The battlefield of Antietam was extensively photographed immediately after the battle took place, providing images that would shock the nation as to the brutal carnage of the young war.
This 1864 lithograph shows the charge of Ohio infantrymen against North Carolinian troops in the Battle of South Mountain in Maryland, which took place on the morning of September 14, 1862 and was a prelude to the Battle of Antietam. Image from the Library of Congress.
Chromolithograph by Louis Prang and Company of The Battle of Antietam by Thure de Thulstrup. This painting depicts the charge of Iron Brigade near the Dunker Church on the morning of September 17, 1862. Image from the Library of Congress.
An Edwin Forbes sketch of Burnside’s division carrying the bridge over the Antietam Creek against the Rebel position after a desperate conflict of four hours on Wednesday, September 17, 1862. Image from the Library of Congress.
Alexander Gardner’s photograph of Burnside’s Bridge taken in September or October 1862 after the Battle of Antietam. Image from the Library of Congress.
Alexander Gardner’s photograph of Smith’s barn, which was used as a hospital after the battle of Antietam just as nearly every available structure in the immediately vicinity was used as a hospital. The photograph was taken in September or October 1862 after the Battle of Antietam. Image from the Library of Congress.
Alexander Gardner’s photograph of straw huts on Smith’s farm that were erected and used as a hospital – following the battle, a Hagerstown newspaper referred to the area around the battlefield as "one vast hospital." The photograph was taken in September or October 1862 after the Battle of Antietam. Image from the Library of Congress.
The Dead Of Antietam
The following images are from Matthew Brady’s 1862 exhibit of photographs taken by Alexander Gardner and James Gibson. Their images were the first to show dead bodies on the field, and personalized the appalling casualty numbers from the battle. (From the Library of Congress)
Confederate dead on the Miller Farm, possibly from Starke’s Louisiana Brigade, with the North Woods in the distance and the Hagerstown Pike to the right.
At the center of the Rebel line at Bloody Lane, a burial detail—likely from the 130th Pennsylvania—pauses for a moment from burying enemy dead.
Bloody Lane victims, probably from the 14th North Carolina, beyond the Roulette Farm lane.
An unidentified Confederate, and the fresh grave of Lieutenant John A. Clark, 7th Michigan, near the West Woods.
Dozens of soldiers lie gathered for interment on the Miller Farm.
Louisianians, members of Starke’s Brigade await burial. "The contest at this point had been very severe," photographer Alexander Gardner wrote.
Victims along the Hagerstown Pike, with the East Woods in the distance.
Confederates near Burnside Bridge, with pockets turned inside-out by pillagers.
A Union burial detail on the Miller Farm prepares to inter Federal dead
A lone Confederate, found on a hill-side.
One of the best known of Alexander Gardner’s Antietam photograph shows Confederate victims at the Dunker Church.
A Rebel colonel’s horse (possibly belonging to Colonel Henry B. Strong, 6th Louisiana, who died in fighting near the Cornfield), killed near the East Woods.
Confederate dead on the Sherrick Farm, near Burnside Bridge on the southern portion of the battlefield.
Dead Confederates, most likely Louisianians from Starke’s Brigade, on the north end of the battlefield.