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Three cigars, with Lee’s battle plans wrapped around them, were found by Union soldiers… via American Minute

By Bill Federer

Three cigars, with Lee’s battle plans wrapped around them, had been inadvertently lost by a Confederate officer.

With this information in Union hands, the South’s anticipated victory was cut short.
The Confederate Army had been unstoppable – within weeks of winning the Civil War.

General Robert E. Lee had won the Second Battle ofBull Run and was marching 55,000 Confederate troops into Maryland on September 3, 1862.The Confederate Army was welcomed, as anti-Union protests had filled Baltimore’s streets.

On September 13, 1862, President Lincoln met with Rev. William Patterson, Rev. John Dempster, and Methodist, Baptist, and Congregational leaders who presented him with a petition to emancipate the slaves.

Lincoln told them:

“I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice…

I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal His will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed He will reveal it directly to me;

for, unless I am more deceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter…

These are not, however, the days of miracles, and I suppose it will be granted that I am not to expect a direct revelation.”

The same day, September 13, 1862, Union PrivateBarton W. Mitchell was drinking coffee and noticed three cigars on the ground wrapped with a piece of paper.

It was Lee’s Special Orders No. 191addressed to Confederate General D.H. Hill revealing his plan to divide the Confederate Army.

Union General George McClellan was now able to intercept and ambush several Confederate brigades just 70 miles from Washington, DC.

This erupted into the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862, where 38,000 Confederate troops were attacked by over 75,000 Union troops.

It was the single bloodiest day o

f the Civil War.

Though outnumbered nearly 2 to 1, the South rallied and inflicted more than 12,400 casualties on the North, while sustaining 10,316 of their own.

Since McClellan failed to make better use of his intelligence advantage, President Lincoln removed him not long afterwards.

The Battle of Antietam was tactically inconclusive, but it proved costlier to the South, as they did not have immigrates from which to draft new recruits.

With the urging of religious leaders, Lincoln then seized the moral high ground by announcing that he would issue an Emancipation

Proclamation.On September 22, 1862, as reported by Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Portland Chase, President Lincoln told his Cabinet after the Battle at Antietam:

  “The time for the annunciation of the emancipation policy can no longer be delayed.

Public sentiment will sustain it, many of my warmest friends and supporters demand it, and I have promised God that I will do it.”

Britain and France were now persuaded not to recognize the Confederacy.

Three weeks after the Battle of Antietam, President Lincoln met on OCTOBER 6, 1862, with Eliza Gurney and three other Quaker leaders, saying:

“We are indeed going through a great trial…

In the very responsible position in which I happen to be placed, being a humble instrument

in the hands of our Heavenly Father…as we all are, to work out His great purposes…”

Lincoln continued:

“But if, after endeavoring to do my best in the light which He affords me, I find my efforts fail, I must believe that for some purpose unknown to me, He wills it…

If I had been allowed my way, this war would have ended…But we find it still continues…

We must believe that He permits it for some wise purpose of His own…”

Lincoln concluded:

“We cannot but believe that He who made the world still governs it.”

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2 responses

  1. The Lord governs in the affairs of men.

    October 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

  2. Amen and amen! God bless you Tim!

    October 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm