Essay on The Battle of Antietam

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In the summer of 1862, the confederates found themselves as the aggressors. In the Eastern Theater, Lee’s army of Northern Virginia had driven the Union Armies away from the Confederate capital, Richmond and was preparing to invade Maryland. In the western theater, the confederate armies were also moving strong, into Kentucky. Due to the war France and Britain were feeling the strain as cotton from the southern states was starting to diminish.
President Lincoln was thinking of taking a risky step to seal victory. At this point in time he came to the realization that he needed to move in a different direction. The strategic goal to restore the Union was not a good enough reason to keep the Northern states interested and behind the war.
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He was instructed to hurry.
Hurrying was not a trait that McClellan was known for. McClellan took his time and began to draw out on paper how this battle would be won. He then began moving troops around, combining armies from all regions. As McClellan was doing this President Lincoln became inpatient and ordered McClellan to move.
Lee had outlined his whole strategy and told of the troubles the confederacy was having in Special Order 191, he copied and sent it out to all commanders. Lee also sent these orders to one of his division commanders that had been detached. On September 13, 1862 a Union corporal found these orders wrapped in three cigars at an abandoned Confederate camp near Frederick. These orders were quickly delivered to McClellan and this gave him a unique opportunity. Despite this knowledge McClellan still believed that Lee’s troops outnumbered his own. Word of this reached Lee and he dispatched the long street corps to perform damage control at south mountain. Lee ordered the remainder of his troops to concentrate near the Potomac on a little crossroads on Antietam Creek, In the town of Sharpsburg#.
McClellan’s men were ordered to cross over south mountain and quickly found that Lee had fortified this area. McClellan pushed through and took this area as a victory. Since Lee knew of McClellan’s fortune in finding the 191 orders he quickly began

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