That Field of Blood: The Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862

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Daniel J. Vermilya
Pub Date:
April 2018
Trade paper, 6 x 9
202 images, 7 maps, 192 pp.
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About the Book

September 17, 1862—one of the most consequential days in the history of the United States—was a moment in time when the future of the country could have veered in two starkly different directions.

Confederates under General Robert E. Lee had embarked upon an invasion of Maryland, threatening to achieve a victory on Union soil that could potentially end the Civil War in Southern Independence. Lee’s opponent, Major General George McClellan, led the Army of the Potomac to stop Lee’s campaign. In Washington D.C., President Lincoln eagerly awaited news from the field, knowing that the future of freedom for millions was at stake. Lincoln had resolved that, should Union forces win in Maryland, he would issue his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

All this hung in the balance on September 17: the day of the battle of Antietam.

The fighting near Sharpsburg, Maryland, that day would change the course of American history, but in the process, it became the costliest day this nation has ever known, with more than 23,000 men falling as casualties.

Join historian Daniel J. Vermilya to learn more about America’s bloodiest day, and how it changed the United States forever in That Field of Blood.


“I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Battle of Antietam. . . . Vermilya is a fine author who has done a great service to this series.” – Gettysburg Chronicle

“A meticulous and impressively informative read, That Field of Blood is a very highly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library American Civil War History collections and supplemental studies lists.” – Midwest Book Review

"A very good job presenting conclusions and providing a springboard for further discussion about the campaign and its historical consequences. That is what a good historian should do." - Civil War News

“Buy it, read it, think about it...then go to the battlefield. I've always stressed that standing in the very spot where significant historical events took place is essential when attempting to take in the full scale of the history. On the battlefield, That Field of Blood would make a great companion to the experience.” – The Rogue Historian




Daniel J. Vermilya is a Civil War historian who works as a park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has previously worked as a park ranger at Antietam National Battlefield and Monocacy National Battlefield and is also a licensed battlefield guide at Antietam. He is the author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and James Garfield and the Civil War. He lives in Frederick, Maryland, with his wife Alison.