battle of sharpsburg


Today marks the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in US history.

The Army of the Potomac, under the command of Maj. Gen. George McClellan, mounted a series of powerful assaults against General Robert E. Lee’s forces along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17th, 1862. The morning attacks by the Union First and Twelfth Corps on the Confederate left flank, and vicious Confederate counterattacks by Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s brigades swept back and forth through Miller’s Cornfield, across the Hagerstown Turnpike and into the West Woods. Later, towards the center of the battlefield, Union Second Corps assaults against the Sunken Road pierced the Confederate center after a terrible struggle but failed to capitalize on their breakthrough there. In the afternoon, the third and final major assault by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s Ninth Corps pushed over a bullet-strewn stone bridge at Antietam Creek that now bears his name. Just as Burnside’s forces began to collapse the Confederate right, the timely arrival of Gen. A.P. Hill’s division from Harpers Ferry helped to drive the Army of the Potomac back once more. On the 18th, both sides remained in place, too bloodied to advance. Late that evening and on the 19th, Lee withdrew from the battlefield and slipped back across the Potomac into Virginia. The bloodiest single day in American military history ended in a draw, but the Confederate retreat gave President Abraham Lincoln the “victory” he desired before issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation five days later.

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anonymous asked:

Could you give us a list of fun/interesting facts about William McKinley?

  • Wiliam McKinley met his future wife, Nancy Allison, when he was only a young child.
  • McKinley grew up on a farm with both parents being of abolitionist sentiment. 
  • He was prone to illness and depression. 
  • When the American Civil War began, thousands of men in Ohio volunteered for service. Among them were McKinley and his cousin William McKinley Osbourne, who enlisted as privates.
  • While in the army, McKinley would write letters to his hometown newspaper with details of soldier life. 
  • During the war, future 19th president Rutherford B. Hayes become McKinley’s mentor with Hayes’s style in dealing with the men impressing young McKinley and began a friendship that would last until Hayes’s death.
  • McKinley and his regiment engaged in the Second Battle of Bull Run, Sharpsburg, Battle of Antietam,  Battle of Buffington Island and many other minor battles. 
  • The first person McKinley ever voted for for the presidency was Abraham Lincoln for his second term. 
  • McKinley had a parrot named “Washington Post” who could whistle to the tune of Yankee Doodle.
  • McKinley married Ida Saxton in January of 1871. Their first child, Katherine, was born on Christmas Day 1871. A second daughter, Ida, followed in 1873, but died the same year. McKinley’s wife descended into a deep depression while Two years later, in 1875, Katherine died of typhoid fever. Ida never recovered from her daughters’ deaths; the McKinleys had no more children. Ida McKinley developed epilepsy around the same time and thereafter disliked her husband’s leaving her side. He remained a devoted husband and tended to his wife’s medical and emotional needs for the rest of his life. During their time in the White House, Ida often needed sedation to enable her to sit through official functions as First Lady, and McKinley would throw a handkerchief over her face when she suffered an epileptic seizure.
  • McKinley defended a group of striking coal miners who allegedly incited a riot at a mine in Tuscarawas Valley before tussling with the Ohio militia sent by Governor Rutherford B. Hayes. All but one of the miners was acquitted, and McKinley refused any compensation for his services.
  • McKinley successfully campaigned for Rutherford B. Hayes’ presidency.
  • McKinley was the first president to use a telephone to campaign. 
  • McKinley’s inauguration was the first presidential inauguration to be filmed.
  • Theodore Roosevelt, allegedly claimed that William McKinley possessed “no more backbone than a chocolate éclair”.
  • McKinley’s wife, Ida, disliked the color yellow so much she had all things yellow removed from the White House, including the yellow flowers in the garden.
  • He is thought to hold the record of the most handshakes for a president–2,500 shakes per hour
  • McKinley loved carnations and wore them as a good luck charm. While attending the Pan-American Exposition on September 6, 1901, he greeted a line of people. McKinley pulled his famous red carnation from his lapel and gave it to a little girl waiting in line. Seconds later, he was struck by an assassin’s bullet. McKinley died eight days later.
  • After Leon Frank Czolgosz shot McKinley, the crowd subdued him and began to beat him severely. The wounded McKinley shouted “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!” Later, at the Emergency Hospital on the Exposition grounds, McKinley said of his assassin, “It must have been some poor misguided fellow,” and “He didn’t know, poor fellow, what he was doing. He couldn’t have known.”
  • McKinley was the first president to ride in an automobile while in office. After he was shot, he was transported to the hospital in an electric ambulance.
  • William McKinley died on September 14th, 1901, eight days after being shot and just six months into his second term as President.

Monument At Antietam National Battlefield, Dedicated In 1997

The lineage of the Irish Brigade has been officially assigned to “Fighting 69th” of the New York National Guard, which is the only currently active military unit that formed part of it.

On September 17, 1862, the Union and Confederate armies met at Sharpsburg Maryland, in the Battle of Antietam. Command confusion led to the disjointed use of the II Corps, and instead of supporting renewed assaults on the Confederate left at the West Woods, the Irish Brigade found itself facing the center of the Confederate line, entrenched in an old sunken farm road. 

The brigade again acted conspicuously, assaulting the road, referred to after the battle as “Bloody Lane”. Although unsuccessful, the brigade’s attack gave supporting troops enough time to flank and break the Confederate position, at the cost of 60% casualties for the Irish Brigade.