to retreat On September 13 President Lincoln met with a delegation of Chicago clergymen bearing a petition urging a proclamation of emancipation. After the Emancipation of Proclamation was in place and the battle won at Antietam had signaled an impact abroad to London, which certainly stunned them Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation which northern voters chastised but did not over throw the republican party, which help forge ahead the program to preserve the Union and give it a new birth of freedom. That was a pivotal moment in history. Antietam was the most heaviest disappointment the Rebels had met with and will be one of the greatest wins for the Union in history helping the future of the Untied States as one nation, indivisible and free.
Photographs taken by Alexander Gardner and James Gibson of the battle at Antietam.First real photographs taken of the aftermath of a battle in history.