Battle of Antietam Facts

Union attack at Antietam
Union First Attack at Antietam
The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest one-day battle in all of American history. On this page we list interesting facts on many aspects of the battle. Included is such basic information as why the battle was fought, where and when the battle took place, who won the battle, and who the leaders and generals were on both the Union and Confederate sides. You will also find information including a summary of statistics on casualties, deaths, and a timeline of the battle.

Click here for a great selection of books about the Battle of Antietam.

Battle of Antietam Basic Facts

Battle of Antietam Timeline

5:30 a.m.

The battle begins with a Union attack down the Hagerstown Turnpike led by General Joseph Hooker. The Union goal was to capture a plateau on which sat the Dunker Church. This was a simple church built and used by German Baptists in the area. The position was defended by the legendary Stone Wall Jackson.

7 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Having spotted Confederate soldiers in Miller's cornfield near the Dunker Church, the Union artillery opens fire. A bloody artillery barrage by both sides ensues. Attacks and counter attacks take place as the cornfield changes hands numerous times.

9:30 a.m.

Over 5,000 Union soldiers move into the West Woods and come under Confederate fire from three different directions. The Northerners suffer over two thousand casualties in less than twenty minutes.

9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Horrific fighting takes place on and near a sunken road near the middle of the Confederate line. This road would later be dubbed "Bloody Lane". The North launched several attacks on the Southern position and eventually gains the upper hand. Firing down into the sunken road leaving piles of dead Southerners filling the road. The Southerners were driven from their position but the North failed to pursue them.

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Union General Ambrose Burnside orders troops to cross Antietam Creek via Rohrbach's Bridge (now called Burnside's Bridge). The west side is defended by just a few Confederate troops who decimate the Northern soldiers as they attempt to cross. It takes three attempts for the Union to finally make it to the other side.

3 p.m.

After finally crossing the bridge over Antietam Creek Union troops start pushing the Confederates towards the town of Sharpsburg.

4 p.m.

Confederate reinforcements arrive and stop the Union drive towards Sharpsburg. They stage a counterattack driving the Northern forces back over the bridge they had fought so hard to cross.

5:30 p.m.

The battle ends.

Results and Significance of the Battle of Antietam