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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 6. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Two witnesses on the treatment of prisoners --Hon. J. P. Benjamin and General B. F. Butler. (search)
t to every sentiment of justice and humanity that the innocent should be made victims for the crimes of such monsters. Without betraying the confidence of official intercourse, it may be permitted me to say that when the notorious expedition of Dahlgren against the city of Richmond had been defeated, and the leader killed in his flight, the papers found upon his body showed that he had been engaged in an attempt to assassinate the President and the heads of the Cabinet, to release the Federal pinstructions to his men had been elaborately prepared, and his designs communicated to them in an address; the incendiary materials for firing the town formed part of his equipment. The proof was complete and undeniable. In the action in which Dahlgren fell, some of his men were taken prisoners. They were brought to Richmond, and public opinion was unanimous that they were not entitled to be considered as prisoners of war; that they ought to be put on trial as brigands and assassins, and exec
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 6. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Annual meeting of Southern Historical Society, October 28th and 29th, 1878. (search)
iness elsewhere about that time. And a day of judgment did come first, too, or a day about as near like it as my imagination can compass. That this confidence was not without some warrant in 1865 what I have said about our defences will justify. There had been many bold attempts made to capture Richmond. Generals Scott, McDowell, McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, Pope and Grant had all tried it with immense forces at command, and all had failed. Rushing raids, led by Stoneman, Kilpatrick, Dahlgren and Sheridan, had been checked short of the objective point. There seemed to be no getting On to Richmond. General Grant had been fighting it out on that line longer than all summer. General Grant, according to Federal official reports, carefully collected and collated and published by your efficient Secretary, had started from the Rapidan in May, 1864, with 141,160 men of all arms, with reserves numbering 137,672 men, most of whom were called to the front during the summer, making a g