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Doc. 134.-General Kilpatrick's expedition.


New-York times narrative.

Williamsburgh, Friday, March 4.
that Brigadier-General Kilpatrick had started on an expedition to the vicinity of Richmond [572] with a considerable cavalry force and some artillery, is generally known to the reading public. The special and most important object of that expedition is not so generally known, and I am not at liberty here to state it. It is sufficient to say, however, that in every other respect it was a complete success, resulting in the destruction of millions of dollars' worth of public property belonging to or used by the confederate government of the so-called seceded States--property, some of which cannot be replaced at all, and the whole of it valuable to the rebel government as a means of carrying on their infernal schemes against the United States. Miles of railroad-track on the two principal roads over which Lee transports his supplies for the Northern army of Virginia, have been so thoroughly destroyed, that some time must elapse before the roads can be put in running order again; depots of commissary, ordnance, and quartermaster's stores were burnt or destroyed; no less than six grist-mills and one saw-mill, principally at work for the rebel army, were burnt; six canal-boats loaded with grain, several locks on the James River Canal, and the almost invaluable coal-pits at Manikin's Bend, were destroyed. It is proper to say what every one with the expedition believes, that had it not been for the false information of a guide, the principal object in starting the expedition would have been accomplished. The man who thus dared to trifle with the welfare of his country, when it became evident that one of the most important objects would prove a failure through his wilful connivance, was immediately hanged upon the spot; thus meeting a fate he so richly deserved.

The command had moved forward to far within the enemy's lines long before any alarm was given to the authorities at Richmond or General Lee, and when it did become known in Richmond, that a force of Union cavalry had crossed the Rapidan, so secret and well-planned had been the expedition by General Pleasanton, and so well executed by General Kilpatrick, they had not the most distant idea of its whereabouts, when, in fact, the command was at that time almost within sight of Richmond, and a few hours later was hurling leaden messengers of death from a battery placed inside the defences of that city into its very suburbs.

The details of this movement, so far as it may be proper, I shall proceed to give nearly in the order in which they transpired. The command left Stevensburgh, Virginia, on Sunday night last, the twenty-eighth ultimo, and crossing Ely's Ford, on the Rapidan — thence by rapid marches to Spottsylvania, Beaver Dam Station, on the Virginia Central Railroad, to the fortifications of Richmond, crossing the Virginia Central Railroad and the Chickahominy River near the Meadows, the White-House Railroad a little east of Tunstall's Station, thence to New-Kent Court-House, and Williamsburgh Court-House, where the command arrived on Thursday last, having been in the saddle nearly all the time from Sunday night, a period of four days, and during the most of that time the men were supplied from rebel larders and their horses from rebel granaries. Nearly three hundred prisoners were captured, several hundred horses were pressed into the service, and hundreds of negroes availed themselves of this opportunity to come within our lines — thereby depleting the producing class of the rebel Confederacy of just so many ablebodied men.

