Osprey does not always hit the mark, but its Campaign range has set a high standard; each with its own set of, sometimes stunning, illustrations, a myriad of contemporary reprints, impressive 3-D maps of terrain and deployment of forces and often a very informative text. In taking on the Battle of Antietam Osprey sets itself quite a task. 16th September 1862; Antietam was a focal point of the American Civil War for several reasons; it is firstly remembered for the ferocity of the combat and the being the battle resulting in the highest casualties for one day in that war. Although The Union forces could claim strategic and tactical victories, Lee's army was able to extract itself without too much difficulty. There were crucial opportunities on both sides missed, and in consequence of the result the Emancipation Proclamation was made on within a week of the end of the battle. There are many worthy books on the subject however for the interested but not necessarily devoted reader they can be a bit daunting in size, detail and to be frank if new to the subject remembering which commander is on which side, this being a civil war. This is where Osprey scores; the detail of that summer's campaign by Lee's confederate army and McClellan's Union forces is clearly and concisely outlined with very useful and easy to read maps. There are brief biographies of the principal commanders and notes on their respective forces. If you happen to be a wargamer then you will be very happy to know there is a detailed Order of Battle of the opposing forces, plenty of information to allow you to run the campaign. The preliminary engagements are covered is satisfying detail and the drama of that bloody day is conveyed in a very good narrative, and a number of lithographs and illustrations of the time to aid the imagination. There are a few good Osprey illustrations of differing regiments and officers (it would have been nice to have their type of their dramatic illustrations of parts of the battle which grace other books-but you can't have everything) Overall very good value for money and I would recommend this to anyone with a passing interest in the war or the particular battle, but not quite the time to read the longer works.
Again you can't fault the detail and information held within Osprey's excellent series of books on the battles of the American Civil War, this Battle better known in the South of America as the battle of Sharpsburg covers the worst day of blood letting in the whole of the Civil War. It gives a good picture of the carnage and desperate fighting from both sides, in a battle which more than most contributed to the turning point of the War.
A creditable addition to the Campaign series. Informative, well-written text, illuminating maps and illustrations combine to give a concise but clear account of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War.