“So many of the men were shot down that the officers filled their places and loaded and fired their guns.” -Theodore Fogle
Crossing Antietam Creek proved to be one of General Ambrose Burnside’s biggest problems when it came to the Battle of Antietam. Although famous for the Sunken Road, the story of Antietam would be incomplete without mention of this pivotal bridge.
The Federal forces were ordered to take the bridge at all costs, which was defended by roughly 500 Confederate soldiers from Georgia being led by Generals Robert Toombs and Henry Benning. It took three attempts by Federal soldiers to seize the bridge. The first attempt was led by Col. George Crook’s Ohio Brigade, however they ended up getting lost up the creek. Eventually the 11th Connecticut infantry found the bridge, however in very quick fashion, were repelled back. The second attempt was by 2nd Divisions 1st Brigade under James Nagle. An attack that consisted of 14,000 Federal soldiers, was halted by 450 Confederate soldiers, mostly sharpshooters. Finally, on the third attempt, the 51st New York Volunteer Infantry and the 51st Pennsylvania Infantry, after stopping at the walls along the creek, quickly charged and seized the Confederate positions. Hours of work had finally been completed after encountering a hardened and ready enemy.
Casualty reports read that the Union suffered nearly 500 casualties trying to take the bridge, as opposed to the Confederates 120. However, in one day of fighting at the Battle of Antietam of the 87,164 Federal soldiers engaged in combat, 12,410 were reported as casualties. For the 38,000 engaged Confederate Troops, they reported 10,316 casualties. This marked the single bloodiest day in American History and the bloodiest battle of the war up until that point.
This display was created by Cody Heeley and features mainly figures from W. Britain’s. If you’re curious about any of the figures you see, please check them out on our website under the W. Britain’s tab.
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