Friday, October 3, 2008

Today in history

Lincoln at Antietam

Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1862 on the Battlefield of Antietam. This is perhaps the best outdoor portrait of Lincoln. He is shown standing next to Allan Pinkerton (Left) and General McClernand (Right).

The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in American History. There were 23,000 casualties in one day . . . four times the casualties suffered during the D-Day invasion. The Battle of Antietam was one of the defining moments in American History.

In the fall of the year 1862, Abraham Lincoln had become desperate for a victory in the Civil War. Up to that time, the South had achieved victory after victory. Bull Run, Wilson's Creek, and Shiloh had all been convincing victories for the South. Abraham Lincoln realized that if the North did not achieve a victory soon, the survival of the Union would be in doubt. This led Abraham Lincoln to look to God and make an offer . . . Lincoln prayed that if God would grant him victory on the battlefield, he would free the slaves.

Slavery had haunted Lincoln for some time. He fully realized the cruelty and brutality of this corrupt institution, but he did not have the strength to stand up against it. Desperate for a victory, he made the deal with God. Shortly after this, he received news of McClellan's success at Antietam. Despite devastating losses, McClellan was able to drive Lee out of Maryland, and back into Virginia. The battle of Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862. On September 22, 1862 Abraham Lincoln honored the promise he made to God, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

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