This paper will describe the general setting of the battle in terms of the strategic and operational levels of war. It should answer the following questions:
What was the strategic setting (where, when, for what purpose) of the battle?
Describe the relationship of the battle to other political/military conditions at thetime of the battle.
What strategic objective was served by the battle?
Provide a short timeline of events leading up to the battle.
What geographical considerations influenced the selection of strategic objectives and/or the resources allocated to the mission?
Describe the type of operation being analyzed.
How did this battle fit into the larger campaign plan?
How did the campaign plan support the larger strategic objectives?
What geographical considerations influenced operational planning?
Describe the â€œlines of operationâ€Â for both sides in the battle.
Using the Battlefield Operating Systems as a guide, describe the organization of the opposing forces.
What types of forces (infantry, mounted, air units, naval units, etc) were engaged?
What type and how many major weapon systems (artillery, armor, aviation, etc) were employed?
The American battle of September, 1862 remains the bloodiest war to have ever been recorded in the American history. It is worth noting that this was a civil war that aimed at stabilizing and expanding special superior powers that were in place at that time. The battle as possibly known as Antietam war involved two superior ruling powers the Union forces that were led by George B. McClellan and his federal counterpart Robert E. Lee. In fact, it is estimated that the war to some extent got balance although the Union troops were more than the Confederate forces. This implied that the corporate members would not have lost if they had enough backup for the war. The Antietam battle is seen to have attracted much of the attention due to its ability to incorporate geographical perspectives into the fighting that deemed more suitable to some forces. The mention of East Wood, Westwood, and the cornfield serves a given military advantage. Therefore in-depth analysis of attacks of Richardson son Division, French division, and hills defense of the sunken road is bound to provide some green light to the subject.
The battle was started on September 17, 1862, within Sharpsburg, Washington County in Maryland. The war seems to have taken new dimensions with General Robert Lee claiming to spread his aggressiveness in the town of Maryland (Sears, 2015). The cause of the battle can be traced back in April 1862 when several residents of Baltimore started campaigning against the poor leadership of the General McClellan and his troops. The truth is that the direction of the Robert Lee was far much worse than that of his counterpart. This is because there was some hidden agenda behind willing of Lee to wage war against his opposes. For sure Mr. Lee had a strong army that enabled him to aggressively continue campaigning for what he called freedom from the leadership of President Lincoln and his government. His campaign had already been welcomed at his home basement Virginia, therefore, extending utilizing the first week of September in Maryland where he had marched with his forces (O'Sullivan, 2014). This was as a result of high motivation after seizing power of the Union army and driving them away from Richland. Besides, Lee had moved northwards where he recorded many victories against John Pope, therefore, rendering the whole of Virginia free from any union invasion.
According to the views of General Lee, having conquered the Union forces and popes territory in northern Virginia, the victims would take long to recover therefore proving easy for Lee to increase the army and coerce people to join the confederation. Consequently, he divided his forces in such a manner they could be sent into different areas to pursue different objectives (Priest, 2014). The larger political agenda by Lee was to overthrow the ruling of President Lincoln. This idea came when Lee noticed that there was some friction between the republican and the democrats, therefore, declaring to be promulgated in the name of preaching freedom and emancipation that would see him through the national leadership. On the other hand, General McClellan had the same ideas to pursue in the political arena, therefore, accelerating the differences between the two superpower forces (Reardon & Vossler, 2016). The worst happened when copy order number 191 which was commonly used by Roberts’s army was found dropped on the best farm. The evidence was presented to the Union major general McClellan who responded by disbanding the army residing in the Virginia state and absorbed them into the Potomac army hence becoming prepared for war in the absence of lee's anticipation. The battle served a very significant strategic objective which was purposely to grab and combat power through force (McPherson, 2014). The Robert Lees leadership supported this strategy after identifying the opportunity to weaken and issue orders to the people of Maryland through the creation of food shortages. He noted that by moving into the fertile agricultural grounds of Pennsylvania Cumberland Valley and Maryland, his voice would be heard by the needy residents. Because the city of Virginia was in the hands of Union army, creating shortages would humiliate the opposition, therefore, making it possible for Lee to liberate his territory. Apart from creating tension over food shortages, Lee’s army promised to allow the southerners to cultivate their lands peacefully and protect them from mistreatments of Union troop (Gardner, 2014). All that the residents did not know is that the many hopes they were treated as means to brainwash them thus enabling Lee’s army to gather enough fodder and food from these regions to render the campaign successful.
