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Robert E. Lee's Role In The Battle Of Antietam

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General (Gen.) Robert E. Lee was the brilliant Confederate leader whose skill in military strategies, battlefield intellect, and the trust and confidence of his men and subordinate leaders, allowed the South to continue to fight during the four gruesome years of the Civil War. In the Battle of Antietam, Gen. Lee’s direct involvement made the difference for the Confederate army. With a force nearly half the size of his opponents, Gen. Lee showed that knowing your opponent, the terrain, and your capabilities can make the difference in any battle. (Gallagher 2010)
Although unable to attend Harvard as his brother did, Gen. Lee was able to get an advanced education at the United States Military Academy. He graduated second in his class and was a …show more content…
Lee’s sound judgment and mental agility were on full display. Union forces, Led by Gen. McClellan, attacked Gen. Lee’s flanks in the west woods and at Antietam Creek. Heavy opposition came from the west wood as the Union forces sent two corps to meet a brigade of Gen. Lee’s men just on the other side in their defensive positions. For a time, the Union forces made progress, but attack and counterattack turned the West Woods and the cornfield into slaughter pens. With the corps attacks successfully blunted, Gen. Lee was able to shift forces from the right of his line to meet a new threat. With Union forces stalled on Gen. Lee’s left flank, the focus shifted to his right in which three Union brigades crossed the Antietam Creek to get around Confederate forces. Unknown to Union forces at the time, Gen. Lee had three brigades of his own hidden in a sunken farm road waiting for the Union forces that crossed the Antietam Creek to crest the hill. As the first of the Union forces crested the hill, they met a hail of gun fire as Gen. Lee’s forces opened fire on them. Two of the three brigades retreated across the hill, with the third taking up defensive positions and returning fire. (Ballard

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