Battle of Antietam; 17 September, 1862; Kurtz and Allison Art Publishing Company, Chicago; 1888
Image by Penn State Special Collections Library
The full ferocity of the Battle of Antietam is captured in this beautiful memorial print produced by the Kurtz and Allison Art Publishing Company to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. The first major battle of the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil (near Sharpsburg, Maryland) produced a staggering 23,000 casualties. The epic battle pitted Union General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac against Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Tactically the battle was inconclusive, with the Union halting Lee’s advance into Maryland but failing to pursue the Confederates southward to deliver a fatal blow. Only five days after this pyrrhic victory, September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln announced that he would issue a formal emancipation of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863.
American Battlefield Prints Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection, Special Collections Library, University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University