Q:

Why was the Battle of Antietam important?

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Quick Answer

The Battle of Antietam was important because it stemmed the Confederate Army's advance into the northern territories, and provided an opportunity for Lincoln to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation. Though the battle was just the first to be fought in the northern colonies, Lincoln used the retreat of the southern forces at this battle as a sign the Union had the upper hand.

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Full Answer

The Battle of Antietam included the bloodiest day of the Civil War; nearly 23,000 soldiers were killed on Sept. 18, 1862, including over 10,000 Confederate troops and over 12,000 Union soldiers. The Union possessed superior forces, so despite its losses, it eventually drove the Confederate troops back. Although neither side landed a crushing blow in this battle, President Lincoln declared it a victory for the north.

Before the Battle of Antietam, the Confederate Army had reeled a string of crushing blows to the Union, pushing battles further north. As the two forces met near the Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Md., the Union seemed in peril of succumbing to General Lee's forces. Lincoln needed a victory to justify delivering his rousing Emancipation Proclamation, which he hoped would improve sentiment for the Union cause. He used the weak success of the Battle of Antietam as a form of political cover to justify his speech.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What were the effects of the Battle of Antietam?

    A:

    The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, resulted in Confederate forces under General retreating from the state of Maryland during his first invasion of Union territory. Although losses on both sides were so great that they marked the single bloodiest day in United States history, Lee's forced retreat from Maryland was considered a Union victory and a turning point in the war. Seizing upon the opportunity presented by a long overdue Union victory, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation 4 days later.

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  • Q:

    When did the Battle of Antietam start and end?

    A:

    The Battle of Antietam was fought on Sept. 17, 1862. It is known for being the bloodiest one-day battle in the history of the United States, with a total of 22,717 casualties and losses.

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    What is the importance of the Battle of Long Island?

    A:

    The Battle of Long Island in August 1776, the first and largest battle of the Revolutionary War, was important because it enabled the British to capture the strategically crucial port and city of New York. Victory in this battle boosted the morale of the British, but General George Washington's daring night escape with most of his troops ensured that the war would be a prolonged conflict.

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    Why was the Battle of Saratoga important?

    A:

    The Battle of Saratoga was important because it was a crucial turning point in the American Revolutionary War. America finally started to receive international recognition, which led to aid in the war against the British government.

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