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Cavalry at Antietam.

The Federal cavalry bore its share of the work on the bloodiest single day of the war, September 17, 1862, at Antietam. At this bridge on the Keedysville road the gallant cavalry leader General Pleasonton had a most important part to play in the plan of attack on the Confederate positions west of Antietam Creek. In spite of galling cross-fire from the Confederate batteries, Pleasonton threw forward his mounted skirmishers, who held their ground until Tidball's batteries of the regular artillery were advanced piece by piece across the bridge. Opening with canister, the guns routed the sharpshooters, and soon four batteries were in position on the ridge beyond the creek. Here they held their ground till nightfall, at times running short of ammunition, but giving needed aid to Sumner's advance to their right and in Burnside's desperate struggle to cross the bridge below to their left. To the left of the bridge where Pleasonton's successful crossing on the morning of the 17th was accomplished stands Newcomers' Mill. On the ridge above, the cavalry and artillery held their positions, keeping open a way for reenforcements. These were much needed when the ammunition of the batteries ran low. More regular troops were sent forward, together with two more batteries from Sykes' division, under command of Captain Dryer. These reenforcements threw themselves splendidly into the fight. The cavalry had scored again.

Held by the cavalry at Antietam

Newcomers' mill on Antietam creek


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Antietam Creek (United States) (2)
Keedysville (Maryland, United States) (1)

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Alfred Pleasonton (3)
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Sykes (1)
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Ambrose E. Burnside (1)
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September 17th, 1862 AD (1)
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