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Decisions at Antietam: The Fourteen Critical Decisions that Defined the Battle by Michael L. Lang

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The Battle of Antietam, which took place on September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest day in American military history, leaving more than 22,000 soldiers, dead, wounded or missing. Prior to this battle, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, was winning victories in his drive into U. S. territory. General George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac attacked Lee’s forces just a few miles north of the river for which his army was named in Maryland, sending him scurrying back into Virginia and ending his venture northward. Four days later, Lincoln, buoyed by this victory, issued his Emancipation Proclamation which was crucial to the eventual Union Victory. Freed Southern enslaved people, not only significantly aided the Union Army, they also demoralized and economically devastated the South.  The author is a FedEx manager and successful photographer. By concentrating on crucial decisions made, this book provides goes beyond historical narrative providing a perceptive analytical framework for understanding the battle.

Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2021. 306 pages with and Index, Bibliography, Notes, Appendices, maps, and illustrations. Trade paperback.