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The Battle of Antietam ( Sharpsburg) 17th September 1862

Posted by C M Dodson on 20 Oct 2021, 10:14

THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM ( SHARPSBURG) 17th September 1862


Dedicated to the late Peter Bradford, a friend , a war gamer, a re-enactor

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Background.

Following battlefield successes in the Peninsula campaign and more recently at Second Manassas, the Confederacy’s premier general, Robert E Lee led his forces north in an attempt to take the war away from Virginia and into Maryland, a state thought to harbour sympathy towards the southern cause.

It was thought that further military success might lead to European recognition of the cause and bring legitimacy to the Confederacy.

Meanwhile, a reluctant President Lincoln had re instated General George. B. McCellan to command the majority of the Union forces following General Pope’s humiliation at Second Manassas.

McCellan, an efficient organiser of men and their supplies had shown timidity during the Peninsular campaign despite possessing superior numbers and equipment.

McClellan was a schemer, always requesting more troops and blinded by inaccurate reports from his Pinkerton intelligence section usually supplying inflated enemy troop figures. His stubbornness to get his army on the road and the many excuses for not doing so infuriated Lincoln and was, unfortunately known to Lee.

Nevertheless, he was loved by his men who welcomed his re appointment.

Lee, characteristically, split his forces using the Shenandoah valley as a conduit for movement, shielded by the South mountains with General JEB Stuart’s cavalry as scouts.

Prodded by Lincoln, McCellan at the head of approximately eighty seven thousand Union troops eventually moved at glacial speed towards Lee’s. approximately forty five thousand troops.

However, a bizarre incident occurred whereby Lee’s campaign plan, order number 191 was revealed to McClellan via a copy wrapped around some cigars found in a field vacated by the Confederates.

McClellan was galvanised into action, although the controversy over the cigars and his reaction time in putting his army in motion still continues.

Lee, alerted to McCellan’s newly found vigour fought holding actions at the mountain passes of Foxes, Turners and Cramptons gaps. These hard fought battles allowed just enough time for his army to concentrate at Sharpsburg albeit without AP Powell’s Division which was ordered to invest the armoury at Harper’s Ferry.

McCellan, exuberant about his prospects of annihilating Lee stated that ‘ Here is a paper with which if I can not whip Bobby Lee I will be willing to go home’ before reverting to previous form, no doubt influenced by inflated enemy troop estimations from the usual source.

Lee, confident that his opponent’s ‘slows’ had returned decided to offer battle and waited for McClellan.

The good General duly obliged Lee with poor reconnaissance, meticulous battle planning , a re organisation of his army’s command structure and in doing so wasted the most precious battlefield commodity …Time.

Timeline 15th -16th September 1862

On the morning of the 15th September the troops of James’s Longstreets command cross the Antietam creek via the Orndorff bridge, on the Boonsborough pike prior to taking up positions along the Sharpsburg ridge.

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Mr Joshua and Mary Newcomer watch the Confederate forces arrive. They will shortly leave their property to gain sanctuary from the impending battle.

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James Longstreet and DH Hill visit Henry, ‘stovepipe’ Piper and his family to warn them of the coming danger.

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After providing dinner the family will depart to Samuel’s (Henry’s brother) Mill north of Sharpsburg for safety.

David Miller and his family leave their prosperous farm on the 16th along with his cows to join his father Colonel John Miller at his Hauser ridge farm.

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Robert E Lee inspects his troops positions. With eighteen thousand men opposing an unfolding Union deployment of seventy five thousand he was counting on the arrival of Jackson from Harper’s Ferry and McClellan’s timidity of action.

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George Brinton McClellan inspects his troops on the 16th, wasting a whole day with battlefield preparations and withdrawing Hookers 1st Corps from Ambrose Burnsides command. A source of irritation to Burnside putting him into the sulks.

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McClellan is intending to smash Lee’s left flank with massive echelon assaults on the 17th and to this effect Hooker’s 1st Corps has crossed the Antietam to the north and is positioned astride the Confederate flank.

Hooker’s troops skirmish with Confederates in the East wood. This action alerts Lee, now reinforced by Jackson, to the Union presence on his flank.

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As the light fades the scene is set for the next days battle.
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 20 Oct 2021, 10:28

Whoops, the title has two Theo’s in error.

Please can a moderator amend it to one please?

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 20 Oct 2021, 10:29

Who is Theo?

It should be The.

