Great Lakes Civil War Forum Extends Antietam's Impact Beyond Battlefield

Sep 17, 2012

Before the break, we heard the story of the Iron Brigade’s role at the battle of Antietam. It was a group of fights that are commonly remembered as the bloodiest day of battle in American history, and for good reason.

President Lincoln with the soon-to-be-replaced General George McClellan and officers after the Battle of Antietam.
Credit Photo courtesy of LOC

As our Civil War series presented, Antietam marked a turning point in the war, after which it was clear that the conflict would continue for several more years. It halted Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s advancement into the North. And it gave President Abraham Lincoln political cover to issue the preliminary Emanipation Proclamation.

But Antietam’s place in history extends far beyond a political or tactical military significance. It was the site of many firsts and changed the way society viewed war, its veterans, and its victims. Recently, the Civil War Museum in Kenosha hosted its fifth annual Great Lakes Civil War Forum, dedicated this year to examining the Battle of Antietam on its 150th anniversary. Lake Effect’s Stephanie Lecci brings us the bigger story of Antietam.

Dr. Jonathan Letterman, the "Father of Battlefield Medicine"
Credit Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Medical Museum

Next year, it’s likely Gettysburg will be the forum's focus. You can hear full interviews with each of the forum’s presenters on topics including battlefield medicine, nurse Clara Barton, preserving the Antietam battlefield, and rare images taken by Civil War veterans. You can find more under the Civil War tab.