Guided Missile Cruiser

CG 54  -  USS Antietam



USS Antietam CG 54 - patch crest

USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy

USS Antietam (CG 54)

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Cruiser; Ticonderoga (Baseline 2) - class;

planned and built as CG 54;



Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA



Awarded: June 20, 1983

Laid down: November 15, 1984

Launched: February 14, 1986

Commissioned: June 6, 1987





Naval Station San Diego, California



named after and in honor of the Battle of Antietam, Maryland –

American Civil War – September 1862.

Ship’s Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO >> Guided Missile Cruiser / Ticonderoga – Class



Official US Navy site


ship images


USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pacific Ocean 2003

Pacific Ocean – February 13, 2003



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pacific Ocean 2004

Pacific Ocean – March 31, 2004



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Persian Gulf 2005

Persian Gulf. USS Antietam (CG 54) conducts a high-speed turn after conducting a refueling at sea - April 1, 2005



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Persian Gulf 2005

Persian Gulf. USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193) conducts a replenishment at sea with the USS Antietam (CG 54) - May 6, 2005



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Persian Gulf 2005

Persian Gulf – June 5, 2005



USS Antietam CG 54, USS O'Kane DDG 77 and USS John C. Stennis CVN 74 - Gulf of Oman 2007

USS Antietam (CG 54), USS O'Kane (DDG 77) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) transits through the Gulf of Oman - May 22, 2007



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pacific Ocean 2007

Pacific Ocean – August 6, 2007



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy

USS Antietam (CG 54) comes alongside the fast-combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10) - August 6, 2007



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 2007

Pearl Harbor – August 20, 2007



USS Antietam CG 54 and USS John C. Stennis CVN 74 - Pacific Ocean 2007

USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Pacific Ocean – August 24, 2007



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pacific Ocean 2008

Pacific Ocean – October 29, 2008



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Laem Chabang, Thailand 2009

Laem Chabang, Thailand – April 9, 2009



USS Antietam CG 54 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pacific Ocean 2009

Pacific Ocean – May 7, 2009



The Battle of Antietam – American Civil War 1862


Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) - Army of the Potomac - painting

Battle of Antietam – Army of the Potomac (Library of Congress)



Sharpsburg - Battle of Antietam - map



Namesake & History:

About the Battle of Antietam, Maryland – American Civil War, September 1862:


The Battle of Antietam (known as the Battle of Sharpsburg to Southerners), fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with over 23,000 casualties. Although tactically inconclusive, it had a unique significance as a partial victory that gave President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation. The battle is commemorated at Antietam National Battlefield.



Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia - 45,000 men - had entered Maryland following their recent victory at Second Bull Run. Lee's strategy was to seek new supplies and fresh men (from the border, slave-holding state of Maryland, which had considerable pockets of Confederate sympathizers) and to impact public opinion in the North. As it turned out, the social impact of Lee's actions was otherwise mixed; Marylanders were not as thoroughly won over by the sounds of Maryland! My Maryland! from the bands of the Army of Northern Virginia as Lee would have hoped, and the weak strategic victory of the Army of the Potomac at Antietam easily diminished any successes Lee may have had in winning the hearts and minds of the people of Maryland. While Major General George B. McClellan's 87,000-man Army of the Potomac was moving to intercept Lee, a Union soldier discovered a mislaid copy of the detailed battle plans of Lee's army - General Order number 191 - wrapped around three cigars. The order indicated that Lee had divided his army and dispersed portions geographically (to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Hagerstown, Maryland), thus making each subject to isolation and defeat in detail if McClellan could move quickly enough. McClellan waited about 18 hours before deciding to take advantage of this intelligence and position his forces based on it, thus endangering a golden opportunity to defeat Lee decisively.


There were two significant engagements in the Maryland campaign prior to the major battle of Antietam: Lieutenant General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's capture of Harpers Ferry and McClellan's assault through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Battle of South Mountain.



