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Robert E. Lee's Secret Special Orders No 191 Found by Union Soldiers Changed Fate of Antietam
Daily Mail (U.K.) ^ | 15 September 2012 | Beth Stebner and Associated Press

Posted on 09/16/2012 10:13:38 AM PDT by DogByte6RER

Edited on 09/16/2012 10:15:54 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War continues to be commemorated, progenies of those who fought in the bitter battles between the North and South have converged to remember the sacrifices on both sides.

But tucked inside an exhibit in Frederick, Maryland is a two-page document from Robert E. Lee found wrapped around a case of cigars that could have changed the course of the entire war, and led to victory for the Union.


(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Military/Veterans; Miscellaneous; Reference
KEYWORDS: 2bad; abrahamlincoln; antietem; civilwar; confederacy; dixie; generallee; generalmcclellan; robertelee; specialordersno191; union Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

The article concludes with a “what if” alternate history scenario ...

If the lost order hadn’t been lost

It’s easy to see inevitability in events as consequential as the Antietam struggle. But many who’ve studied it, from participants to scholars generations later, dwell on the razor’s edge of chance or fate or providence on which this event teetered.

Interestingly, Lincoln told his cabinet during the unsettled days back in July that he’d made a private vow to read the outcome of the next battle, for or against the North, as an indication of divine will on the question of emancipation. God, he concluded, had ‘decided this question in favor of the slaves.’

Maj. Walter Taylor, an aide to Lee, also perceived a divine hand, but in a different place. He called the lost order a turning point and concluded, ‘It looks as if the good Lord had ordained that we should not succeed.’

Looking back, Lee himself said, ‘Had the Lost Dispatch not been lost, and had McClellan continued his cautious policy for two or three days longer, I would have had all my troops concentrated on the Maryland side, stragglers up, men rested and intended then to attack McClellan, hoping the best results from (the) state of my troops and those of the enemy.

‘Tho’ it is impossible to say that victory would have certainly resulted, it is probable that the loss of the dispatch changed the character of the campaign.’

Today, some who promote the notion of American ‘exceptionalism’ point to times when something unexplainable drops into the nation’s affairs, redirecting events away from the brink.


2 posted on 09/16/2012 10:16:08 AM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

The Ghost of General Lee ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooz3eqWRdlc&feature=related


3 posted on 09/16/2012 10:18:51 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: DogByte6RER

http://www.johnspeedie.com/healy/algoof.wav


4 posted on 09/16/2012 10:24:07 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: DogByte6RER
led to victory for the Union

It would be more accurate to call it a draw. It was the fact that they were in enemy territory that made Gen. Lee decide to cross the Potomac back into Virginia. But the actual battle was not a Union victory by any stretch of imagination.

5 posted on 09/16/2012 10:27:46 AM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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Despite what this may say about the Civil War, the evidence of one fact is unequivocal: the British press is so far superior to ours that we should hang our heads in shame.


6 posted on 09/16/2012 10:38:05 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (AGWT is neo-lysenkoism.)
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To: DogByte6RER
Those soldiers weren't "placed in a ditch." That's where they died. That is a photo of The Sunken Road.

The Confederates used it as a breastwork to stop Mansfield's Corps, after Hooker's attack across the Cornfield, to the left out of the photo.

Mansfield came out of the woods you can see in the background of the photo. They shot a division to bits from that cover, until flanked, and, as I understand, the Federals got a 12 lb Napoleon gun battery at the end of the road and this was the result...

There is a 4 gun battery at the South end, today, aimed down the Road...

At the time the third photo was taken, Lincoln was already fed up with McClennan's Democrat fanny and was fixing to fire him, once more and for all time.

7 posted on 09/16/2012 10:55:18 AM PDT by jonascord (Hot Flash: Your "government" is no longer mine.)
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To: Former Fetus

It was a bit like the Battle of the Coral Sea. A strategic victory for the North and a tactical victory for the South.


8 posted on 09/16/2012 11:11:41 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: DogByte6RER
As for the "Divine Hand," what are the odds of one particular piece of paper, out of all trash and litter of a used army campsite, would be glanced at by someone who could read?
(Not a common thing, even in the Army of the Potomic.)

However, the idea of a place that is better than anywhere else is horrifying to Democrats. To these children, if everyone can't have it, right now, no one should.

