Skip to comments.Robert E. Lee's Secret Special Orders No 191 Found by Union Soldiers Changed Fate of Antietam
Posted on 09/16/2012 10:13:38 AM PDT by DogByte6REREdited 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 ...
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.
The Ghost of General Lee ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooz3eqWRdlc&feature=related
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.
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.
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.
It was a bit like the Battle of the Coral Sea. A strategic victory for the North and a tactical victory for the South.
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.
Battle of Antietam
Date: September 17, 1862
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I feel like the nation is again at the brink. However, it is only a matter of time until the takers overcome the producers.
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?
I spent the day at the battlefield yesterday reflecting on the the enormous sacrifice.
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.
Watch please and read a message from the South ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifOMPeXIJOA&feature=related
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