This Day in Georgia Civil War History
September 17, 1862
Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)
In the single bloodiest day in American history (23,000 men killed, wounded, or missing) , the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) took place. It pitted 40,000 Confederates against almost 87,000 Union soldiers, although not all of the Union army was involved in the battle. Detailed descriptions of the battle are in the links below. A small group of Georgians played a pivotal role in the battle - 400 men, under the leadership of Robert Toombs, held off determined attacks to capture a bridge over Antietam Creek, from 9:30 in the morning until early afternoon. By the time the Union forces had taken the bridge and regrouped, the last of the Confederate forces had arrived from Harper’s Ferry and entered the battle, driving back the Union army. By the end of the day, neither side had won a decisive victory, although Lee began gathering his wounded and moving his army back across the Potomac River, into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His first attempt at invading the North was over.
Antietam Battle Description (includes mentions of Georgians)