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President Abraham Lincoln on the battlefield at Antietam, Maryland in October of 1862
Lincoln at Antietam

US President Abraham Lincoln photographed at the battlefield of Antietam, Maryland in October of 1862.

Photo: Alexander Gardner - War Department
National Archives and Records Administration
Still Picture Branch - College Park, Maryland

On 22 September 1862, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation at Antietam Battlefield following the Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862. This battle, also called Sharpsburg, was the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War. The Union Army suffered about 12,410 casualties while Confederate forces sustained about 13,724. The Union’s fatalities numbered about 2108 while the Confederacy had at least 2700 troops killed in battle. The heavy loss of troops forced Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat to Virginia thereby allowing the Union a meager claim of victory. It is widely believed that had commanding Union General George B. McClellan pursued Lee, Union forces could have destroyed Lee’s Army. McClellan had established a pattern of inaction before this and President Lincoln relived McClellan of his command after this battle.

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