previous next

[338] north and west, between these woods and the Potomac, there is a chain of hills whose bare slopes command these woods, taking them completely in reverse. The ground between Dunker Church and the Antietam is equally difficult; but immediately on coming out of the wood which intersects the cross-road, we find ourselves in sight of the hills skirting the left bank of the Antietam, and commanded by them. At four or five hundred metres from Dunker Church a sunken road strikes the cross-road to the east, following a south-easterly direction, and, after several zigzags, connects with the road from Sharpsburg to Keedysville. Such was the ground selected by Lee. It will be observed that if on the evening of the 15th he appeared to neglect his left, he could, with troops taken from his right, forestall McClellan at this point, the latter being obliged to make a large circuit in order to reach the Antietam fords. Then, having only two bridges on the right and a narrow isthmus on the left to defend, he was always at liberty, in case of a reverse, to recross the Potomac at the Sheppardstown ford.

On the morning of the 16th the whole Federal army was assembled on the borders of the Antietam, with the exception of the two divisions of the Sixth corps and those of Couch and Morrell. From the morning of the 15th, Franklin, with the first three divisions, had, in fact, allowed himself to be deceived by Mc-Laws. When the cannonade, ceasing at Harper's Ferry, had revealed to him the surrender of the place, he had very leisurely proceeded up Pleasant Valley, halting at Brownsville. McLaws, despite his numerical inferiority, had followed him step by step, while Franklin, still imagining that he was confronted by forces superior to his own, passed the whole day of the 16th in watching the enemy, in a condition of fatal inaction. As to Morrell's division, it had left Boonesboroa on the morning of the 16th to march toward the Antietam, under the immediate direction of Porter. In the course of this same morning Jackson arrived at Sharpsburg through Sheppardstown, with the two divisions of Starke and Lawton, or rather the remnants of these two divisions, for they did not together number more than four thousand men. The advantage of concentration was, therefore, still in favor of McClellan; for the divisions of McLaws, Anderson and

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Morrell (2)
McLaws (2)
McClellan (2)
Franklin (2)
Starke (1)
Fitzjohn Porter (1)
S. D. Lee (1)
Lawton (1)
Stonewall Jackson (1)
Couch (1)
R. H. Anderson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
15th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: