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Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve.

-- Sun Tzu

Civil WarNear Sharpsburg, MD, September 29, 1862 I have the honor to report the following as some of the results of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam: At South Mountain our loss was 443 killed, 1,806 wounded, and 76 missing; total, 2,325. At Antietam our loss was 2,010 killed, 9,416 wounded, and 1,043 missing total, 12,469. Total loss in the two battles, 14,794.
The loss of rebels in the two battles, as near as can be ascertained from the number of their dead found upon the field, and from other data, will not fall short of the following estimate: Major Davis, assistant inspector general, who superintends the burial of the dead, reports about 3,000 rebels buried upon the field of Antietam by our own troops. Previous to this, however, the rebels had buried many of their own dead upon the distant portion of the battlefield, which they occupied after the battle - probably at least 500. The loss of the rebels at South Mountain cannot be ascertained with accuracy, but as our troops continually drove them from the commencement of the action, and a much greater number of their dead were seen on the field than of our own men, it is not unreasonable to suppose that their loss was greater than ours. Estimating their killed at 500, the total rebel killed in the two battles would be 4,000, according to the ratio of our own killed and wounded. This would make their loss in wounded 18,742, as nearly as can be determined at this time. The number of prisoners taken by our troops in the two battles will, at the lowest estimate, amount to 5,000. The full returns will no doubt show a larger number. Of these about 1,200 are wounded. This gives the rebel loss in killed and wounded and prisoners 25,542. It will be observed that this does not include their stragglers, the number of whom is said by citizens here to be large. It may be safely concluded, therefore, that the rebel army lost at least 30,000 of their best troops during their brief campaign in Maryland. From the time our troops first encountered the enemy in Maryland until he was driven back into Virginia, we captured 13 guns, 7 caissons, 9 limbers, 2 field forges, 2 caisson bodies, 39 colors, and 1 signal flag. We have not lost a single gun or color. On the battlefield of Antietam 14,000 small arms were collected, besides the large number carried off by citizens and those distributed on the ground to recruits and other unarmed men arriving immediately after the battle. At South Mountain no collection of small arms was made, owing to the haste of the pursuit from that point. Four hundred were taken on the opposite side of the Potomac. George B. McClellan, Major-General, Commanding
Note: by Major General George McClellan


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