The battle of Antietam, also called the Battle of Sharpsburg since it was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was an important battle in what is commonly called the Civil War of the United States. The Civil War is a term mostly used by descendants of the Union side; the preferred term for the descendants of the Confederacy is “War Between the States”. In actually, this wasn’t a real civil war, since in the case of a civil war two powers are trying to take over the government; but in this case one power wanted to leave the government. We see many of these in current times, resulting in Eritrea and Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, and potentially Scotland and Great Britain and Basque and Spain.
The Battle of Antietam is considered the bloodiest day in American History, though a natural disaster in Galveston did claim more lives thought over more days. It was fought in the state of Maryland on September 17, 1862. The battle was started before dawn on that day, which gives us a time upon which to draw a chart. Twenty thousand men were killed, wounded, or missing as a result of that battle. Even though the battle is seen now as a draw, neither the Union or Confederate sides getting a victory, it was enough to cause the President Abraham Lincoln to feel confident enough to issue a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, that at last reveled the true nature of the Civil War. This document allowed Great Britain, who had been thinking of recognizing the Confederate side, even though the UK had emancipated its slaves in 1833, to finally decide that the Union side was the one to back in the country that had been its colony less than 100 years previously.
Sharpsburg is on the Antietam creek, a tributary of the Potomac; it is about a mile north of the Potomac and about fifty miles west of Washington, DC so it was very close to the seat of the Union government and home to President Abraham Lincoln. Antietam was the first large scale battle to take place in the East where the Confederate soldiers had invaded the Union territory. This was one of the reason it is considered a important battle, and why it was considered Union victory, even though it wasn’t. The leaders of the two side were George McClellan of the Union side and Robert E. Lee from the Confederacy. Even though Lee’s forces were outnumbered, McClellan thought that his forces were outnumbered. Because of McClellan’s lack of aggressiveness in this and other battles, he was soon relieved of his duties by Lincoln. The battle is famous for another, more gruesome reason. Photography had been invented during the Uranus-Neptune conjunction forty years before, and Mathew Brady is famous for photographing scenes from the Civil War. The photographer Alexander Gardner was working for Brady and in this battle he captured the first photos of dead people where they fell in battle. These were shot in 3-D, Gardner’s standard at the time, and they were shown in Brady’s gallery in New York City and were available by mail order from a catalog. One can try to imagine the sight of dead American bodies seen by citizens in their parlors — it was quite a shock and truly brought home the carnage of the War to people.
This first chart is an event chart for the beginning of the battle. According to accounts, the troops started before dawn. I’ve set this chart for a few minutes before the Sun hit the Eastern horizon: 5:40AM. I did not see before I did the chart that Uranus was exactly on the Midheaven at that time, which is certainly appropriate for a battle where there is much excitement and changeability. Mars, of course, is in the Seventh house where the enemy would be met. Neptune is also there — the fog of war and McClellan’s mistake about Confederate troop strength. The Sun is square Uranus, which would occur all day. There is a very tight (under one half degree) sesquiquadrate between Saturn and Pluto. We have discussed before the tragic consequences that befall the nation and the world under a hard aspects between Saturn and Pluto, and here we see it again. The Sun is conjunct Saturn — much hard work on that day, but Jupiter is in the first house, and indeed the outcome — the Emancipation Proclamation — was positive. There are two clear oppositions from the first to the seventh houses — Mars opposite Mercury — angry words — and Jupiter opposed to Neptune — apparent happiness.
Here is a chart drawn for 7 that morning. You can see that the Sun has already risen, but it is still square Uranus. This chart shows that the last quarter Moon is at the Midheaven in the early morning, where it would be visible.
And here is a chart for this event within the USA natal chart, where we can see the effects of the battle on the country. That sun conjunct Saturn is near the top of the chart – the exact conjunction of the Sun with the US Midheaven is about a week later — this is high noon for America for the year. Neptune is opposite the MC, indicating the the Civil War is a generational crisis of the country. Probably the most obvious aspect is transiting Uranus conjunct the Mars of the United States, Uranus inflaming the martial spirit of the country, and it has been pointed out this was an important battle where the Confederate troops first invade the North and got near to the capital.
And finally here is a chart for when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. You can see the Sun has now moved to be conjoined with the MC — this is the crowning point of the year for the US. And we can see that Venus is conjunct the Moon at 12 noon, which is a good guess for when the bill was signed. In this case Venus represents Justice, which by signing this bill Lincoln was assuring for the slaves that were affected — those living in states which were in conflict with the Union. The Moon is almost New — which would happen in a little over a day — signifying as New Moons do the start of a new cycle.