West Woods Trail - Stop 4

Stop 4 - Avenues of Attack

These low, wooded swales provided the perfect avenues of attack for advancing Confederates to roll up the Union flanks. The low rock outcroppings and rolling terrain concealed the Confederate forces until they were right on top of the Union troops. General Lafayette McLaws’s Confederate division spearheaded the attack. Confederate soldiers from Mississippi and South Carolina hit the exposed flank of the Union troops.

Ultimately, the Confederates inflicted over 2,000 casualties in 20 minutes. The West Woods was the only time at Antietam that Confederates outnumbered United States soldiers. Five different Confederate brigades worked together to roll up the Union flank.
Confederate Commanders in the West Woods
Confederate Commanders who led the five brigades who attacked in the West Woods
West Woods Battle Map

Last updated: November 24, 2021

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