Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam
Stephen W. Sears
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Combining brilliant military analysis with rich narrative history, Landscape Turned Red is the definitive work on the Battle of Antietam.
The Civil War battle waged on September 17, 1862, at Antietam Creek, Maryland, was one of the bloodiest in the nation's history: on this single day, the war claimed nearly 23,000 casualties. Here renowned historian Stephen Sears draws on a remarkable cache of diaries, dispatches, and letters to recreate the vivid drama of Antietam as experienced not only by its leaders but also by its soldiers, both Union and Confederate, to produce what the New York Times Book Review has called "the best account of the Battle of Antietam."
Shell struck my foot—a ball hit my finger and another hit my thumb,” and he added, “I concluded they ment me.”27 The Confederate batteries on Cemetery Hill and on the ridgeline south of Sharpsburg were repeating the pattern established earlier in the day north of the town—firing with great effect on the Yankee infantry, but at the price of suffering without reply the counterbattery fire of the Yankee guns east of the creek. A Rebel officer wrote that the long-range Parrott guns across the
broken brigades and announced that he was going to drive the Yankees into Antietam Creek. Toombs, a prominent Georgia political figure and for a time the Confederacy’s secretary of state, had told his wife it was his ambition to distinguish himself in a great battle and then retire “if I live through it,” and he was doing his best to realize his hopes. The Ohioans, like the Rhode Islanders before them, were having difficulty making out who was who in the confusion, and they held their fire as
Organization of the Army of the Potomac, and of Its Campaigns in Virginia and Maryland. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1864. McClellan, H. B. I Rode with Jeb Stuart: The Life and Campaigns of Major General J. E. B. Stuart. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885. Meade, George G. The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade. 2 vols. New York: Scribner’s, 1913. Michie, Peter S. General George Brinton McClellan. New York: D. Appleton, 1901. Mies, John W. “Breakout at Harper’s Ferry.” Civil
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cheering good-naturedly. (Dr. Steiner was not amused, calling the Georgian “a drunken, bloated blackguard.”) By nightfall, except for Stuart’s screening cavalry, Frederick was free of occupation. If there was general relief, there was also agreement that the experience had been relatively painless.30 In the annals of American literature, the singular consequence of the Confederate occupation of Frederick was the inspiration it furnished the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, whose “Barbara Frietchie”