Late in 1862, the Confederate army was well into its invasion of Maryland. Confederate Supreme Commander Robert E. Lee drafted a document called Special Order 191, which described in extreme detail every movement of every brigade of his army for the next several months. He gave copies of the order only to his most trusted generals, including Stonewall Jackson.
Jackson, however, was way too lazy to write up individual orders to each of his commanders, so he gave them all copies of 191. One of those commanders was Daniel Harvey Hill, who did what we always do with our tax forms and jury duty papers: he left them on the ground, in a box, wrapped around three cigars. He then forgot about them.
Several days later, the aforementioned Union scout, Barton W. Mitchell, found the papers at the campsite, probably thinking, "Holy shit! Free cigars!"
He recognized the cigar wrappings as looking important and sent them off to his commander. That guy, in turn, sent them to his commander. Through who knows how many chances for the scrap of paper to get lost, bled on, eaten by a horse or for the guy holding them to get blown up by a cannon ball, they survived until some aide somehow recognized it as Robert E. Lee's handwriting.
He gave it to Union General George McClellan.
And How Did it Change The World?
Ever heard of the Battle of Antietam? The bloodiest day in American history? The North won, and from that point on the South didn't really have a chance.
Well, the Union won because it basically had the equivalent to Prima's Official Strategy Guide on Robert E. Lee's Invasion of Maryland.
Read more: 6 Random Coincidences That Created The Modern World #4. The Cigar Box that Won the Civil War
By Fernando Espino | April 27, 2009 | 3,820,057 views (this will give them some more)
(I give this link with some hesitation, he doesn't seem to appreciate what a great artist Adolph was!)
Serves the Calvinist right for Calvinists being main enactors of slavery in the 17th C. doesn't it? You see, I heard from a VERY great Civil War buff friend of mine (a Balkan man, like Zlatan) and he was a Southron admirer, that Stonewall Jackson was a Calvinist, he was so brave because he thought God had predestined everything anyway.
God sure had predestined that lazy moment of Stonewall Jackson's, and the cigar box, doesn't mean they lacked freewill!
Hans Georg Lundahl
Octave of Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary