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ORIGINAL OIL

Oil on linen canvas 18"W by 24"H

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The 14 Brooklyn and 6th Wisconsin Regiments at the Battle of Antietam, September 17th 1862 Copyright 1998 Mark Maritato All Rights Reserved

Two of the American Civil War's most distinctive northern fighting regiments are locked in a mortal struggle with confederate forces of Thomas J. Jackson's division along the Hagerstown Turnpike. The scene is dawn September 17, 1862. General Joseph Hooker's First Corps with the midwestern brigade consiting of men from Wisconsin spearheading the attack through the soon to be infamous Miller Cornfield. As the blue-clad black-hatted warriors emerged from the southern edge of the ripening corn they were met with a devastating volley from Ewell's confederates that literally knocked men down like ten pins. The Wisconsiners are reinforced by the arrival of Walter Phelps's "FIRST Iron brigade" consisting of all New York regiments and the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters. One of these regiments, the 14th Brooklyn had suffered from a year and a half of fighting and were reduced to a mere skeleton of its former self; fielding only about 100 men in this fight. The colonel of the regiment Edward B. Fowler having been wounded at the battle of Groveton in August 1862 turned command over to William H. De'Bevoise (mounted on horseback). The red trousered Brooklyn men came into battle at a run, "filling the awful gaps. Now is the pinch. Men and officers of New York and Wisconsin are fused together in a common mass..." as quoted by the 6th Wisconsin's colonel Rufus Daws. The Black Hats and Brooklynites maintained a foot hold on the southern edge of Miller's farm, inflicting heavy casualties on Jackson's Confederate brigade stationed across the Hagerstown pike only a few deadly rods away. It was not until the massive counterattack by General John Bell Hood's Texas division pummeled into Hooker's Corps, that the men of Wisconsin and Brooklyn were forced to relinquish their grasp.

 

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