He then sent the envelope up the command chain on the Union side (who were a lot more careful with the documents), until it got to General George McClellan. This was a huge deal. Without those papers, the Union might have never been able to beat the South at their own game, and we could very well have ended up with two countries, one of them substantially worse than the other.
So remember, kids: Don't litter.
Unless you're part of a massive racist army. Then by all means ...
The South honestly never stood a chance, learn more about why from Ken Burns' The Civil War.
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