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Photo of Antietam battlefield on the day of the battle
The battlefied on the day of the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862

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The Battle of Antietam
September 17, 1862

At dawn, the hills of Sharpsburg, Maryland, thundered with artillery and musket fire as the Northern and Southern armies struggled for possession of the Miller farm cornfield during the Civil War. For three hours, the battle lines swept back and forth across the land. More lives would be lost on September 17, 1862, than on any other day in the nation's history.

By mid-morning, General Robert E. Lee's Confederate troops were crouched behind the high banks of a country lane. They fired upon advancing Union troops, but the Union General, George B. McClellan, held a strategic advantage--a scout had discovered a copy of the Confederate army's battle plan.

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