Civil War Lecture Series - The Battle of Antietam
“The truth is, when bullets are whacking against tree trunks and solid shot are cracking skulls like eggshells, the consuming passion in the breast of the average man is to get out of the way…” Private David L. Thompson, of Company G, 9th New York Volunteers,distressingly captures the sense of what was to become the bloodiest one-day battle in our military history: the Battle of Antietam. The total dead at the close of the Civil War is estimated at 625,000. Antietam accounted for some 26,000 dead or 4% of that total, a twelve hour toll not matched even in modern times. This lecture will present material (complemented by extensive PowerPoint slides) on the battle which took place in Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862. Of this battle, James M. McPherson, noted scholar of the Civil War, said, “No other campaign and battle had such momentous, multiple consequences as Antietam…Contemporaries recognized Antietam as the preeminent turning point of the war.”Special attention will be paid to Connecticut units involved.
Richard L. Judd is President Emeritus of Central Connecticut State Universityand served as a U.S. National Park Service Ranger at the Antietam National Battlefield Site. Dr. Judd continues to study this battle and is a member of 150th CT Commemoration Civil War Committee.