The comparison seems to rule Stuart out as the writer of the Lost Order, but the call is with the viewer.
With Stuart eliminated from the case, General Lee’s handwriting becomes the focus of the analysis. On or about September 1, 1862 , just after the Second Battle of Bull Run, General Lee in some way injured his hands. That an injury of some kind occurred at that time and that, as a consequence, he could not write with his hands is the position he took with his daughter, when,
on September 13th from Hagerstown , he had someone answer her letter with “can’t write with his hands.” In October 1862 he wrote his wife, telling her his hand injury (undefined) was now gone.
Several versions of his accident are given by writers, including Walter Taylor and A.L. Long. In substance, the story is that, pn September 1, 1862 , General Lee was standing on the ground next to his horse, Traveller, holding the reins in one of his hands. Traveller became suddenly startled, and jerked his head, perhaps sidling or lunging in some matter away. Lee gained
control, but in the process apparently fell to the ground, front forward, and landed on his hands. The nature and extent of his injuries are far from clear in the historical record. He probably sustained at least a sprain to one hand, perhaps to both hands, and may have suffered a fractured finger; which hand and which finger is unknown. By September 9th, any swelling in the hand or
wrist would have subsided significantly.
Obviously, in the trial of the case, the issue of whether Lee’s injury incapacitated him from writing with a pencil may be proven by demonstrating that, in fact, Lee wrote the Lost Order.
The word “conspiracy” does not reasonably apply to the process whereby Lee and Jackson engaged in planning battles. If Lee designed the Lost Order as a ruse of war, he would naturally want to restrict knowledge of that fact to his closest and most trusted confidant, Stonewall Jackson. In the event the resulting battle went badly for the rebel side, General Lee’s army
severely beaten and driven back by McClellan, perhaps destroyed, Lee would certainly not want it known by anyone not absolutely necessary to the ruse’s execution, that he had designed the ploy as the means to gain an extra day or two for Stonewall to capture Harper’s Ferry. Therefore, in the absence of evidence showing someone among his staff wrote
the Lost Order, it is not unreasonable to expect that Lee wrote it himself, perhaps as the first draft. Jackson copied from the draft, and Lee dictated its text to someone, perhaps Charles Marshall, who wrote a different phrase than dictated into paragraph six which A.P. Mason then copied into Chilton’s letterbook.
If Lee wrote the Lost Order, those in his confidence would have been limited to Jackson and the civilian who planted it, probably Jackson ’s friend, Rev. Dr. John Ross.