Antietam Quiz Answers

1. While setting up camp near Frederick, Maryland, Sgt. John M. Bloss and Cpl. Barton W. Mitchell of the 27th Indiana Infantry discovered three cigars wrapped in a paper—Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Special Order No. 191. What did the mysterious “Lost Order” reveal?

  • General Lee’s plan to march on Washington, DC
  • The exact strength and location of all elements of the Army of Northern Virginia
  • General Lee’s plans to divide his army and capture Harper’s Ferry
  • General Lee’s plans to attack Baltimore
  • Orders to retreat into Maryland

Answer: General Lee's plans to divide his army and capture Harper's Ferry.  The mysterious “Lost Order” detailed the Confederate commander’s audacious plan to divide his forces in the face of the enemy in order to seize the Federal garrison at Harper's Ferry.  After the war, Lee admitted “the loss of the dispatch changed the character of the campaign.” 

Read Robert E. Lee's "Lost Order" - Special Order No. 191

2. This bloody precursor to Antietam claimed the life of Union Maj. Gen. Jesse L. Reno.

  • The Battle of Thoroughfare Gap
  • The Battle of Brandy Station
  • The Battle of Chantilly
  • The Battle of South Mountain
  • None of the Above

Answer: The Battle of South Mountain. Near sunset on September 14, 1862, Union 9th Corps commander Jesse L. Reno was killed while observing the progress of his troops at South Mountain.

The South Mountain battlefield was included in 2010's Most Endangered battlefield's list.  Learn more about this threat to preservation » 

3. From 1861-1865 the Union Armies in the east were led by six different commanding generals.  Which among these commanders was NOT present at Antietam?

  • Ambrose Burnside
  • Joseph Hooker
  • George McClellan
  • Irwin McDowell
  • George Meade

Answer: Irwin McDowell.  McDowell commanded the nucleus of what became the Union Army of the Potomac at the First Battle of Bull Run and subsequently commanded a corps under John Pope.  However, on September 17, 1862, he was nowhere near the action at Antietam.

4. Which of the following is not a feature of the Antietam battlefield:

  • The East Woods
  • Dunker Church
  • The Sunken Road
  • St. James Church
  • The Mumma Farm

Answer: St. James Church.  Located on Beverly's Ford Road in Culpeper county, St. James Church was is an important landmark during the Battle of Brandy Station. 

To learn more about the Brandy Station battlefield and our preservation efforts there, check out our Battle of Brandy Station page.

5. Which of these famous brigades participated in the gruesome struggle for the Cornfield?

  • The Iron Brigade
  • The Louisiana Tigers
  • The Stonewall Brigade
  • The Texas Brigade
  • All of the above

Answer: All of the above.  On the morning of September 17, men from all four of these battle-tested units proved their mettle in the bloody fight for Miller’s Cornfield.

John Brown Gordon6. This Confederate Colonel was wounded five times in the fight at the Bloody Lane.  Who is he?

  • Lewis Armistead
  • A. P. Hill
  • Patrick Cleburne
  • John B. Gordon
  • James Longstreet

Answer: John B. Gordon.  Colonel of the 6th Alabama, John Brown Gordon vowed to hold his position in the Sunken Road “until the sun goes down or victory is won” and his conviction was put to the test.  He was wounded five times during the contest and only relinquished command when the last of these wounds—a bullet to the face—rendered him unconscious.   

7. Known to history as Burnside’s Bridge, the southernmost bridge across the Antietam creek was originally named for this local family

  • Miller
  • Mumma
  • Nicodemus
  • Poffenberger
  • Rohrbach

Answer: Rohrbach.  Before Ambrose E. Burnside’s controversial fight to seize control of the lower bridge over Antietam Creek, the Burnside Bridge was named for Henry Rohrbach, on whose farm the span was located. 

51st PVI Burnside's Bridge
Monument commemorating the 51st Pennsylvania at Burnside's Bridge. (NPS Photo)

8. What prize did Colonel Edward Ferrero offer to his men in exchange for crossing Burnside’s Bridge?

  • Three days’ leave in Washington
  • A two-week furlough home
  • The Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Whiskey
  • Dinner with President Lincoln

Answer: Whiskey.  As punishment for an earlier infraction Colonel Ferrero had forbidden the 51st Pennsylvania from receiving their whiskey ration.  When exhorting these men to take Burnside’s Bridge the Pennsylvanians asked if they might receive their whiskey as reward for the accomplishing the deed to which Ferrero replied, “Yes, by God.”  Ferrero’s men seized the bridge and their whiskey. 

