Antietam National Battlefield
Paintings of Captain James Hope who was present at the Battle of Antietam.
At the end of the day looking east across Bloody Lane. The center of Lee's defensive line—an 800-yard-long sunken road later called Bloody Lane—as it appeared following the midday battle. By 1:00 p.m., some 5,000 killed and wounded troops of both sides lay along this farm road.
A Crucial Delay-Early afternoon looking west across Burnside Bridge. With only a small force, but holding higher ground, Lee's men were able to defend this crucial Antietam Crossing for nearly three hours. Union General Ambrose Burnside's men launched a series of attacks to break the bottleneck at the bridge. About 1 p.m., the Confederates, outflanked, outnumbered and running low on ammunition, began to retreat. The Yankees stormed the bridge, finally crossing Antietam Creek. This painting shows Union Reinforcements crossing the bridge in preparation for the final advance. However, the time taken to cross and resupply the troops provided Lee with the opportunity to bring his final reserved on the field and turn back Burnside's attack, thus ending the bloody day.Download 812 KB
Artillery Hell-Early morning looking north along the Hagerstown Turnpike. The intensity of artillery fire at Antietam led Colonel Stephen D. Lee, commander of the Confederate cannons shown here, to describe the battle as "Artillery Hell." This painting depicts the earliest part of the battle. The artist's perspective is close to the present-day location of the Visitor Center. Notice the Dunker Church on the left side of the painting. On the right is approximately 5,000 men from Sedgewick's Division of Sumner's II Corp advancing toward the West Woods at about 9:00 am. This painting, like the others seen here, does not represent a moment in time or one event, but a series of events. For example, when the Union infantry on the right side of this painting advanced, the Confederate artillery on the left had already retreated.Download 843 KB
Wasted Gallantry-Late afternoon looking south toward Sharpsburg. This painting shows the gallant but futile charge by the 7th Maine Infantry. Several hours after the fighting had ended at Bloody Lane, a Union officer ordered Major Thomas Hyde to advance his men through the Piper cornfield and attack. The men from Maine faced a galling fire from the Confederate infantry and artillery. Major Hyde, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, said all of the color guard was "shot down but one, who brought off our flag riddled with balls." In 20 minutes, this regiment suffered more than 50 percent casualities, yet the charge did nothing to advance the Union plan of attack. This was not the first or last time in the Civil War that misguided officers squandered the lives of brave men.Download 766 KB
A Fateful Turn-Late morning looking east toward the Roulette Farm. Amid the smoke, noise and confusion on the northern end of the field, Union troops turned south toward an old sunken farm lane. The rolling terrain helped hide the Southern troops until the Northerners were almost on top of them. Suddenly, the Confederates unleashed a withering fire, leading to a desperate three-hour struggle for control of what came to be known as Bloody Lane. The burning Mumma Farm is seen on the left, and Gen. George McClellan is riding with his staff on his only visit onto the battlefield that day at about 2:00 pm. On the right, Richardson's and French's Union Divisions advancing on Bloody Lane.Download 843 KB