The geographical aspects played a key role in the determination of the strategic objectives that were employed in the battle. The seizure of various territories within the United States of America by the commanders was culminated by the mountains and valleys that surrounded the military base for the fighting powers (Ballard, 2014). For instance, the union army is known to have staged a deadly ambush toward the lee's guards on September 14, 1862, where about three thousands eight hundred Confederates were killed at the base of South Mountain. To add on that, the Union troops also considered the time of the day that would be possible to undertake the attack. Records indicate that were attacked during the sunset, an important factor that rendered McClellan army successful in the fight. The counterattack form of operation is evident in the battle. The September 17th, 1862, was marked by the drizzles that served as the pathway for civil war. The Hookers men marched towards the Dunkers church that stood between west woods and Hagerstown. The reports indicate that the Confederate commonly used the counterattacks whereby heavy cannons were used to fire the canisters to the enemies at close range (King, 2014). Similar Hookers army penetrated the Northwood beyond the cornfield thereby aiding their artillery to fire the Confederates across the Antietam Creek. The aim of the Union troop to invest their capability on counterattack bore fruits, and this situation turned Miller's cornfields and the west woods into slaughter pens.
The battle was one of the major complement to the campaign success. That is, the winners of the war would enjoy the advantage of political domination through territorial acquisitions and massive public mobilization. This paves the way for heavy gunfire between the McClellan and Lee’s army in an attempt to outdo the other. The Union troops are known to have employed more than seventy-five thousand soldiers who were grouped into Corps that were headed by various commanders under the authority of McClellan (Thompson, 2014). The Confederates, French brigades under the dictates of Lee were not left behind in an enhancement of their political campaign through a war as they were involved in the sharpshooting near the sunken road where many soldiers lost their lives. Also, there emerged close connection between the campaign and the strategic objective. The underlying plans campaign supported the larger strategic goals in that the farms that resident was assured of cultivating became the field of war (Carman & Clemens, 2017). As mentioned earlier the whole plan by the Confederates to the people of Maryland and Virginia was a little brainchild. The counterattack was highly supported by the valleys and mountains that surrounded the territories of the rivals. For example, the union army is said to have been assisted more by the slopes of the mountains to stage the deadly attack on the lee's guards who were settled at the top of the mountain. Furthermore, the cornfield served as the best zone for counterattacks where killings were undertaken. The drunken church was also in a better position to enable the rivals to hide and sharpen their plan regarding bombing their counterparts who were patrolling the sunken road.
Both the McClellan’s and Lee’s powers are depicted as the joint line of operation. It is evident that defeating an enemy is solely dependent on the strategy taken. Mr. Lee noticed that his rival had garnered a reasonable number of fighters thus seeking the support of the French commanders who brought in their soldiers, bringing excellent assistance on the battlefield (Sweet, 2014). The McClellan army was also boosted by the likes of general john porter and Mansfield who tirelessly led the army towards defeating the Confederates. The organization of the opposing forces adopted the maneuver aspect of battlefield operating system. It was promoting the retaliation by encompassing cannons and rifle muskets. There was also the use of explosives that claimed lives of many people. Infantry forces were fully engaged (Hippensteel, 2016). This was possible because of the nearness of rivals, therefore, making it easy for the fighters to walk on foot. Moreover, employing such forces was crucial due to the geographical appearance of the battlefields. Artillery was engaged in the war. The primary weapons by Confederates included the US model 1841 Mississippi rifle and 54 caliber rifle musket and 12 pounder Napoleon and guns by the Union army.
Conclusively, all the related proceedings of the Antietam war have clearly been highlighted. The Antietam battle was real hell. The involved forces were seen to have encompassed geographical knowledge in their strategy which made the attack more severe. In short, It remains the deadliest was in the American history.
Ballard, T. (2014). Battle Of Antietam, Staff Ride Guide [Illustrated Edition]. Pickle Partners Publishing.
Carman, E. A., & Clemens, T. (2017). The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Volume III: The Battle of Shepherdstown and the End of the Campaign. Savas Beatie.
Gardner, A. (2014). Antietam, Md. Battlefield on the day of the battle.
Hippensteel, S. P. (2016). Carbonate rocks and American Civil War infantry tactics. Geosphere, 12(2), 354-365.
King, A. (2014). The Battle of Antietam. MatheMatics teaching in the Middle school, 19(9), 576-576.
McPherson, J. (2014). A Brief Overview of the American Civil War. Retrieved June, 22, 2014.
O'Sullivan, T. H. (2014). Elk Mountain, Md. Signal tower overlooking Antietam battlefield.
Priest, J. M. (2014). Antietam: The soldiers' battle. Savas Publishing.
Reardon, C., & Vossler, T. (2016). A Field Guide to Antietam: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People. UNC Press Books.
Sears, S. W. (2015). Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Sweet, L. A. (2014). The Battle of Antietam: A Turning Point in the War.
Thompson, L. (2014). To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 by D. Scott Hartwig (review). Civil War History, 60(2), 215-216.
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