Near the town of Sharpsburg, Lee deployed his army behind Antietam Creek along a low ridge. Jackson defended the left (north) flank, anchored on the Potomac River, James Longstreet the right (south) flank, anchored on the Antietam. This was a precarious position because the Confederate rear was blocked by the Potomac River and only a single ford was available should retreat be necessary. Although McClellan arrived in the area on September 16, his trademark caution delayed his attack on Lee, which gave the Confederates more time to prepare defensive positions and allowed Longstreet's corps to arrive from Hagerstown and Jackson's corps, minus A.P. Hill's division, to arrive from Harpers Ferry.


On the evening of September 16, McClellan ordered the I Corps under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker to cross Antietam Creek and probe the enemy positions. George G. Meade's division of regulars cautiously attacked Confederates under John B. Hood near the East Woods. After darkness, artillery fire continued as McClellan continued to position his troops. The skirmish in the East Woods served to signal McClellan's intentions to Robert E. Lee, who prepared his defenses accordingly.


The battle the next day can be viewed as essentially three separate, mostly uncoordinated battles: morning in the northern end of the battlefield, mid-day in the center, and afternoon in the south. This lack of coordination and concentration of McClellan's forces almost completely nullified the two-to-one advantage the Union enjoyed and allowed Lee to shift his defensive forces to parry each thrust.



The battle opened at dawn on September 17 with an attack down the Hagerstown Turnpike by the Union I Corps. Hooker's artillery opened fire on Jackson's men across a cornfield on the Miller farm. The artillery and rifle fire from both sides acted like a scythe, cutting down all the cornstalks and over 8,000 men on both sides. Hooker's report stated:


... every stalk of corn in the northern and greater part of the field was cut as closely as could have been done with a knife, and the [Confederates] slain lay in rows precisely as they had stood in their ranks a few moments before


According to some accounts, possession of the cornfield changed hands up to fifteen times that morning.


Jackson's defense was reinforced at 7 a.m. by John B. Hood's division, whose Texans attacked with particular ferocity because they were forced to interrupt the first hot breakfast they had had in days. They in turn were driven partially back when the Union XII Corps under Maj. Gen. Joseph K. Mansfield counterattacked. Mansfield was killed in the initial attack and his corps came under strong fire from around the Dunker Church. Soon after, Hooker was wounded in the foot and removed from the field. Command of his I Corps fell to General Meade, with Hooker's senior subordinate, James B. Ricketts, having also been wounded.


In an effort to turn the Confederate left flank and relieve the pressure on Mansfield's men, Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick's division of the II Corps (under Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner) advanced into the West Woods. Sumner recklessly launched the division attack en masse without adequate reconnaissance. They were assaulted from three sides, and in less then half an hour their momentum was stopped with over 2,200 casualties.


The morning phase ground to a halt with casualties over 12,000, including two Union corps commanders.



In the center, another division of Sumner's corps, under Maj. Gen. William H. French, moved to support Sedgwick, but took the wrong road and headed south. They encountered the division of Confederate Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill defending a ridge in a sunken road worn down by years of wagon traffic, which formed a natural trench. In a series of four assaults over three hours, French's men, along with the division of Maj. Gen. Israel B. Richardson, battered Hill's improvised breastworks. Finally the Union was able to get enfilade fire into the Confederate line, forcing it to fall back. The carnage from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the sunken road gave it the name Bloody Lane, leaving about 5,500 casualties along the 800-yard road.


Richardson drove the Confederates from the hills south of Bloody Lane, wrecking the center of Lee's line. Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin of the VI Corps was ready to exploit this breakthrough, but Sumner, the senior corps commander, ordered him not to advance. Franklin appealed to McClellan, who backed Sumner's decision.


Another reserve unit was near the center, the V Corps under Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter. Maj. Gen. George Sykes, commanding his 2nd division, also recommended an attack in the center later in the day, which intrigued McClellan. However, Porter is said to have told McClellan, "Remember, General, I command the last reserve of the last Army of the Republic."; McClellan demurred and another opportunity was lost.



