Plate 21. Dunker Church, Battle-Field of Antietam

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Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by James Gardner, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
This Church is located on a ridge near Sharpsburg, on the battle-field of Antietam, and suffered severely in that engagement, it was against this point that General Hooker, on the right of our line, made his assaults, and near it where he received his wound. The attack of King's Division, temporarily commanded by General Hatch, was made upon the rebels posted immediately around the Church. The slaughter here was fearful. Each of the contending lines charged repeatedly across the field in front of the building, and strewed the ground with their dead. The terrible effect of cannister was never more clearly demonstrated than in this vicinity. Battery B, Fourth United States Artillery, had lost heavily in the course of the engagement, its commander, Lieutenant Campbell, having been wounded and carried from the field, the command devolving on Lieutenant Stewart. Several of the horses had been killed, and Lieutenant Stewart, sending two guns to the rear, took up a position with his four remaining pieces on a little knoll near a sunken road.
The smoke obstructed the view considerably, and the Lieutenant not seeing anything of the enemy was cooling his guns, when suddenly his sergeant shouted "Here they come! Here they come!" A rebel brigade was coming down the road on a double-quick, and when discovered were only fifty yards distant. The cannoniers sprang to their pieces, and instantly opened on the approaching column with cannister double-spotted, the discharge from the four twelve pounders sweeping out half a dozen panels of the fence, and driving a storm of slugs and spotted rails into the mass of Confederates. The rear still pressed on, ignorant of the havoc in front, and again and again the artillery poured its iron hail into the column, completely obstructing the road with dead and wounded. Later in the day a Captain of this brigade was taken prisoner, and stated, that of the command of eighteen hundred men which received that fire, but eighteen had returned to the division. Some of course had been taken prisoners or had wandered off after the annihilation of the brigade, but most of the men had fallen in front of the cannon.
Currently not on view
Gardner, Alexander
place made
United States: Maryland, Antietam
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 17.0391 cm x 22.3309 cm; 6 11/16 in x 8 13/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
related event
Civil War
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gardner's Sketchbook
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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