U. S. CIVIL WAR
Approximate Troop Positions at 7:00 a.m. September 17, 1862.
At dawn September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker's Corps mounted a powerful assault from the North on Lee's left flank, thus beginning the single bloodiest day in American military history. Although McClellan's forces clearly out-numbered Lee's, McClellan did not use his advantage. He kept many divisions in reserve and failed to co-ordinate a synchronized attack that could have overrun Lee's smaller army. Instead, the Union army attacked the Confederates, at roughly three separate times: north of Sharpsburg in the morning; east of Sharpsburg at midday; and south of Sharpsburg in the evening.
September 17, 1862 Attacks.
Union Generals Hooker, Mansfield and Sumner (leading Sedgwick's division) attacked from the North and Northeast between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on September 17.
View where Sumner's Corps charged (Photograph taken September 1862)
Union Generals French and Richardson attacked the sunken road (bloody lane) starting at 10:30 a.m.
Union General Burnside's famous assault on the lower bridge (now called the Burnside bridge) captured the bridge at 1 p.m. (Although the Union attacked the bridge beginning at 9:00 a.m., they made no progress until 1:00 p.m.)
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