Southeast of the town on the Union left, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's IX Corps had been stalled since 9:30 a.m. in attempts to cross a bridge over Antietam Creek. His orders had been to create a diversion in support of the main attack (Hooker's, on the right), exploiting it if possible. Due to inadequate scouting, he was unaware that several shallow points existed nearby for fording infantry, and over three hours and three assaults were wasted at the bridge, later named Burnside's Bridge. Sharpshooters from Georgia in the division of David R. Jones were the primary impediment to Burnside's progress. His corps finally crossed the creek by 1:00 p.m., but took another two hours to regroup before advancing west towards Sharpsburg and threatening to envelop Lee's right flank. However, by this late hour A.P. Hill's Light Division had just completed a rapid forced march from Harpers Ferry and was able to repulse Burnside. Union Brig. Gen. Isaac P. Rodman was mortally wounded in this attack while leading the 3rd Division of the IX Corps.



The battle was over by 5:30 p.m. Losses for the day were heavy on both sides. The Union had 12,410 casualties with about 2,100 dead. Confederate casualties were 10,700 with about 2,700 dead. On the evening of September 18, after a truce for both sides to recover their wounded, Lee's forces began withdrawing across the Potomac to return to Virginia.


Lincoln, also realizing that McClellan's cautious and bumbling actions in the field had forced the battle to a draw rather than a crippling Confederate defeat, relieved McClellan of his command of the Army of the Potomac on November 7.


Some students of history question the designation of "strategic victory" for the Union. After all, McClellan performed poorly in the campaign and the battle itself, and Lee displayed great generalship in holding his own in battle against an army that greatly outnumbered him. Casualties were comparable on both sides, although Lee lost a higher percentage of his army. Lee also withdrew from the battlefield first, the technical definition of the tactical loser in a Civil War battle. However, in a strategic sense, despite being a tactical draw, Antietam is considered a turning point of the war and a victory for the Union because it ended Lee's strategic campaign (his first invasion of the North) and it allowed President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, taking effect on January 1, 1863. Although Lincoln had intended to do so earlier, he was advised by his Cabinet to make this announcement after a Union victory to avoid the perception that it was issued out of desperation. The Union victory and Lincoln's proclamation played a considerable role in dissuading the governments of France and Britain from recognizing the Confederacy; some suspected they were planning to do so in the aftermath of another Union defeat. When the issue of emancipation was linked to the progress of the war, neither government had the political will to oppose the United States. Historian James M. McPherson summed up the importance of Antietam in his Crossroads of Freedom:


No other campaign and battle in the war had such momentous, multiple consequences as Antietam. In July 1863 the dual Union triumphs at Gettysburg and Vicksburg struck another blow that blunted a renewed Confederate offensive in the East and cut off the western third of the Confederacy from the rest. In September 1864 Sherman's capture of Atlanta reversed another decline in Northern morale and set the stage for the final drive to Union victory. These also were pivotal moments. But they would never have happened if the triple Confederate offensives in Mississippi, Kentucky, and most of all Maryland had not been defeated in the fall of 1862.


USS Antietam (CG 54):


USS ANTIETAM is the third ship named after the Civil War battle fought along Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The first ANTIETAM was a sailing sloop constructed in 1864 that served as a sailing stores ship. The second ANTIETAM (CV-36) was the first aircraft carrier to be fitted with an angled deck, and was re-classified CVS 36 for anti-submarine duty.


Today's USS ANTIETAM (CG-54) was commissioned in Baltimore, Maryland on 6 June 1987. ANTIETAM then steamed through the Panama Canal to her first homeport in Long Beach, California.

ANTIETAM's initial deployment, beginning in September 1988, took her to the Arabian Gulf where she escorted Kuwaiti tankers as part of Operation EARNEST WILL. Following the ship's first full competitive cycle, she was awarded the Battle "E" and the LAMPS MK III Safety Award.

