08. The Battle of Antietam - Battleground 5: Antietam
08. The Battle of AntietamBy Charles Kibler & Rick de la Parra
14 - 5 - 17
September 17, 1862 45 Turns ------------------[ Historical ]----------------- 5am: Early on the morning of 17 September, 1862, Joseph Hooker's I Corps of the Army of the Potomac stepped off through the thick early-morning mist blanketing the quiet Maryland countryside. Its initial objective was the Dunker Church, barely visible in the distance. Positioned near the church, however, was most of Robert E. Lee's II Corps, under the able command of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The previous evening McClellan had unwittingly signaled his intention to attack with his right when he sent the Federal I and XII Corps over Antietam Creek to take up positions near "The North Woods" on the Confederate left. Over the past few days, McClellan's repeated hesitations and over-cautiousness had already allowed Lee the opportunity to regroup most of his once far-flung Army of Northern Virginia around Sharpsburg. Yet to arrive, however, were the commands of Lafayette McLaws and A.P. Hill, still approaching from the direction of Harpers Ferry. Nevertheless, the ever-prudent Union commander, laboring under false reports that the Rebels outnumbered his men by at least two to one, decided to feed his corps into the upcoming battle piecemeal, all the while retaining a large reserve for an expected counterattack.