This year marks the 25th anniversary of Antietam on the Web (AotW).

My work online about the battle began in 1992 with a collection of text files, but I consider the birthday of AotW to be 1 November 1996 when I first launched the website.

That first site on a free service called GeoCities consisted of 3 simple battlefield maps, profiles of about 100 senior officers, a basic order of battle, and some text exhibits.  It’s somewhat larger in depth and scope now.

A decade later, in March 2006, I started posting here on behind AotW as accompaniment. So the blog celebrates a big anniversary, too, now in its 15th year.

I plan to keep adding to Antietam on the Web and occasionally blogging for at least a couple more years, so I hope both my readers will stick around for that.

In 1864, building on information collected by others, civil engineer Simon G. Elliott documented the locations of more than 5,800 soldiers’ burials on the battlefield of Antietam on a map. His similar work for burials at Gettysburg has long been known, but a copy of his Antietam map lay largely unnoticed in the New York Public library for many years until library staff digitized the map and made it available online between 2015 and 2018.

In June 2020 Gettysburg researchers Tim Smith and Andrew Dalton were looking into Elliott, came upon this map, and brought it to the attention of other historians and the public.

I’ve broken my digital copy into 14 large segments, each covering about 1/2 square mile of the battlefield, to make it a little easier for you to explore and make sense of this huge map. They’re all now up on Antietam on the Web (AotW) in a special exhibit.

49 individual soldiers and 32 regiments are identified on the big map. I have highlighted each of them in white and linked them to related pages on AotW so you can get more information about them.

On the occasion of the battle anniversary this month I’ve taken stock of the AotW database. There may be another lifetime’s work to do in other areas of the Campaign, but I now have a reasonably complete list of the troops who were killed and mortally wounded at Sharpsburg.  The first of its kind anywhere, as far as I know. Pretty cool!

I’ve created a couple of new reports on the subject which you can download at the end of this post.

When I count the individuals who were killed outright or were mortally wounded and died on 16, 17, or 18 September 1862 I get 1,653 Confederates (the Official Records say 1,550 were killed) and 2,205 Federals (OR has 2,100).

I’ve also pulled the names of the soldiers who died of their Sharpsburg wounds in the days and weeks afterward.  These make an additional 772 Confederates and 980 Federals.

So if you suspected the official numbers were a little low, you were right. As a caution, let me remind both my readers that the records are sometimes awful and occasionally missing altogether, and besides, I’ve certainly not seen every source there is to see. I’m sure I’ll find more names to add.

Also, I need to look at it some more, but there may be enough in my collection to name most of those 5,800+ burials on the newly-identified  S.G. Elliott map.  Just don’t ask me to guess which of those little marks are which person.  I haven’t looked at any others on the map yet [update: see my annotated exhibit on the Elliot map], but the man listed in the map portion above as F.L. Fraser is E. L. Fraser, Private of Company I, 12th South Carolina. Later records of his field burial correlate well with the 1864 Elliott map.

Ok, so just in time for the anniversary, here are 2 versions each of two reports listing the killed of Antietam. As always, if you can add names or improve the information please let me know.

Men Killed in the Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Maryland 16-18 September 1862
Sorted by state | Sorted by rank [3834 names, 1.0 MB pdf]

Men Who Later Died of Wounds from the Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg
Sorted by state | Sorted by rank [1736 names, 500 KB pdf]


These new lists and the ongoing Dead of the Campaign list are also hosted, and will be updated in the future, under Antietam 150: The Dead of the Maryland Campaign elsewhere on this blog.

19K milestone

2 April 2020

It’s turning out to be another productive year for Antietam on the Web.

Soldier profiles I added today for Parker’s Richmond Battery put the total number of individuals in the database over 19,000.

More tomorrow.

New on AotW: a handy pocket guide to the field artillery pieces of each of the Confederate and Union batteries at Antietam and on the Maryland Campaign of 1862. In spreadsheet form, it shows counts by gun type for all 135 batteries present, and it’s available as a PDF and also as a link on the main AotW Weapons page .

I welcome your feedback.

OK, so it’s not really a “pocket” guide and the print is really small on a letter-sized sheet. But it is concise and reasonably complete. Perhaps best read zoomed-in on your computer screen.

Some patterns are easy to see in this form. Have fun with the analysis – Confederate vs Federal.

As always, there’s more info about each gun type and every battery online at Antietam on the Web.

Another AotW milestone

29 September 2019

We’re having a great year collecting soldiers here at AotW.  You have a lot of reading to catch up on.

Lieutenant John A Steel, 106th Pennsylvania Infantry was #18,000, added today.

Dead List update

10 March 2019

I’ve been pushing hard the last few months to get more soldiers into the database on AotW, focusing particularly on those who died on the Campaign.

As a result I’ve posted an update to the list of The Dead of the Maryland Campaign of 1862. It’s now up to just over 6,300 people -  out of the more than 7,600 who died.

There’s so much more to do, but this is a good jump from the previous edition.

Pages for those individuals and thousands more are available on AotW, of course, if you want to see more about them …

(More) after-action reports

15 February 2019

I’ve been transcribing and posting some post-battle reports to AotW this week; most were written by Federal medical officers and I’ll write about them later, once complete, but today, thanks to a timely lookup in the Supplement to the OR by Dr Tom Clemens, I’ve added a report from Colonel William Gibson, 48th Georgia Infantry, speaking for Wright’s Brigade, who were at the extreme right of the line in the Sunken Road at Sharpsburg on 17 September and later withdrew to the Piper Farm.

If you think that is a run-on sentence, how about this from Colonel Gibson’s Report:

Yet, seeing the weakness of the brigade and the strength of the enemy, the brigade then numbering under 200 with every field officer, the General and one of his aids wounded and lying on the field, I contented myself with holding our advanced position. The support on our right and left having been withdrawn, and none being in the rear that I knew of, with our cartridges exhausted, upon seeing a new formation of the enemy in our front, of a very large size, and a movement by our right flank, from which a brigade had long since retired, I withdrew the brigade, in order, to a stone fence in the rear, which position was held during the day, by several charges being made on the enemy when appeared in force on our front, and a gun which was lying in the road, seemingly abandoned, which Lieutenant Chamberlain, of the Sixth Virginia Regiment, fired with great accuracy into the advancing columns of the enemy three different times and drove them back.

We’re up to 337 Official Reports on AotW now. If you seek a little light reading you can find them all listed in the OR Index.


11 February 2019

(we’ve got 17,000 people now in the Antietam on the Web database)

I am pleased to report that I’ve just added the 16,000th person to the Antietam on the Web (AotW) database. There’s much more to the AotW website than people, of course, but they’re what keep me going at it year in and year out.

16,000 is a nice round number and perhaps large enough to be statistically interesting. It also marks a good point to stop and take stock.  To that end I’ve built some simple charts of summary data about all those people …