Antietam Chronology


James F. Epperson

The times and information here are all taken from the following sources:

1. Landscape Turned Red, by Stephen Sears;

2. Gleam of Bayonets, by James V. Murfin;

3. R.E. Lee and Lee's Lieutenants, by D.S. Freeman;

4. Antietam articles from several issues of Blue & Gray Magazine:

Hood's Texas Brigade in the Maryland Campaign, by Jerry Holsmith (Sum/96);

Massacre in the West Woods, by Ted Alexander (Fall 95);

Along Antietam Creek, by James V. Murfin (Sept./85);

5. Jacob Cox's and John G. Walker's Antietam articles in Battles and Leaders;

6. The Bloodiest Day, by Ronald Bailey (Antietam entry in Time-Life Series);

7. Antietam U.S. Army War College Guide, by Jay Luvaas and Harold Nelson.

Note: Moreso than other battles I have researched, it was difficult to find sources that would give reliable times, so a lot of this is approximate.

September 16th, 1862 (Tuesday):

Time: Events:
4:00 p.m. Hooker (I Corps) moves out to cross the Antietam at the Upper Bridge and Pry's Mill Ford.
6:00 p.m. First contact with Confederate pickets.
After sunset Skirmish fight erupts in the East Woods between Hood's Confederates and Hooker's advance troops.
9:00 p.m. Rain begins.
10:00 p.m. Hood withdraws to reserve position behind Jackson's front line.

Mansfield (XII Corps) ordered to join Hooker.

Midnight Mansfield crosses Antietam Creek.

McLaws receives orders from Lee to immediately move his and Richard Anderson's divisions from Boteler's Ford to Sharpsburg.

September 17, 1862 (Wednesday):

Time: Events:
2:00 a.m. XII Corps bivouacs for the night, to the left and rear of Hooker's position.
5:45 a.m. Doubleday (1/I) advances down the Hagerstown Pike, Meade (3/I) advances through the Miller cornfield, and Duryea (1/2/I) advances on Meade's left, against J.R. Jones and Lawton of Jackson's wing.

McLaws and Anderson arrive near Lee's headquarters west of town.

6:30 a.m. Hartsuff (3/2/I) moves through the East Woods to support the left flank of the Federal attack. Hartsuff is wounded and replaced by Coulter. Christian's brigade (2/2/I) flounders in the rear because its commander is totally undone by the experience and has to be replaced by Lyle.
7:00 a.m. Christian (2/2/I) finally attacks through the East Woods behind Hartsuff.

Hood's division attacks through the Cornfield against Doubleday and Meade.

D.H. Hill sends Roswell Ripley's brigade to support Jackson's right. It goes into action in the East Woods, on Hood's right.

J.R. Jones, Lawton, and Ripley are wounded; Starke killed.

Burnside (IX Corps) alerted to expect an order to attack across the Creek.

7:15 a.m. Sumner (II Corps) ordered to cross Antietam Creek and attack in support of Hooker; moves out immediately with Sedgwick's division (2/II).
7:30 a.m. Hood withdraws to the edge of the Cornfield.

A.P. Hill begins his march from Harper's Ferry.

D.H. Hill sends Colquitt and McRae to support Jackson's right.

French (3/II) begins to leave camps to cross Antietam Creek.

7:45 a.m. Williams (1/XII) attacks, roughly behind Meade; Mansfield is killed, Williams gains small lodgement in West Woods
8:00 a.m. Greene (2/XII) attacks, roughly behind Ricketts

J.G. Walker ordered to hurry from the Confederate right to support Jackson.

8:30 a.m. Greene (2/XII) scatters McRae's and Colquitt's brigades and forces the withdrawal of S.D. Lee's artillery from the Dunker Church plateau.

G.T. Anderson (D.R. Jones) arrives to support Jackson.

Richardson (1/II) begins to leave camps to cross Antietam.

8:45 a.m. Sumner and Sedgwick (2/II) enter the East Woods.

Hooker wounded in foot, south of the Cornfield.

9:00 a.m. McLaws arrives to support Jackson's line.
9:30 a.m. Sedgwick attacks in the West Woods, is routed by Early and Walker and McLaws.

French (3/II) attacks the center of the Sunken Road position, held by D.H. Hill's Confederates.

9:45 a.m. Sedgwick's rout halted near the North Woods.
10:00 a.m. Manning's brigade (Walker) attack's Greene's position near the Dunker Church, is repulsed. Greene advances in Manning's wake into the southeast corner of the West Woods, and begins calling for reinforcements.

VI Corps arrives on the east bank of the Antietam.

Burnside receives order to attack across the Antietam.

Rodman's division (3/IX) sent to find a ford.

The first attempt to cross the creek near Burnside's Bridge is repulsed.

10:30 a.m. R.H. Anderson's division sent to support D.H. Hill; Anderson is wounded, replaced by Roger Pryor.

G.B. Anderson wounded (mortally).

Richardson (1/II) attacks Sunken Road position.

Second attack on Burnside's Bridge, by Nagle's Brigade (1/2/IX), repulsed.

11:45 a.m. Richardson carries Sunken Road position. Lee's center is held by nothing but disorganized remnants and a few artillery batteries.

McClellan advances a small force of artillery and V Corps infantry, supported by cavalry, across the Middle Bridge.

12:00 noon Ransom's 49th North Carolina flanks Greene's exposed position on the right, and drives them back from the West Woods and Dunker Church.
12:30 p.m. Ferrero's attack (the third) on Burnside's Bridge begins.

Rodman finally finds and begins crossing Snavely's Ford.

1:00 p.m. Burnside's Bridge carried by 51st N.Y. and 51st Pa.

VI Corps arrives to bolster Federal right; a single brigade (3/2/VI) attacks the Rebels near the Dunker Church and is repulsed with heavy loss.

Richardson mortally wounded by artillery shell.

2:00 p.m.(approx.) Sturgis's Division (2/IX) crosses Antietam Creek, discovers it has no ammunition, and recrosses to rest and replenish cartridge boxes.

Willcox's Division (1/IX) crosses Antietam Creek to take Sturgis's place.

A.P. Hill's division begins crossing at Boteler's Ford.

2:15 p.m. McClellan crosses Antietam to inspect his right; over-rules attack urged by Franklin.
2:30 p.m. A.P. Hill arrives at Lee's headquarters, reports that his division is crossing the Potomac.
3:00 p.m. Burnside begins to advance, using the divisions of Willcox and Rodman, plus part of the Kanawha Division, from his lodgement across the Antietam.
3:30 p.m. Willcox's division and Fairchild's brigade (1/3/IX) drive to the outskirts of Sharpsburg.
3:45 p.m. A.P. Hill's division attacks Burnside in flank.
4:00 p.m. Maxcy Gregg's brigade attacks Harland's brigade (2/3/IX) in the Otto cornfield, and defeats it. Rodman mortally wounded.
4:30 p.m. Willcox and Fairchild ordered to fall back from Sharpsburg.

Ewing's Brigade (1/Kanawha/IX) tries to shore up the left flank, is forced back.

Gen. Lawrence O'Brien Branch mortally wounded.

4:45 p.m. Stuart opens bombardment on Federal right, prepatory to attack, but his effort is suppressed by I Corps artillery on the Poffenberger Farm.
5:00 p.m. Burnside takes up defensive position along heights overlooking the Creek. The Battle of Antietam is over.