9. The timely arrival of this Confederate’s division is often credited with saving the Army of Northern Virginia from defeat.

  • A. P. Hill
  • D. H. Hill
  • John B. Hood
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • George E. Pickett

Answer: A. P. Hill.  Hill’s “Light Division” had been left behind to finalize the surrender of the Union garrison at Harper’s Ferry, leaving them some seventeen miles from the action at Sharpsburg.  “Little Powell’s” men, however, covered the distance in less than eight hours, arriving just in time to blunt the Federal assault and secure Lee’s wavering right flank.

10. The West Point Class of 1846 furnished a substantial number of generals in both blue and gray, among them “Stonewall” Jackson and George McClellan.  Which of these generals was also a member of this remarkable class?

  • A.P. Hill
  • David R. Jones
  • Jesse L. Reno
  • Samuel D. Sturgis
  • All of the above

Answer:  All of the Above.  Out a class that produced 22 Civil War generals, 8 of them participated in the Maryland campaign.  In addition to classmates Jackson and McClellan,  Darius Couch, John Gibbon, A. P. Hill, David R. Jones, Jesse Reno, and Samuel Sturgis all held the rank of general at the time of the battle of Antietam.

To learn more about George McClellan, "Stonewall" Jackson and many more figures in blue and gray, check out our complete list of Civil War biographies.

Antietam Dead11. In addition to being a significant military event, the battle of Antietam was also a watershed moment in the evolution of battlefield photography.  Just days after the battle, Alexander Gardner of Matthew Brady’s studio, arrived at the Antietam battlefield and captured some of the war’s most graphic and well-known images.  The photograph seen here was taken near which battlefield landmark?

  • The Bloody Lane
  • Burnside’s Bridge
  • The Dunker Church
  • The Hagerstown Pike
  • The Mumma Farm

Answer:  The Hagerstown Pike.  This photo of the Confederate dead of William E. Starke’s Louisiana Brigade was taken west of the Hagerstown Pike (just right of the post and rail fence).  Like many of Gardner’s photos, this image captures the effects of the battle in brutal detail.

12. With roughly 23,000 dead, wounded and missing, the battle of Antietam is far and away the bloodiest single day of the Civil War—and American history.  Which of these one-day Civil War battles ranks second?

  • The Battle of Atlanta
  • The Battle of Franklin
  • The Battle of Gaines’ Mill
  • The Battle of Perryville
  • The Third Battle of Winchester

Answer: The Battle of Gaines' Mill.  With a total of 15,500 total casualties, the June 27, 1862 battle of Gaines’ Mill ranks as the Civil War’s second bloodiest one-day engagement.

To learn more about the Battle of Gaines' Mill please visit our battlefield page,  The Battle of Gaines' Mill

13. Though far from a decisive victory, the success of the Union army at Antietam prompted President Abraham Lincoln to do which of the following?

  • Abolish slavery with a Constitutional amendment
  • Issue the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
  • Give the Gettysburg address
  • Provide Federal Funding for the underground railroad
  • Promote George McClellan to Lieutenant General


Answer:  Issue the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.  Though Lincoln was extremely frustrated with McClellan’s failure to destroy the Rebel Army, the strategic Union victory at Antietam was nevertheless significant enough that the president issued the preliminary emancipation proclamation stating that as of January 1, 1863, slaves in the rebelling states would be forever free. 

Read Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

Lincoln and Mac Pry House
Photo of President Lincoln's visit to General McClellan's headquarters shortly after the battle of Antietam. (Library of Congress)












14. Since 1862, the battlefield has undergone a number of preservation challenges.  Which of the following is not true with relation to Antietam?

  • The Dunker Church was mostly destroyed in a storm in 1921 and needed to be rebuilt
  • In the 1990s, the State of Maryland more than doubled the protected land ringing the park
  • Civil War Trust has saved 240 acres of the battlefield
  • The Antietam National Battlefield Park was established in 1932
  • The current visitor center was built on the battlefield in 1962.

Answer:  The Antietam National Battlefield Park was established in 1932.  Initially created under the auspices of the War Department, what we now know as the Antietam National Battlefield was established in 1890.


More Civil War Trust Quizzes

Our Sponsors

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software