Commander in Chief & Great Emancipator


Alexander Gardner. President Lincoln at Antietam Battlefield. 1862. Photograph.

The battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862 was one of the most bloody of the Civil War.  While it was not the conclusive victory that Lincoln had sought, it was a badly needed win for the Union Army.  In the days immediately following the battle, Lincoln became increasingly distressed with General McClellan’s failure to pursue General Robert E. Lee’s retreating Confederate army.  In early October Lincoln visited McClellan at Antietam in order to speak with the general personally. This is one of several photographs of Lincoln’s visit taken by Alexander Gardner on 3 October 1862.  Lincoln is standing between (L) Allan G. Pinkerton (1819-1884), who was serving on McClellan’s staff, and (R) General J. A. McClernand (1812-1900).

Lincoln Collection The William Whiting Nolen Collection of Lincolniana.