Almanac History - September 1862

September 1st, 1862

A battle in Chantilly, Virginia proves to be the final clash in the Second Battle of Bull Run. The South proves victorious in the day-long engagement between 1300 Union troops and 800 Confederates. The North's defeat is compounded by the deaths of Union Generals J.J. Stevens and Philip Kearney.

September 2nd, 1862

In an important command change, Lincoln orders General McClellan to take over the Union Army of Virginia, a move made without the full support of Lincoln's cabinet.

September 3rd, 1862

General Halleck receives a report from General John Pope regarding the action of several officers during the Second Battle of Bull Run. He charges McClellan with lack of support, pointing out the need for reinforcements at the time Jackson was attacking and the tardiness with which McClellan's men arrived.

September 4th, 1862

Various minor engagements occur as the confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Lee moves toward Maryland.

September 7th, 1862

Because of the Confederate Army's position at Frederick, Maryland, the Union capital at Washington is in turmoil. Many people in the surrounding areas arm themselves against invasion, and many more evacuate their homes.

September 8th, 1862

Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia creates fear and confusion among the citizens of Maryland where they are encamped. Lee attempts to reassure them telling them that their destiny is their choice.

September 9th, 1862

General Longstreet receives orders to approach Boonesboro, Maryland with his Confederates. Skirmishing occurs at Monocacy Church and Barnesville, both in Maryland.

September 10th, 1862

General McClellan continues to advance on Lee's Army which is positioned near Frederick, Maryland, marking the beginning of the Antietam campaign.

September 12th, 1862

General McClellan pushes toward Frederick, Maryland with the Army of the Potomac which has absorbed the Army of Virginia. Skirmishing continues in the vicinity.

September 13th, 1862

In what proves to be a stroke of luck for the Union, General Lee's orders for the Maryland invasion are discovered by Union soldiers. As a result, McClellan is able to approach the Confederate positions near Harper's Ferry where Jackson has been posted, Hagerstown, where General Longstreet is to be stationed, and South Mountain, where Jeb Stuart's cavalry is positioned.

September 14th, 1862

The first official battle of the Antietam campaign occurs at Crampton's Gap.

September 15th, 1862

Fighting in Northern Virginia continues as General Lee's Confederates, under General Stonewall Jackson's leadership, attack Harper's Ferry. This episode in the Antietam Campaign sees Federal troops unable to withstand the fierce assault and nearly 12,000 Union soldiers are captured. General Dixon S. Miles, the Federal commander at Harper's Ferry, is killed during this battle.

September 17th, 1862

Despite the fact that Southern forces are greatly outnumbered by General McClellan's Army of the Potomac, General Lee positions his troops for an attack along Antietam Creek. Casualties for the North are tallied at 2108 killed, 9549 wounded, 753 missing. For the South, estimates list 2700 killed, 9024 wounded and 2000 missing. The Battle of Antietam is considered by most, "the bloodiest single day of the war."

September 18th, 1862

General Lee moves out of Maryland after the previous day's engagement. With the invasion of the North via Maryland in shambles, the Confederates once more find themselves in a defensive position.

September 19th, 1862

Portions of Harper's Ferry, Virginia are burned by retreating Confederates. Skirmishing occurs near Sharpsburg and Williamsport, Maryland.

September 21st, 1862

In Virginia, Federals crossing the Potomac engage in skirmishing with Southern troops at Shepherdstown. This results ultimately in a retreat by Union forces, who lose about 150 men.

September 22nd, 1862

Lincoln chooses the time right after the victory at Antietam to present his Emancipation Proclamation.

September 24th, 1862

Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus for any individuals who are deemed guilty of "discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording comfort to Rebels."