The Lost Order
"How do you think Special Orders 191 fell into Union Hands?"
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From: Tony Doughty
Date: 17 May 2003
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
I recently acquired a number of documents which belonged to my great grandfather Samuel Pittman. Among these documents is a copy of an address he gave March 5, 1903, at the Ladies Evening Program of the Michigan Commandery Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States regarding the story of the Lost Dispatch. In the address Pittman wrote "Before the war, the writer was teller of the Michigan State Bank, and R.H. Chilton at the same time was a paymaster in the U.S. Army, stationed here at Detroit. His bank account was kept at our Bank, and a bank teller becomes more or less an expert as to signatures, therefore, when someone among those present raised the question that perhaps it was a ruse de guerre, I was able to confidently assert that I was thoroughly familiar with Col. Chilton's signature and that this was genuine." This clearly is a first-person account of Pittman's role in authenticating the orders.