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Minuteman on 20 Oct 2021, 12:26

This is already looking quite magnificent ! The columns of marching soldiers, wagons and general-officers with their entourages, as well as local civilians, really brings the excellent scenery to life. The camera-work is first class and the atmosphere you manage to create is most realistic, almost cinematic.

I very much look forward to the next instalment of this drama in 1/72 scale.
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Minuteman  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Minuteman on 20 Oct 2021, 12:28

I should have added how much I respect your Dedication of this work to the late Peter Bradford. Very thoughtful.
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Minuteman  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by despertaferro on 20 Oct 2021, 14:30

Amazing display...!

Can't wait to see how it follows

Tanks for sharing

Joan
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Posted by bob_m on 20 Oct 2021, 17:21

hi Chris

great dedication to Peter, he would have loved this depiction of the battle, excellent start to the battle, superb display
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Posted by Bill Slavin on 20 Oct 2021, 18:42

I have been so looking forward to seeing your Antietam project come to life. This is a great start - I love the small details, the families leaving the battlefield, the small vignettes before the storm…
The other thing I really like about your dioramas is the sense of distance you achieve. I never feel your scenes are constrained by the limitations of a table top.
I look forward to the next installment
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Bill Slavin  Canada
 
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Posted by Iceman1964 on 20 Oct 2021, 19:01

I join the other comments, amazing show of a great, great work !!!
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Iceman1964  Italy
 
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Posted by Patrick71 on 20 Oct 2021, 19:20

Very nice display with beautifully painted figures!
For a moment I thought I was watching pictures of a re-enactment of the battle. They are so good!
I can't wait for the rest of the story.
Patrick71  Belgium
 
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Posted by Kostis Ornerakis on 20 Oct 2021, 20:30

Amazing!! I look forward to the continuation of the story! :yeah: :-D
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Kostis Ornerakis  Greece
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Posted by huib on 20 Oct 2021, 21:57

Great work, Chris! Beautifgul figures well photographed in convincing scenery. But most interesting is how you have the battle unfold in a historical pictorial. Very nice.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Egbert on 21 Oct 2021, 11:18

Unbelievable Chris what you present us here ...
The whole thing feels incredibly realistic to me.
One automatically feel drawn into what's happening around Antietam and believe that one is back in the Center of happening
Again you captured with your brilliant work the spirit of time. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Egbert  Germany
 
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Posted by John Simmons on 21 Oct 2021, 16:41

Amazing work once more, Chris. Each picture is a small work of art, at least to my eyes. I think we've all been looking forward to seeing your magic touch applied to Antietam, and this start certainly doesn't disappoint. I'll wait eagerly for the next installment.

Best,
John
John Simmons  United States of America
 
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Posted by Graeme on 21 Oct 2021, 17:52

It has begun, excellent!

Don't worry about the two the's in the title, this is THE "The Battle of Antietem" that I've been waiting to see.

[quote="Bill Slavin"]I love the small details, the families leaving the battlefield, the small vignettes before the storm…/quote]

Totally agree; watching dogs and children, families packing their belongings into carts, men working in the lumber mill. Your refights always take place in a living landscape.
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Graeme  Australia
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 21 Oct 2021, 22:00

The fast steam ships of France and Great Britain certainly got through the blockade of Northern Ships, to aid the South in its struggle and with lots of battle field stuff,plus gold, mail, and highly secret letters from Queen Victoria and the PM of that day are known to exist. 6,000 Riflemen were already in Canada ready to strike to support the Southern army under Lee. Thankfully the British Government saw it would be a futile folly and put extra pressure upon the Queen, who was now set upon another pathway of piracy... India and South Africa. We English have always been a race of pirates. BB
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Posted by Bessiere on 23 Oct 2021, 04:28

Ah, Mr D's magical history tour is back!
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by Rich W on 25 Oct 2021, 23:17

I can't add anything that hasn't already been said Chris. Looking forward to these instalments!
Rich W  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 27 Oct 2021, 15:35

Thank you to everyone for their kind comments and likes.

Peter Bradford was a fountain of military knowledge and especially so regarding the American Civil War. I am indebted to him for his kindness and the information passed to me.

It would be nice if a moderator could amend the title please so there is only one, the.

I am currently laying out the Confederate forces prior to the main event commencing.

Lots to do,

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Peter on 31 Oct 2021, 13:17

Wow a new movie has started! And it looks exciting! Go on Chris! :thumbup:

I'm following!

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MOD: Chris, I changed the title. Was that everything or did I miss a Theo? ;-)
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Peter  Belgium

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