the emancipation proclamation the battle of antietam
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The Emancipation Proclamation & The Battle of Antietam

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The Emancipation Proclamation & The Battle of Antietam. Lincoln & Slavery. Less than a month before the battle of Antietam, Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley:

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lincoln slavery
Lincoln & Slavery
  • Less than a month before the battle of Antietam, Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley:

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."

  • Consider each of the three possibilities Lincoln offers separately. What might be the consequences of each option? Why are the border states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri) of critical importance to the survival of the Union? Which option did Lincoln finally choose? Do you agree with his priorities? Why or why not?
slide3

England was on the verge of recognizing the Confederacy as a separate nation. Thus far the South had successfully defended itself. Why might England have wanted a good relationship with the South?

  • Lincoln, who was moving closer to declaring the emancipation of the slaves in the Confederacy, needed a clear victory before he could do so. (Why might that be?) Europe would have a harder time supporting a Confederacy under siege if the mission of the Civil War were to end slavery in the South (which up until this time had not been the case).
the battle of antietam
The Battle of Antietam
  • September 17, 1862, remains the bloodiest day in American history, the day on which 3,650 Americans died.
  • It is deadlier than September 11, 2001 (when 2,819 died), or even D-Day, June 6, 1944 (with 2,499 American fatalities and 1,915 from the other Allied nations, a total of 4,414 dead).
slide5
The
  • Yet, out of the bloodiest day came the Emancipation Proclamation and the beginning of the American Red Cross, in the person of Clara Barton, the “Angel of the Battlefield.”
antietam casualties
Antietam Casualties
  • Casualty Does Not Equal DeadCasualties include three categories: 1) dead; 2) wounded; and 3) missing or captured. In general terms, casualties of Civil War battles included 20% dead and 80% wounded. Of the soldiers who were wounded, about one out of seven died from his wounds. Over 2/3 of the 622,000 men who gave their lives in the Civil War died from disease, not from battle.
slide8

"As night drew nearer, whispers of a great battle to be fought the next day grew louder, and we shuddered at the prospect, for battles had come to mean to us, as they never had before, blood, wounds, and death." - Mary Bedinger Mitchell, (Resident of Shepherdstown)

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[Antietam, Md. Another view of Antietam bridge (Burnside Bridge)].Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer.Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862

slide10

"The stillness of the night is broken by the hostile picket shots close to the front. What are the thoughts that fill the minds of the men as they lie there, anxiously awaiting the morning? Who can describe them?“ - Cpl. Arthur S. Fitch, Company B, 107th New York Infantry

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[Sharpsburg, Md. Principal street].Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862.

  • What did the "battlefield" consist of?
slide12

[Antietam, Md. Confederate dead by a fence on the Hagerstown road].Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862.

slide13

"Oh how I ran! I was afraid of being struck in the back, so I frequently turned around in running, so as to avoid if possible so disgraceful a wound.”

slide14

"In the time that I am writing every stalk of corn in the northern and greater part of the field was cut as closely as could have been done with a knife, and the slain lay in rows precisely as they had stood in their ranks a few moments before. It was never my fortune to witness a more bloody, dismal battlefield." - Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, USA, Commander, I Corps, Army of the Potomac

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[Antietam, Md. Confederate dead in a ditch on the right wing used as a rifle pit]. Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862.

If you were living elsewhere in 1862, how would you have learned about this battle? Not only was there no TV or radio, but photographs such as these could not be mass produced for newspapers.

slide16
Burying the dead after the battle of Antietam. [Stereograph]Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882Soldiers digging graves for the dead soldiers.

Imagine you are standing within the frame of one of these photos in 1862. What would you be feeling or thinking?

slide17

[Keedysville, Md., vicinity. Confederate wounded at Smith\'s Barn, with Dr. Anson Hurd, 14th Indiana Volunteers, in attendance].Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862.

What kind of medical treatment do you think was available on or near the battlefield?

slide18

"Comrades with wounds of all conceivable shapes were brought in and placed side by side as thick as they could lay, and the bloody work of amputation commenced." - George Allen, Company A, 6th New York Volunteers

slide19

Keedysville, Md. Smith\'s barn, used as a hospital after the battle of AntietamGardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862

slide20

Antietam, Md. President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan in the general\'s tentGardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862.

As president, what was Lincoln’s role in conducting the war? What might he be discussing with McClellan?

(Note the cracked glass.)

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