Antietam - The West Woods - September 17, 1862 - 6am to 7am
American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Antietam - West Woods on September 17, 1862 from 6am to 7am
As the sun rose on September 17, 1862, Major General Joseph Hooker and his I Corps launched a vicious assault on the Army of Northern Virginia’s left flank at the West Woods at around 6:00am. This assault on Robert E. Lee’s forces began the Battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day of the Civil War. As Hooker’s men marched towards the Dunker Church, they were met with a harrowing volley of artillery and musket fire from the West Woods, a simple woodlot situated on the western side of the Antietam Battlefield. Union and Confederate forces engaged in furious attacks and counterattacks against each other in and near the West Woods and into the Cornfield. As the fighting continued into 6:30am, the Confederate forces began to shift away from the West Woods and towards the Union’s left flank as the fighting moved to The Cornfield. By 7:00am, Brigadier General John Hood’s men pushed through The Cornfield. As the Confederates repositioned their forces, four brigades were kept in reserve in the West Woods. Confederates began to engage in counterattacks against Union forces at the Union’s left flank near the East Woods across the Hagerstown Turnpike.
Learn More: The Battle of Antietam