Lee's Ruse of War: Special Order 191
by Joseph Ryan

Supporting Documents Exhibits



Two Paragraph version of the Order, Written by A.P. Mason
A.P. Mason's two paragraph order was obviously written first.

Davis's copy, written in Charles Marshall's hand

Chilton's letterbook copy of the merged orders, written by Mason

D.H. Hill's copy of the Order Written by Stonewall Jackson

McClellan's Copy of Special Order 191
Watermark on General McClellan's Copy of Special Order 191

Chilton Letter To President Jefferson Davis

JEB Stuart's field note signed and addressed to Lee 1864
Examples of Stuart's documented handwriting

Three Cigars wrapped in Order 191

Theater of Operations

The text of Stuart's 9/12/62 letter to his wife, Flora
as presented to the public by the Virginia Historical Society
The document presented is not written in Stuart's hand

Exhibit Documents Collected by Joseph Ryan


The Battle of Antietam did not happen by accident, it was carefully planned, which turns the focus on Lee himself, the kind of man, general, that he was. He didn't wander around in confusion. He had a purpose, a mindset, an objective which he realized through maneuver.

If McClellan had seen through the ruse and had the courage, he would have raced straight for Crampton's Gap and Harper's Ferry, determined to wipe out McLaws's two divisions in Pleasant Valley and try to get between Lee and the Potomac, crushing Lee before he can reunite with Jackson.

If nothing else was certain, the movement would certainly have forced Lee to race for Williamsport and get back into Virginia. At which point, using the Ferry as his base, McClellan (if he had courage) would move toward Winchester to engage Jackson and Lee.......... Author               Position Paper



Who wrote the Lost Order?

Supporting Exhibits

Sharpsburg Campaign: Photo Album

Lee's Ruse of War: Special Order 191

American Civil War Exhibits



Video Channel @ Youtube JoeRyanCivilWar

The Lost Order Documents in a Nutshell


Joe Ryan About the author:
Joe Ryan is a Los Angeles trial lawyer who has traveled the route of the Army of Northern Virginia, from Richmond to Gettysburg many times.

Comments and Questions to the Author