Most accounts of the Battle of Antietam end like this: after many hours, the Union left flank finally took Burnside's Bridge, advanced toward Sharpsburg, and then was hit in its left flank by A.P. Hill's troops who made a forced march from Harpers Ferry and saved the day for R.E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia.
This does a great disservice to the Union soldiers who advanced on the town of Sharpsburg under hostile fire late that Sept. 17 day and -- in the case of some of the troops under the command of Orlando B. Willcox of Michigan -- actually entered onto the streets of the strategic crossroad village. Contingency in history means the outcome of the battle was not foreordained. Had things gone differently, had Willcox been supported, Sharpsburg might have been taken before Hill came up, and instead of a valiant saving of the day for the Confederates the outcome might have been the Union army in possession of the town, forcing Lee to beat a hasty retreat ... or even worse for the ANV.
Check out the story in Michigan at Antietam: The Wolverine State's Sacrifice on America's Bloodiest Day. Just one of the many fresh and unprecedented aspects that have never been recounted before.
All author proceeds help to erect a Michigan monument at the Antietam National Battlefield.