Facebook
Twitter

Battle of Antietam - Bloodiest in American History

THIS CLIP CONTAINS RECREATED SCENES OF WAR FROM THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM. 

During America's civil war, troops from the North and South engaged in a savage, twelve-hour battle at Antietam Creek (near Sharpsburg, Maryland). 

At the end of the fighting - on the 17th of September, 1862 - a total of 23,000 soldiers were dead, wounded or missing.  It was the bloodiest one-day battle not just of the war, but in all of American history.

In this scene, from the film "Glory," Captain Robert Gould Shaw - who later commanded the 54th Massachusetts, the first African-American regiment - is trapped between gun fire and cannon fire.  Hit with shrapnel, he falls - unconscious - near a dead soldier.

The battle was so terrible, and deadly, that its specter never left many soldiers.  In James McPherson's book - Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam - we learn why:

Stark memories of Antietam haunted many for the rest of their days.  A private in the 1st Delaware, which suffered 230 casualties in the battle, recalled a Union soldier "stumbling around with both eyes shot out, begging someone 'for the love of God' to put an end to his misery."  A nearby lieutenant asked him if he really meant what he said.

"Oh yes," the blinded soldier replied.  "I cannot possibly live, and my agony is unendurable."

Without another word the lieutenant drew his revolver, "placed it to the victim's right ear, turned away his head, and pulled the trigger.  A half-wheel, a convulsive gasp, and one more unfortunate had passed over to the silent majority.

'It was better thus,' said the lieutenant, replacing his pistol and turning toward [me], 'for the poor fellow could --' Just then a solid shot took the lieutenant's head off."  (McPherson, page 6, split into paragraphs here for easier reading.)

To this day, the September 17, 1862 battle of Antietam - also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg - remains the deadliest day in American history.


In this clip, Captain Shaw is portrayed by Matthew Broderick.

 


Media Credits

Clip from the film "Glory" (1989), starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington.  Copyright, TriStar Pictures, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the film.



Director

Edward Zwick



Producer
Freddie Fields



Screenplay
Kevin Jarre



Starring
Matthew Broderick
Denzel Washington
Cary Elwes
Morgan Freeman
Andre Braugher



Music
James Horner


Cinematography
Freddie Francis


Editing
Steven Rosenblum

 

Distributed by TriStar Pictures



Release date
December 15, 1989



Running time
122 minutes

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Battle of Antietam - Bloodiest in American History" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Oct 19, 2017.
       <https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Battle-of-Antietam-Bloodiest-in-American-History>.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips