Gamest fight of the Nineteenth century.
There were more men killed and wounded on the Union
side in the one day at Antietam
than in the two days battles of Shiloh
, Stone River
; more than in the three days battles of Fredericksburg
and Cold Harbor; more than in the five days of Groveton
, Second Manassas
; more than in the seven days on the Peninsula
; more than in the eleven days campaign ending at Appomattox
; more than in all the battles around Atlanta
, and more than in all the operations around Vicksburg
, including the siege from May 1, to July 4, 1863.
Between daybreak and the setting sun of September 17, 1862, forty-three years ago, over 93,000 men of kindred blood (56,300 Union and 37,300 Confederate) and 520 cannon engaged on this field in a desperate struggle, and when the sun went down and mercifully put an end to the strife 3,634 were dead and 17,222 wounded, an aggregate of 20,856; Union, 12,400; Confederate, 9,600.
About 1,770 were missing, some of whom were dead, but most of whom were carried as prisoners from the field.
It was the bloodiest day of American history.
Every state from the Great Lakes
, on the North
, to the Gulf of Mexico
on the South
, from the Atlantic
to the Mississippi
, and, with the exception of Iowa
, every state watered by the Mississippi
, contributed to this carnival of death and suffering.
The most desperate fighting and the great part of the loss was in this vicinity.
Here, within 1,200 yards of the Dunkard Church, 55,— 728 infantry (Union and Confederate) were engaged; with a loss of 2,845 killed and 13,661 wounded, an aggregate of 16,515, or nearly 30 per cent. of the number engaged.
All this loss occurred before I P. M., more than three-fourth of it in the little over four hours, from 6 o'clock to half-past 10, and on a field not over 1,500 yards from North to South, with an average width, East and West, of 900 yards, an area of about 300 acres. No other equal area on the American
continent has been so drenched in human blood.
It was a gamer fight than Waterloo
, more stubborn, more desperate; and all culminating in a drawn battle.