A Cornfield Unlike Any Other

A Cornfield Unlike Any Other (HMDL3)

Location: Keedysville, MD 21756 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 28.856', W 77° 44.854'

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Inscription
"Through a shower of bullets and shells, it was only the thoughts of home that brought me from that place."
Pvt. James Dougherty, 128th Pennsylvania Infantry, wounded in the Cornfield

(1) At daybreak, Gen. Joseph Hooker's First Corps, approximately 8,000 men, advanced south through the Cornfield where, "the hostile battle lines opened a tremendous fire upon each other." Initially stopped by the heavy musketry, Hooker's men regrouped and began to push Gen. Stonewall Jackson's men back as the casualties on both sides quickly escalated.

(2) At 7:00 a.m., Gen. John Bell Hood's Confederate Division of approximately 2,000 men was waiting behind the Dunker Church. Jackson called them into battle and, "In less than five minutes we were advancing toward the enemy. In less than fifteen we were sending and receiving death missiles by the bushel." Hood's men drove north, forcing the First Corps back across the Cornfield.

(3) Gen. Lee ordered troops from Gen. D.H. Hill's command at the Sunken Road to move north into the Cornfield. Some of these regiments attacked all the way to the northern edge of the field, where they were crushed by the arrival of the Union Twelfth Corps.

(4) At 8:00 a.m., Gen. Joseph Mansfield's Twelfth Corps, over 7,000 strong, arrived and drove back Hood's men and the Confederate reinforcements from the Sunken Road. Gen. Mansfield fell mortally wounded and Gen. Alpheus Williams took command of the Corps.

At about 9:00 a.m. there was a short lull in the action. Most of the Confederates on the north end of the battlefield retreated to the West Woods. Almost 8,000 Union and Confederate soldiers had been killed or wounded in and around the Cornfield.

A Brave Young Cannoneer
Just west of the Cornfield are two cannon representing Battery B, 4th United States Artillery. Battery B moved forward with the initial Union attack into the Cornfield where it came under intense fire from Stonewall Jackson's men. The Battery's bugler was fifteen year old Johnny Cook. As the other cannoneers were shot down around him, young Cook helped load and fire the cannon in the face of an enemy assault just a few yards away.

For his bravery at the Cornfield, the former paper boy from Cincinnati, Ohio was awarded the Medal of Honor. He is one of the youngest Americans ever to be awarded this Nation's highest military honor.

A Captured Flag
This flag was presented to the First Texas Infantry by Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond. The star on the flag was made from the regimental commander's wife's wedding dress. In the Cornfield, the First Texas as part of Hood's Division, had the highest percentage of killed and wounded for any Confederate regiment in the Civil War, over 82%.

In addition to losing so many men, the regiment also lost its flag in the din and destruction in the corn. A Union soldier who found the flag in the Cornfield said that "thirteen men lay dead within touch of it and the body of one of the dead lay stretched across it."

Carnage in the Cornfield
Approximate Time of Action: 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Approximate Number of Soldiers engaged:
Union 15,000
Confederate 12,000
Total 27,000

Approximate Number of Casualties for Each Army:
Union Army of the Potomac
4,200 killed, wounded, missing

Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
4,000 killed, wounded, missing
Details
HM NumberHMDL3
Tags
Year Placed2009
Placed ByAntietam National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 6:22pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 263684 N 4373752
Decimal Degrees39.48093333, -77.74756667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 28.856', W 77° 44.854'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 28' 51.36" N, 77° 44' 51.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 150-152 The Cornfield Trail, Keedysville MD 21756, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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