On the morning of September 17, 1862, about 5:30 a.m., began the battle of Antietam; in the South, also known as the battle of Sharpsburg. By day’s end, the fighting would result in the bloodiest single-day battle in American History.
Union troops, under the command of Joseph Hooker, came out of the North Woods, along the Hagerstown Turnpike just North of Sharpsburg, and attacked the Confederate forces. The Southern troops, under the command of Stonewall Jackson, had a strong defensive position in the West Woods, along the Hagerstown Pike upon which sat this little white building known as the “Dunker Church”.
The plateau, upon which this Church was standing, was the main objective by the Union troops when the battle began. Eventually it was taken by the advancing Union forces, but at the end of the day, a temporary truce was made that allowed both the North and South to come together to exchange the wounded and to bury the dead.
Soldiers of opposite sides, who just hours earlier were fighting to kill each other, now came together to exchange stories, tobacco and news about life back home. For a brief time all was quiet as Americans joined together to spare lives and to have a moment of peace at a little Church known for its pacifist and loving ways, in the same area where the battle began.
At a little white building known forever as the “Dunker Church”…