Antietam 150th prompts reflection on loss, freedom





Hundreds on Monday marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Antietam amid patriotic music and cannon fire, recalling the mind-boggling carnage and an ensuing Confederate retreat that Abraham Lincoln considered divine approval for abolishing slavery.

Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation five days after the 1862 battle in Maryland, "a decision that transformed and redefined the purpose of the Civil War and ignited the modern Civil Rights movement," National Park Service Associate Director Stephanie Toothman said at the commemoration.

More than 23,000 men were reported killed, wounded or missing in the dawn-to-dusk clash at Antietam, making the battle of Sept. 17, 1862, the bloodiest day of combat on U.S. soil....



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