Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Final Battle / AP Hill arrives just in time

This is a view of the "Final Battle" area on the Antietam Battlefield. (The sketch is about 9" x 11" and is on tinted paper in a spiral-bound pad. I coated the paper with clear Colourfix Primer. Done with a mixed bag of soft pastels, mostly Diane Townsend.)

"Southeast of town, Union General Ambrose E. Burnside's troops had been trying to cross a bridge over Antietam Creek since 9:30 am. Some 400 Georgians [General Toombs' brigade] had driven them back each time. At 1 pm the Federals finally crossed the bridge (now known as Burnside Bridge) and, after a 2-hour delay to reform their lines, advanced up the slope beyond. By late afternoon they had driven the Georgians back almost to Sharpsburg, threatening to cut off the line of retreat for Lee's decimated Confederates. Then about 4 pm General A. P. Hill's division, left behind by Jackson at Harper's Ferry to salvage the captured Federal property, arrived on the field and immediately entered the fight. Burnside's troops were driven back to the heights near the bridge they had earlier taken." The Battle of Sharpsburg was over. (Map.)

The monument in the sketch is the 11th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Monument. It is on a mound bounded on two sides by a curved retaining wall and it dominates the little hollow between the new Branch Avenue (where I am) and the opposite ridge, which is the heights above Antietam Creek and Burnside's Bridge further to the east.

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