Civil War Roundtable | Antietam
Sat Nov 17, 1:00 pm
1. Bill Finlayson (current president of the Civil War Round Table of New York) – The Battle of Antietam
2. Patrick Falci (three time president of the Civil War Round Table of New York) – “Up Comes General Hill!”
3. Joan McDonough (past president of the Civil War Round Table of New York) – Clara Barton “Angel of the Battlefield”
If you ask most Americans what was the bloodiest day in our history, you would probably get either 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, depending on the age of the responder. Neither would be correct.When the hot September sun finally set upon the devastated battlefield, 23,000 Americans had fallen making this day the single worst act of mass killing of Americans in history.
To comprehend just how terrible the killing was this day, we must consider that, though McClellan brought a host of 85,000 men to the battlefield to confront Lee’s mere 38,000 depleted ranks, the 23,000 losses in one day — roughly 12,500 Union and 10,500 Confederate — represented over 25% casualties.
It gave Lincoln the victorious platform from which to transform the war from a war against rebellion to a war against slavery.
Antietam for all practical purposes ended the once very real prospect of European intervention on the parts of England and possibly France on the side of the Confederacy.
The battle also brought to the North the first photographed images of what real war was all about. No colorful and stylized lithographs, but rather Mathew Brady’s New York City exhibit of photos of the battlefield’s aftermath which he simply called “The Dead Of Antietam.”
Brady’s images, it was said, were as if he’d laid the corpses at the doorstep of every isolated civilian’s home, striking them with the gruesome harvest of the modern battlefield.
(by Brad Scheaffer)
GAHS and Civil War Round Table members free – others $5.00
These programs are supported by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
Additional support provided by the membership of the Greater Astoria Historical Society.