ANTIETAM departed on her second deployment in June 1990. A full schedule of Pacific operations was cut short by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August. ANTIETAM entered the Arabian Gulf on 6 August, and assumed duties as Anti-Air Warfare Commander for Middle East Force, serving during the early turbulent days of Operation DESERT SHIELD.

For her second deployment, ANTIETAM was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and the Southwest Asia Defense Medal. ANTIETAM received another Battle "E" and the Spokane Trophy for Combat Systems Excellence.

In January of 1992, ANTIETAM again deployed to the Western Pacific, this time for a series of bilateral exercises with regional allies. She conducted joint operations with the Japanese, Singapore and Brunei Navies, and visited ten cities in eight countries.

After winning the Navy-wide 1993 Captain Edward F. Ney Award for Food Service Excellence, ANTIETAM departed in February 1994 on her fourth deployment, again to the Arabian Gulf. She participated in Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and hosted many ambassadors and diplomats in the Gulf and Australia.


Returning from deployment, ANTIETAM completed her first regular overhaul in Long Beach, and in late 1995, she switched homeports to San Diego, California. She was awarded the Battle "E" and four of four area awards for the 1995 competitive cycle. In May and June 1996, ANTIETAM participated in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC-96) Exercise, which included numerous U.S. and foreign naval units in the largest naval exercise ever.

In April 1997, ANTIETAM returned from the Arabian Gulf, completing her fifth deployment, this time with the USS KITTY HAWK Battle Group. She participated in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and VIGILENT SENTINAL, and conducted exercises with the English, French, and South Korean Navies. The ship again won four of four area excellence awards including a fleet-leading eight consecutive red Engineering "E" for excellence. In the middle of 1997, ANTIETAM received the Chief of Naval Operation's Safety Award for Pacific Fleet Cruisers.

During June 1998 ANTIETAM participated in a second Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise. Later that year she deployed for the sixth time to the Western Pacific, making port calls in Singapore, Thailand, Bahrain, The United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Australia before returning home to San Diego in May 1999.

In May of 2000 ANTIETAM participated in a Counter-Narcotics deployment aimed at stemming the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. The highly successful four-month deployment set new standards for counter drug operations and provided the crew with port visits to Mazatlan, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas. Upon returning to San Diego, ANTIETAM was again awarded the Battle "E" for excellence and began work-ups for her seventh Western Pacific deployment in July 2001.


Equipped with the AN/SPY 1A phased array radar, the AEGIS Combat System, and the MK41 Vertical Launch System firing the SM-2 missile, ANTIETAM is the Navy's premier Air Warfare platform. These systems, combined with the AEGIS display System, a vast array of communication systems including JTIDS Link 16, automatic status boards, and seventeen NTDS consoles, make her Command and Control capabilities second to none in supporting a Battle Group Warfare Commander. ANTIETAM is also equipped with the AN/SQS-53A sonar, AN/SQS-19 towed array sonar, and the LAMPS Mk III helicopter giving her unmatched ability to perform both long and short range Undersea Warfare. Two 5"54 caliber MK 45 guns guided by the MK 86 Gun Fire Control System provide a powerful Naval Gun Fire Support capability and augment the Harpoon Weapon System in the role of Surface Warfare. Finally, the Tomahawk Weapon System provides Strike Warfare capabilities allowing ANTIETAM to engage both land and sea targets "over the horizon" with deadly accuracy.


2001 was a challenging year for the officers and crew of ANTIETAM. Beginning with the three-week long intensive pre-deployment workup COMPTUEX in February, the year of 2001 would find ANTIETAM operating at a continuous high tempo. COMPTUEX represented the first time that ANTIETAM operated with the other ships in the USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) battle group with which she would be deploying.

In April ANTIETAM went through INSURV and successfully completed both the underway portion and the open and inspect phase. The inspection is a comprehensive review mandated by Congress to ensure that all Navy ships are properly maintained. It also serves to identify any problems that could limit a ship's ability to continue in service for the length of its intended life span.


