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Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom

Inecom Entertainment, 90 minutes

Defeatism was rife in the Union in the summer of 1862. General Robert E. Lee’s Maryland campaign aimed to take the fight to the enemy’s home territory, where success could bring Southern independence and end the war. At the same time, Abraham Lincoln was drafting the Emancipation Proclamation, which he hoped would force the South to capitulate—and end the war. Battle reenactments and commentary from authorities James McPherson and Allen Guelzo explore the decisive moment that pitted Lee the tactician against Lincoln the politician at Antietam on September 17. The bloodiest day in American history—23,000 casualties in 12 hours of fighting—ended in Union victory on the field, but the war would drag on for more than two years.


Originally published in the August 2007 issue of American History. To subscribe, click here