|The church where the veteran armies clashed The shot-holes in the little Dunker church of Antietam, and the dead in Blue and Gray as they lay after the battle-smoke had lifted, mark the center of the bloodiest single day's fighting in the Civil War. Here the grand armies of the North and South faced one another on September 17, 1862. At sunrise the action began; by 4 o'clock in the afternoon it was over, and the dead and wounded numbered twenty-three thousand five hundred. The preponderance of the army under McClellan, with his eighty-seven thousand men, was offset by the presence of three great Confederate leaders whose names had already rung round the world — Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet — with numbers less than half those opposed to them. On the 18th the armies lay exhausted; and on the 19th Lee abandoned his invasion of the North.|
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