… was established as a national battlefield site on this date in 1890. It was redesignated a national battlefield in 1978.
23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
It was the bloodiest day in American history. Among the battlefields I’ve visited, Antietam is my favorite, perhaps because it less congested and monumented-up than Gettysburg. It retains, it seems, more of its 1862 feel.