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Antietam - The Bloodiest Day Wherigo Cache

Hidden : 06/22/2009
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Listed coordinates are the starting location, NOT the cache. You will need a device that is Wherigo capable like a Garmin Colorado or GPS enabled Pocket PC with Wherigo Player installed. More information about Wherigo can be found here: Wherigo Website. To hunt this cache, you must download the Wherigo cartridge "The Bloodiest Day"

The Battle of Antietam was the first invasion of the North by Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. After Lee’s dramatic victory at the Second Battle of Manassas during the last two days of August, he wanted to keep the offensive and decided to splash across the Potomac River.

Arriving in Frederick, Lee divided his army in order to capture the Union garrison stationed at Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry was a vital location for the Confederate lines of supply and communication back to Virginia. The 12,000 Union soldiers at Harpers Ferry threatened Lee’s link back to the south. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and about half of the army were sent to capture Harpers Ferry. The rest of the Confederates moved north and west toward South Mountain and Hagerstown, Maryland.

Back in Washington D.C., President Abraham Lincoln turned to Major General George B. McClellan to protect the capital and respond to the Maryland invasion. McClellan quickly reorganized the demoralized Army of the Potomac and advanced towards Lee. The armies first clashed on South Mountain where on September 14 the Confederates tried unsuccessfully to block the Federals at three mountain passes – Turner’s, Fox’s and Crampton’s Gaps.

Following the Confederate retreat from South Mountain, Lee considered returning to Virginia. However, with word of Jackson’s capture of Harpers Ferry on September 15, Lee decided to make a stand at Sharpsburg. Thousands of soldiers in blue marched into position throughout the 15th and 16th as McClellan prepared for his attempt to drive Lee from Maryland. The Battle of Antietam began at dawn on the 17th and for the next 12 hours the landscape was literally turned red with the blood of Americas finest.

Despite over 23,000 casualties of the nearly 100,000 engaged, both armies stubbornly held their ground as the sun set on the devastated landscape. The next day, September 18, the opposing armies gathered their wounded and buried their dead. That night Lee’s army withdrew back across the Potomac to Virginia, ending Lee’s first invasion into the North.

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