The Battle of Antietam was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. This battle would be the bloodiest day in American history with 3,650 men killed, 17,300 wounded, and 1,770 captured or missing. Following the victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 30, 1862, General Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis devised a plan that would fill their desperate needs for supplies as well as their goal of European recognition and maybe even possible assistance. They would take the war into the North. Then on September 6, 1862 the Army of Northern Virginia moved into Maryland with the idea of raiding for supplies in southern Pennsylvania. Union General George McClellan followed Lee, keeping his army between the invaders and Washington, D.C. On September 9, 1862 Lee issued Order Number 191, making half of his army move to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to control the area’s rail center, then the other half moved to Harpers Ferry to capture the town’s gun factory. But four days later, a Union soldier discovered a copy of the order, wrapped around three cigars in a field. McClellan attacked on the morning of September 17, but poor communications caused the battle to be split into three separate fights rather than a united one. The battle started with a artillery barrage, followed by an infantry attack on the Confederate left. Attacks and counterattacks would go on while neither side could maintain an advantage. Later, Union troops assaulted the Confederate center that was protected in a sunken road. By the time the Confederates withdrew four hours later, the depleted Union force was unable to pursue past the “Bloody Lane." In the afternoon, another Union force attacked the Confederate right flank to capture a crossing of Antietam Creek. Most of the fight was concentrated over a narrow bridge, after much bloodshed, Union troops pushed the Confederates back and were about to cut Lee's route back to the south when Confederate reinforcements came from Harpers Ferry. Even then the third fight, just like the other two, went into a stalemate. On the next morning Lee withdrew his force back to Virginia.
Zurich in October can be chilly. However with good company it is less noticeable. The emotion of travelling alone is subdued by any great experience on the trip. I had a great weekend with these folks and I look forward to seeing them again and making more warm memories. #confederacy .
After a humiliating defeat at Bull Run in 1861 at the hands of the Confederacy, the Lincoln administration was looking for
immediate answers to secure a swift victory over the south. One unlikely option for this came from legendary Italian freedom fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi who had spent time on Staten Island, New York during his exile in the 1850’s. At the beginning of the war there was much speculation Garibaldi would return to the states to fight for the Union but this would not be possible as Garibaldi had yet to accomplish unifying Italy, his main objective. As the war raged on the Lincoln Administration officially reached out to the Italian in 1862, asking him to command one their army. When offered Garibaldi responded that the only way this was possible is of Lincoln made the abolishment of slavery the main objective of the war. At the time Lincoln was unwilling to make the Emancipation that early in the war refusing Garibaldi’s requesting resulting in him respectfully declining. In 1863 when Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation Garibaldi wrote the president a letter commending him for his actions saying, Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure." Many Italian’s went on to serve in both the Union and Confederate armies. The photo above is a recruitment photo for Italians to serve in New York’s Giuseppe’s guard.
The great Lord Acton wrote to Robert E. Lee. Here is part of his letter; "I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo."
Here is part of Robert E. Lee's letter to Lord Acton; "I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it. I need not refer one so well acquainted as you are with American history, to the State papers of Washington and Jefferson, the representatives of the federal and democratic parties, denouncing consolidation and centralization of power, as tending to the subversion of State Governments, and to despotism. The New England states, whose citizens are the fiercest opponents of the Southern states, did not always avow the opinions they now advocate. (continued in comments)
This is the location of the Battle of Five Forks, which took place on April 1st, 1865. Five Forks was considered the Waterloo of the Confederacy and was one of the last major battles of the Civil War. http://ow.ly/yhz030gvJcQ