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Antietam Tour Guide | CivilWarBattles.US
Showdown at Antietam book - front cover The Antietam is a large creek that runs about a mile east and south of the small hamlet of Sharpsburg, Maryland. During the battle, the Union forces entered the battle from the direction of the creek, while the Confederates occupied the town – hence the two names for the battle, with the Federals calling it Antietam and the Confederates referring to it as Sharpsburg. Since the Union won the war, though not the battle, the "official" name of the battle is Antietam, which is the prettier name anyway. But despite its attractive name, Antietam was a man-made disaster, its name signifying horror to the participants and to generations of their families. Some 6,400 Americans were killed or mortally wounded on that day, which is more than those killed in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War and all the Indian wars, combined. At a time when the American population was a fraction of what it is today, the deaths at Antietam