Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Antietam: The Bloodiest Day

This day 150 years (+1) ago in Rebel Raiders’ History

-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game, GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.  Although normally this feature focuses on what occurred 150 years ago, today is a date that is special and personal to me, for 151 years ago this day an epic battle was fought outside the little town of Sharpsburg, along the little creek named Antietam.

September 17, 1862 –  Antietam: The Bloodiest Day

            Historical Event:   On this day in 1862 my ancestor in the Irish Brigade stood for half an hour firing buck and ball into the Rebel regiments behind the fences along what would become known as The Bloody Lane.  Although wounded, he survived to fight again and again – but some 3,500 other men – North and South – would not.  More Americans died on that field that day than on any other in U.S. history, and another 20,000, like my ancestor, were wounded – and many of those would perish in the next few months or live on permanently disabled.   Although hailed in the North as a victory in that it repulsed Robert E. Lee’s invasion, the price paid for that victory was a sobering one, as Matthew Brady’s photographs of the dead would bring the images – and the horror- of war to the public.

            Game Connection:      Rebel Raiders is primarily a naval strategy game, but as it is a strategic game it also covers the land war, although in an abstract way.  CSN Card 77 – Lee Moves North can be played to symbolize his march into Maryland in 1862.  USN Card 45 – Three Cigars – represents the famous incident where Lee’s plans for that invasion were found wrapped around three cigars, and CSN Card 102 – Matthew Brady: The “Shutter” of Horror – reflects the impact news and images of that, America’s bloodiest day, had on the people at home.

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