Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 21.djvu/144

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136 Southern Historical Society Papers.

it in his correspondence at the time because it tended to sustain his view against Halleck. He did not send his chief the full copy of his order, and omit his report, written after his removal from command, a section which proved that he (not Halleck) had divined Lee's pur- pose from the beginning. The two paragraphs would not have been omitted in a copy intended for Hill, because it was Hill's troops that at the time were stationed nearest to Frederick City, and were pro- hibited from entering it. It is evident that General Lee must have sent the whole order to Hill, therefore, and it is equally manifest that McClellan had every reason for inserting a full copy in his report if he received it.

The explanation which readily suggests itself, therefore, is that the original draft of the order contained only the portion beginning with the third section, and was signed in that shape by Colonel Chilton, but was afterwards modified so as to prefix the two first paragraphs before it was issued. " The lost order" was found by an Indiana soldier wrapped around three cigars. (2 Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, page 603.) The first paper drawn would have become useless after the material additions made to it, and might well have been wrapped around cigars by some one at General Lee's head- quarters with the purpose of using it to light them, and then lost be- fore cigars or paper were disposed of as intended. It will be more readily believed that a clerk or assistant in the office at army head- quarters might have been guilty of carelessness than that Ratchford swore, and Hill told, a falsehood. If their positive statements are believed, but the one order addressed as though sent through Gene- ral Jackson's headquarters was received by General Hill. When Lee and Hill were encamped in sight of each other near Frederick- town, and General Lee was then and afterwards (as at South Moun- tain) habitually sending orders direct to General Hill, it does not seem probable that Lee, whose forte was the power of readily mobilizing his army, would have tolerated such circumlocution as making one courier ride across the Potomac to Jackson with an order, which was to be sent back by another messenger to a camp in sight of its start- ing point on the next day. It would have been a fair compromise between extreme official courtesy and that common sense which al- ways characterized the conduct of our great leaders, if he had recog- nized General Jackson's authority by addressing the order as though transmitted through him, while conforming his conduct to the con-