Six Brigadier and Major Generals were killed or mortally wounded during the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. Of the six fallen men, three were from the Union army and three were Confederates. The spot where each of the following six generals were killed is marked by a "Mortuary Cannon," a cannon tube, muzzle down in a block of stone.
Incredibly, twelve generals were wounded during the battle - six from each side. Two other generals were killed at the Battle of South Mountain, three days earlier - one Union and one Confederate. The total for the two battles was 20 Generals killed or wounded - 10 from each side.
Brig. Gen. George B. Anderson
Born near Hillsboro, North Carolina, Anderson was 31 years old at Antietam. West Point graduate, class of 1852, his brigade of North Carolinians fought desperately in the Sunken Road. Wounded in the foot, BGen Anderson was transported to Shepherdstown, then Staunton, Virginia and eventually to Raleigh, North Carolina were he died October 16.
Brig. Gen. Lawrence O'Brian Branch
Branch was born in Enfield, North Carolina in 1820. He graduated from Princeton in 1838, studied law and served in Congress from 1855 until 1861. Branch commanded a brigade attached to A.P. Hill's Division who made the grueling 17 mile march to the battlefield from Harpers Ferry on the day of the battle. Arriving on the south end of the battlefield, Branch and the other brigades of Hill's division helped turn back Burnside's attack at the end of the day. Like George Anderson, Branch was also buried in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Maj. Gen. Joseph K. F. Mansfield Joseph King Fenno Mansfield was one of the oldest officers on the field at age 59. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Mansfield graduated from West Point in 1822. A professional soldier, he served in the Army for forty years, including service in the Mexican War. Just two days before the battle, he was given command of the XII Corps. MGen Mansfield led his men through the East Woods towards the Cornfield in support of I Corps already in action. Wounded in the chest he died the next day. There is a monument and a mortuary cannon on the battlefield for MGen Mansfield.
Maj. Gen. Israel B. Richardson This Vermonter was 46 years old when he led his division at Antietam. Another West Pointer, Richardson graduated from the Academy in 1841 and distinguished himself during the Mexican War. In 1855 he resigned his commission and moved to Michigan. Returning to service during the crisis of 1861, Richardson led a brigade during the First Battle of Bull Run and the Peninsula campaign. At Antietam he commanded a division in the II Corps that attacked the Sunken Road. Wounded by artillery while trying to bring up more guns, MGen Richardson died on November 3, 1862.
Brig. Gen. Isaac P. Rodman
Born in Rhode Island, Rodman served in both houses of the state legislature before the war. Rodman's middle name was Peace. He was a Captain at First Bull Run and a division commander here at Antietam. Crossing at Snavely's Ford on the far south end of the battlefield, Rodman led his men in the final assault, only to be turned back by the timely arrival of A.P. Hill and his men. Mortally wounded, this Quaker General would die on September 30, 1862 at age 40.
Brig. Gen. William E. Starke
Born in Virginia, Starke was a successful cotton planter in New Orleans. He served as the Colonel of the 60th Virginia, then was promoted to Brigadier on August 6 1862. When BGen John R. Jones was stunned by an artillery shell and left the field, Starke took command of the Stonewall Division. The onslaught of the Union I Corps' attack early in the morning began to drive his men back. Starke would lead a counterattack, only to be wounded three times, he died within the hour. His body was returned to Richmond where he was buried in Hollywood Cemetery next to his son who had been killed two months earlier