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"The Battle of Antietam ( Sharpsburg) 17th September 1862" Topic

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788 hits since 19 Oct 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

CHRIS DODSON20 Oct 2021 1:21 a.m. PST


Dedicated to the late Peter Bradford, a friend , a war gamer, a re-enactor



Following battlefield successes in the Peninsula campaign and more recently at Second Manassas, the Confederacy's premier general, Robert E Lee led his forces north in an attempt to take the war away from Virginia and into Maryland, a state thought to harbour sympathy towards the southern cause.

It was thought that further military success might lead to European recognition of the cause and bring legitimacy to the Confederacy.

Meanwhile, a reluctant President Lincoln had re instated General George. B. McCellan to command the majority of the Union forces following General Pope's humiliation at Second Manassas.

McCellan, an efficient organiser of men and their supplies had shown timidity during the Peninsular campaign despite possessing superior numbers and equipment.

McClellan was a schemer, always requesting more troops and blinded by inaccurate reports from his Pinkerton intelligence section usually supplying inflated enemy troop figures. His stubbornness to get his army on the road and the many excuses for not doing so infuriated Lincoln and was, unfortunately known to Lee.

Nevertheless, he was loved by his men who welcomed his re appointment.

Lee, characteristically, split his forces using the Shenandoah valley as a conduit for movement, shielded by the South mountains with General JEB Stuart's cavalry as scouts.

Prodded by Lincoln, McCellan at the head of approximately eighty seven thousand Union troops eventually moved at glacial speed towards Lee's. approximately forty five thousand troops.

However, a bizarre incident occurred whereby Lee's campaign plan, order number 191 was revealed to McClellan via a copy wrapped around some cigars found in a field vacated by the Confederates.

McClellan was galvanised into action, although the controversy over the cigars and his reaction time in putting his army in motion still continues.

Lee, alerted to McCellan's newly found vigour fought holding actions at the mountain passes of Foxes, Turners and Cramptons gaps. These hard fought battles allowed just enough time for his army to concentrate at Sharpsburg albeit without AP Powell's Division which was ordered to invest the armoury at Harper's Ferry.

McCellan, exuberant about his prospects of annihilating Lee stated that ‘ Here is a paper with which if I can not whip Bobby Lee I will be willing to go home' before reverting to previous form, no doubt influenced by inflated enemy troop estimations from the usual source.

Lee, confident that his opponent's ‘slows' had returned decided to offer battle and waited for McClellan.

The good General duly obliged Lee with poor reconnaissance, meticulous battle planning , a re organisation of his army's command structure and in doing so wasted the most precious battlefield commodity …Time.

Timeline 15th -16th September 1862

On the morning of the 15th September the troops of James's Longstreets command cross the Antietam creek via the Orndorff bridge, on the Boonsborough pike prior to taking up positions along the Sharpsburg ridge.





Mr Joshua and Mary Newcomer watch the Confederate forces arrive. They will shortly leave their property to gain sanctuary from the impending battle.


James Longstreet and DH Hill visit Henry, ‘stovepipe' Piper and his family to warn them of the coming danger.


After providing dinner the family will depart to Samuel's (Henry's brother) Mill north of Sharpsburg for safety.

David Miller and his family leave their prosperous farm on the 16th along with his cows to join his father Colonel John Miller at his Hauser ridge farm.


Robert E Lee inspects his troops positions. With eighteen thousand men opposing an unfolding Union deployment of seventy five thousand he was counting on the arrival of Jackson from Harper's Ferry and McClellan's timidity of action.



George Brinton McClellan inspects his troops on the 16th, wasting a whole day with battlefield preparations and withdrawing Hookers 1st Corps from Ambrose Burnsides command. A source of irritation to Burnside putting him into the sulks.


McClellan is intending to smash Lee's left flank with massive echelon assaults on the 17th and to this effect Hooker's 1st Corps has crossed the Antietam to the north and is positioned astride the Confederate flank.

Hooker's troops skirmish with Confederates in the East wood. This action alerts Lee, now reinforced by Jackson, to the Union presence on his flank.


As the light fades the scene is set for the next days battle.

Personal logo Dschebe Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 3:34 a.m. PST


sixlasers20 Oct 2021 4:53 a.m. PST

Very nice looking miniatures. Who makes them?

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 6:03 a.m. PST

Yeah! WOW! Thanks for posting!

Major Mike20 Oct 2021 6:46 a.m. PST

Very nice dioramas of the action.

CHRIS DODSON20 Oct 2021 7:08 a.m. PST

Thank you for the kind comments.

The manufacturers are numerous as are the dozens of conversions.

A more detailed explanation is available here.


Best wishes,


bracken Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 8:38 a.m. PST

Beautiful photos of stunning figures and terrain.

Personal logo Zeelow Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 9:36 a.m. PST

Absolutely brilliant modeling skills.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 12:15 p.m. PST

really excellent dioramas. Nice job!

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2021 5:07 a.m. PST

An epic trip back into the tumult of history!

Chris, we're going to really enjoy this journey (keep it coming).

winser5421 Oct 2021 8:19 a.m. PST


Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2021 7:03 p.m. PST

Can you tell us a little more about this incredible display?

chrisminiaturefigs Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2021 2:18 a.m. PST

Wow that is some outstanding scenery, magnificent display.

CHRIS DODSON10 Nov 2021 8:43 a.m. PST

Thank you for the kind comments.

This project is a real fight like Quatre Bras and Ligny projects with this being the opening sequence.

More details and lots of research on the above mentioned link.


CHRIS DODSON10 Nov 2021 6:54 p.m. PST

Apologies, that should read re fight!


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