Q:

Why was the Battle of Antietam important?

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Quick Answer

The Battle of Antietam was important because it stemmed the Confederate Army's advance into the northern territories, and provided an opportunity for Lincoln to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation. Though the battle was just the first to be fought in the northern colonies, Lincoln used the retreat of the southern forces at this battle as a sign the Union had the upper hand.

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Full Answer

The Battle of Antietam included the bloodiest day of the Civil War; nearly 23,000 soldiers were killed on Sept. 18, 1862, including over 10,000 Confederate troops and over 12,000 Union soldiers. The Union possessed superior forces, so despite its losses, it eventually drove the Confederate troops back. Although neither side landed a crushing blow in this battle, President Lincoln declared it a victory for the north.

Before the Battle of Antietam, the Confederate Army had reeled a string of crushing blows to the Union, pushing battles further north. As the two forces met near the Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Md., the Union seemed in peril of succumbing to General Lee's forces. Lincoln needed a victory to justify delivering his rousing Emancipation Proclamation, which he hoped would improve sentiment for the Union cause. He used the weak success of the Battle of Antietam as a form of political cover to justify his speech.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What were the effects of the Battle of Antietam?

    A:

    The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, resulted in Confederate forces under General retreating from the state of Maryland during his first invasion of Union territory. Although losses on both sides were so great that they marked the single bloodiest day in United States history, Lee's forced retreat from Maryland was considered a Union victory and a turning point in the war. Seizing upon the opportunity presented by a long overdue Union victory, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation 4 days later.

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  • Q:

    Who won the Second Battle of Bull Run?

    A:

    The Confederate Army won the Second Battle of Bull Run. This battle was also known as The Battle of Second Manassas and was a part of the Northern Virginia Campaign of 1862.

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  • Q:

    What was the cause of the Battle of Antietam?

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    The Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War was caused by General Robert E. Lee's desire to follow up his victory at the second Battle of Manassas by heading north into Maryland. His intentions were to sever rail links to Washington and seize supplies. When Union Major General George B. McClellan learned of Lee's plan, he moved to intercept him.

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  • Q:

    When did the Battle of Antietam start and end?

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    The Battle of Antietam was fought on Sept. 17, 1862. It is known for being the bloodiest one-day battle in the history of the United States, with a total of 22,717 casualties and losses.

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