It's the Little Things
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost for want of a shoe. The horse was lost for want of a horse. The rider was lost for want of a writer the message was lost for want of the message the battle was lost for want of a battle, the kingdom was lost. Small things can have reverberating effects on history both good and bad. In fourteen fifty three, the great walled city of Constantinople fell it had withstood sieges for eleven hundred years. It had held off fire from the then state of the art cannons for weeks. The Byzantine said even Ford soldiers trying to tunnel under the wall autumn Turks were finally able to overrun the great city because someone left the door open. One of the many gates in the fourteen miles of wall had been left open during the night and the Ottomans flooded in. Killing Constantine the eleventh in the battle and bringing an end to the eastern Roman Empire. My Name's Moxy and this is your brain on facts. It was a freezing Christmas night in Trenton. New Jersey during the revolutionary war. The English Colonel Johann Gottlieb Rall. Commander. Of a mercenary infantry regiment of fourteen hundred has seen soldiers from Germany sat down to a good supper and an evening of entertainment. He and his men were celebrating their recent victories over George Washington's volunteer army, and of course, the Christmas holiday. Safe from the bitter cold and the pelting sleet inside a wealthy merchants home that they had commandeered. They relaxed safe in the assumption that no one in their right mind would possibly try to cross the Delaware River at night in a blinding winter storm. Someone challenged role to a game of chess, and before long he was deep in tactics and strategy. There was a knock at the door. And exhausted young. Messenger boy came in bearing a note from loyalist farmer. It's important to remember that about a third of colonists still consider themselves to be British and didn't want the revolution. Raw paid the boy little notice took the note and put it in his coat pocket without opening it. That pocketed piece of paper would cost him and the war effort nearly. Two hours earlier and ten miles away. Washington's men had begun being ferried across the icy Delaware. River. It took over ten hours to get all twenty four hundred men over to the New Jersey side. The conditions were so adverse five men froze to death. Then began the arduous march to Trenton in the dark. The plan had been to attack the town from all sides before dawn, but the troops didn't arrive until eight am. During the attack which lasted only an hour forty of the German. Henson's were killed and the remaining thousand surrendered. Colonel was mortally wounded. When his body was found the unopened note warning of Washington's crossing was still in his pocket. If role had read it, he would surely have had his gross of professional soldiers prepared. He allowed his pride and the weather to lull him into thinking his enemy was not a threat. Had he won the battle he may well have killed George Washington James Madison James Monroe John Marshall Aaron Burr and Andrew. Hamilton The. Second, most common premise in alternate history circles behind what if Germany won World War Two is what if the south one the American civil war? Two pieces of paper dropped in a farmer's field almost brought that about. Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Whose statue in the middle of my hometown of Richmond, Virginia has recently been given the historical context. It's so sorely needed. In the form of tons of. Graffiti. Issued Special Order one ninety one during the Maryland campaign before the Battle of Antietam. In the order lead divided his army, delineating the routes and roads to be taken and the timing for the units to reconvene. Adjutant Robert H Chilton penned copies of the letter endorsed them in Lee's name. Staff. Officers distributed the copies to various confederate generals. General Thomas Stonewall Jackson in turn copied the document for one of his subordinates, major general, D H Hill who was to exercise independent command as the rearguard. A Union soldier Corporal Barton W Mitchell of the twenty seven. Th Indiana volunteers found two pieces of paper bundled with three cigars as he marched across a farm in Maryland an area recently vacated by Hill and his men after they had camped there. The order provided the Union army with valuable information, concerning the army of Northern Virginia's movements and campaign plans. Upon receiving lease lost order. Major General George McClellan leading the Union army of the Potomac proclaimed. Here is a piece of paper with which if I cannot whip Bob Ely, I will be willing to go home. He immediately moved his army in hopes of foiling lease battle plans. When Lee heard a copy of special order one, ninety, one was missing he. He knew his scattered army was vulnerable and rushed to reunite his units Antietam Creek near Sharp's Berg. Lee's troops arrived tired hungry and many were sick. The Battle of Antietam, would go down as the bloodiest battle of the American civil war with casualties recorded as twenty, three, thousand dead wounded, which was usually as good as dead or unaccounted for over the course of the half day battle. That's nearly two thousand soldiers in our one every two seconds. When night fell both sides ceased fire together, their dead and wounded. The next day Lee began the painstaking job of moving his ravage troops back Virginia. Here, some scholars argue another solitary decision had far reaching consequences. Despite having the advantage. McClellan. Allowed Lee to retreat without resistance. From his point of view, he'd accomplished his mission by forcing Lee's troops from Maryland and preventing confederate win on union soil. President, Lincoln however thought McClellan missed a great opportunity to potentially end the war three years earlier than it ultimately would.