9 posted on 09/16/2012 11:11:47 AM PDT by jonascord (Hot Flash: Your "government" is no longer mine.)
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To: Former Fetus
I looked up CW casualties by battle:

#5
Battle of Antietam
Date: September 17, 1862

Location: Maryland
Confederate Commander: Robert E. Lee
Union Commander: George B. McClellan
Confederate Forces Engaged: 51,844
Union Forces Engaged: 75,316
Winner: Inconclusive (Strategic Union Victory)
Casualties: 26,134 (12,410 Union and 13,724 Confederate)

Note: "Casualties" = Total Casualties: killed, wounded, missing, captured

(http://www.civilwarhome.com/Battles.htm)

10 posted on 09/16/2012 11:12:38 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: jonascord
That is a photo of The Sunken Road

Yes, that is the Sunken Road, which would be re-named Bloody Lane. But what you can see in the background doesn't look to me like but what was left of the Cornfield.

11 posted on 09/16/2012 11:23:02 AM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Former Fetus
The Cornfield is off to the left, out of view, about 1,000 yards North and a point West. Besides, the Cornfield was blown and trampled flat. Someone there commented that every stalk had been clipped to ground level by the storm of gunfire.

That is the grove of trees the Federals used for cover, to form up before the attack. They were shot to firewood by Confederate artillery from the Dunker Church and the West Wood. (It looks very much like the trees after the F5 tornado in Midwest City, Oklahoma, back in the '90's, in fact.)

I WAS wrong about it being Mansfield's Corps. It was Sumner, the "Bull of the Woods," who led the attack on the Sunken Road.

12 posted on 09/16/2012 11:47:39 AM PDT by jonascord (Hot Flash: Your "government" is no longer mine.)
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To: no-to-illegals

What a fascinating article.

I am pretty sure the North would have eventually won anyway, given its superior resources, but this was clearly a decisive moment. It certainly shortened the war - by years.

Too bad McClellan didn’t peruse — who knows how many lives would have been saved.


13 posted on 09/16/2012 11:57:02 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (“We can’t just leave it (food choice) up to the parents.” moochele obozo 2/12/2012 (cnsnews))
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Despite what this may say about the Civil War, the evidence of one fact is unequivocal: the British press is so far superior to ours that we should hang our heads in shame.

I live in a "free" country. Yet I have to get my unvarnished news from the British press or others? Just the same as in 1992 and I had to get news (about Bill Clinton's character) on the shortwave radio.

Why?

14 posted on 09/16/2012 12:15:27 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: DogByte6RER
By the time of this horrible battle, the Morrill Tariff had been forgotten; the low Southern tariffs had fallen; the concept of Southern ports open to free trade that would flood the Mississippi with cheaper European goods was gone.

Lincoln, who never acknowledged the reality of secession, arranged that the Constitutional protections against coercion were lost; states’ rights concepts were wiped from the conscious of the citizenry; the guarantees of the Bill of Rights were gone from both Northern and Southern people........

......the only thing left was the war with the strategic goal of the permanent elimination of the mercantile and planter class of the South with the only reason for Union invasion left unresolved....... the Grand Rationalization of slave emancipation.

It would seem that the bigger the lie, the bigger the memorial in the District of Columbia.

15 posted on 09/16/2012 12:19:42 PM PDT by PeaRidge
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To: DogByte6RER
Today, some who promote the notion of American ‘exceptionalism’ point to times when something unexplainable drops into the nation’s affairs, redirecting events away from the brink.

I feel like the nation is again at the brink. However, it is only a matter of time until the takers overcome the producers.

16 posted on 09/16/2012 1:32:13 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: freedumb2003
That was the problem with Democrat generals, back then, and McClellean in particular. He figured he'd done his job, since Lee went back across the Potomac. 10 months later, when Meade did the same thing after Gettysburg, letting Lee retreat back into Virginia, Lincoln all but fired him.

Something to consider: Franklin was in command of the Federal reserve corps. McClellan was debating whether to send Franklin in, to press Lee, who was out of fresh troops, and whose army was literally shredded by defending against three massive attacks, and had the river at his back.

Then, Franklin said, "Sir, I'm your only reserve, between Lee and Philadelphia..." and McClellan froze, and canceled the movement... What if?

17 posted on 09/16/2012 2:09:25 PM PDT by jonascord (Hot Flash: Your "government" is no longer mine.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I spent the day at the battlefield yesterday reflecting on the the enormous sacrifice.


18 posted on 09/16/2012 3:46:56 PM PDT by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: jonascord

Another relevant, “What if?”

Imagine Grant leading the Union army. You simply cannot imagine him not throwing in those last reserves. Which almost certainly would have destroyed the Confederate army.

Whether this would have “ended the war” is something that can never be known, but it seems unlikely the war would have gone on as long as it did.


19 posted on 09/16/2012 4:31:00 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Perception wins all the battles. Reality wins all the wars.)
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To: freedumb2003

Watch please and read a message from the South ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifOMPeXIJOA&feature=related


20 posted on 09/17/2012 7:59:52 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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