On 07 May Captain Leo J. Quilici, II turned command of USS ANTIETAM over to Captain Richard T. Rushton. This ceremony was performed at sea with all personnel attending in dress white uniform. Captain Rushton is a graduate of the University of Florida where he was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Prior to reporting aboard ANTIETAM Captain Rushton served as the commanding officer of USS YORKTOWN (CG-48) and most recently as Chief for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Plans and Policy, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, VA. Captain Rushton is married and has two grown children.


The intensive work up schedule continued in May with ANTIETAM's participation in JTFX. This exercise challenged ANTIETAM and all of the ships in the CARL VINSON battle group with numerous scenarios and a round the clock final battle problem.


ANTIETAM deployed as part of the CARL VINSON battle group on 26 July. The first stop of the deployment was Lualualei, Hawaii, home of Pearl Harbor's Naval Magazine where ANTIETAM completed her ammunition onload with the addition of Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles.


Following the brief stop ANTIETAM proceeded across the Pacific to Singapore for its first liberty port. On the way ANTIETAM participated in a PASSEX with the Royal Singaporean Navy. Following the port visit to Singapore, ANTIETAM proceeded directly to Phuket, Thailand for another port visit.


ANTIETAM departed Phuket on 03 Sep and was transiting with the CARL VINSON battle group to the Arabian Gulf when the 11 Sep terrorist attacks on the United States took place. The battle group immediately took station in the North Arabian Sea, prepared for action. On 15 Sep ANTIETAM and USS O'KANE were detached to transit through the Strait of Hormuz to conduct Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) in the North Arabian Gulf, enforcing United Nations sanctions imposed on Iraq. MIO was a very intensive mission involving the combined efforts of every ANTIETAM crewmember. ANTIETAM's two Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) teams inspected over 125 vessels for contraband oil and other cargo entering or leaving Iraq. All hands were involved whether guarding, monitoring or escorting diverted vessels, making box lunches for the numerous personnel off the ship, operating small boats, or maintaining and flying the ship's two helicopters.

ANTIETAM was designated to provide air defense for the annual meeting of the World Trade Organization held in Quatar in November. During this time ANTIETAM operated in a Modified Location box with the PELELIU Amphibious Ready Group.


ANTIETAM was detached to proceed to Mumbai, India on 17 Nov. During the transit through the Strait of Hormuz ANTIETAM was turned around to assist with the Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts as a result of the loss of two crewmembers from USS PETERSON. ANTIETAM participated in the unsuccessful SAR operations for two days before once again transiting the Strait of Hormuz enroute Mumbai.


On 15 Dec ANTIETAM and O'KANE pulled into Mumbai, India. The port visit was a significant public relations event and received a great deal of positive media coverage in India. ANTIETAM was open for tours during the entire port visit and hosted a large press conference on the date of her arrival. ANTIETAM was also host to a party for Indian Naval representatives and other VIPs on the last night of the visit.


ANTIETAM departed India and proceeded to Singapore on 18 Dec. The crew celebrated Christmas inport Singapore before getting underway enroute Hawaii.


The year of 2001 for USS ANTIETAM was highlighted by WESTPAC 2001, the tragic events of 11 Sep, and the beginnings of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. All ANTIETAM crewmembers are proud of the fact that ANTIETAM was on station when needed by her nation, and that the ship and crew expertly executed a key role in the war on terrorism.


The year also brought about new and innovative methods of keeping crewmembers, family members, and loved ones continuously informed of ANTIETAM's actions. This was accomplished by enhancing ANTIETAM's monthly "Familygram", establishing on and off ship websites with ship's information, and through "Viper Alerts", regular emails direct from Captain Rusthon to loved ones and family members. These improvements were a huge success during the deployment and the uncertain days following 11 Sep, when many were desperate for news. Several of these "Viper Alerts" are attached and provide a first hand account of ANTIETAM's deployment actions.



USS Antietam CG 54 - patch crest insignia

USS Antietam CG 54 - patch crest insignia

USS Antietam CG 54 - patch crest insignia 


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