As before stated, the command left Stevensburgh Sunday evening, and moved toward Ely's Ford. Forty men, under the immediate command of Mr. Hogan--a well-known scout — had the advance. The first of the enemy were met within one mile of the ford — a picket, to give notice should any thing like an enemy approach. This picket, composed of four men, by a little strategy, was gobbled, with their horses and accoutrements, without firing a shot or doing any thing to alarm the reserve on the other side of the river — a force consisting of thirteen men, one captain, one. lieutenant, and eleven privates. Hogan and his party gained the opposite bank, and the night being cloudy, succeeded in enveloping the reserve before they discovered his presence, and captured all but three. From these prisoners the important fact was ascertained that nothing whatever was known by the rebel authorities of the movement then on foot for their discomfiture. Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, accompanied by Major Cook, of the Second New-York cavalry, and a small party of picked men, took the advance after crossing the Rapidan, and, as they had a special mission to perform, some account of it will be given elsewhere. The main command moved along with rapidity, taking the road to Spottsylvania Court-House. The night was cloudy, and betokened rain; but the roads were good, and every one was pleasant and hopeful. “Let the storm hold off twenty-four hours, and then I don't care,” said a prominent officer of the command. Spottsylvania was reached late at night; no halt was made, however, and the corps moved rapidly forward to Beaver Dam, on the Virginia Central Railroad. Captain Estes and Lieutenant Wilson, with a party of men, dashed so suddenly upon this place that the telegraph operator was a prisoner before he had time to announce the arrival of the Yankees — much to his chagrin, for all the other telegraph lines had been cut, and Jeff Davis, in his anxiety to know what was going on, had been telegraphing that station every hour in the day for information. This place was reached at about five o'clock P. M., Monday, and the work of destruction was at once commenced. Small parties were sent up and down the railroad to tear up the track, burn the culverts and bridges, and destroy the rails by heating and bending them; this was comparatively an easy task, for there were thousands of cords of pine wood — all of which was burned — piled along the track, this being a wood station; a large new brick freight-house, one hundred by twenty-five feet, the telegraph-office, passenger-depot, engine-house, water-tank, several cars, and a number of out-buildings, were all set on fire. [573] While the command was engaged in this work of destruction, a picket reported the approach of a train loaded with troops from the direction of Richmond, and here commenced the first fighting. General Kilpatrick advanced a column to capture the train, if possible, but the enemy had seen the smoke of the burning station, and approached cautiously. They came on, however, to within two miles of the station, and a portion of the troops were disembarked. A small force was advanced to meet them, and in a charge our troops captured two officers and thirty men. The enemy then fled. Several parties were sent out from this point to destroy the railroad at other points, and bridges on important roads. Major Hall, of the Sixth New-York cavalry, with a party, went to destroy the Fredericksburgh and Richmond Railroad bridge, over the South-Anna, at Taylorville, but found the place guarded by the Maryland rebel battalion of rebel infantry, who had two pieces of artillery. This command was absent some time on important service, and did not rejoin the main column until the following day, in front of Richmond. Not returning at the time expected, a detachment under Captain Hull, of the Second New-York, was sent out on a mission, and to find out the whereabouts of Major Hall's party. Hull ran across a superior force and had a brisk skirmish, in which he lost five men, and was forced to retire. Another party under Captain Plum and Lieutenant Lord was also sent off and returned in safety. The main command, just at nightfall, Monday, moved forward and during the night crossed the South-Anna River. Here the advance had a skirmish with an infantry picket near Taylorsville, and dispersed them. The men crossed, a brief halt was made to feed, when the column at daylight moved “on to Richmond,” before which, and within the second line of defences, a position was taken at half-past 10 o'clock the same morning. On the way, Kilby Station, on the Fredericksburgh road, was destroyed, and Lieutenant Whitaker, of General Kilpatrick's staff, blew up a stone bridge near Kilby Station, and the track and culverts were destroyed all along in that vicinity. Lieutenant Boyce, of the Fifth New-York cavalry, with twelve men, cut the track and destroyed the telegraph at Guinea Station.

Tuesday, at half-past 10 o'clock A. M., found the command passing the outer earthworks on the Brook turnpike, within three and a half miles of Richmond. The arrival of Yankee troops was entirely unexpected, and the indignation of some very good-looking women, standing in front of houses at the roadside, excited much amusement. The advance captured several men on picket-duty belonging to the citizen soldiery of Richmond, without firing a shot; and while waiting for the main column to come up, citizens were stopped and questioned with the utmost freedom; they, of course, did not know who their questioners were. Here was obtained a copy of the Examiner and Dispatch fresh from the press that morning, announcing some rumors about a brigade of Yankee cavalry having crossed the Rapidan. What their astonishment must have been one hour later, to hear Kilpatrick's guns may be imagined but not described. Moving forward to Within the second line of defences going toward the city, the skirmishers encountered the first shots from near the third line, or what is known as Battery Number Nine. Guns were opened on both sides, and a strong line of skirmishers were thrown out. Captain Bacon, with others, charged the Johnnies, and drove them inside their works, and a desultory firing was kept up until between four and five o'clock in the evening, when, for some reason then unknown, the command of Colonel Dahlgren not appearing, General Kilpatrick decided to fall back. The enemy had burned the bridge across Brook Creek in rear of the command, and the column turned off upon the Meadows Road, crossing the Fredericksburgh and Richmond Railroad, and destroying every thing within reach. At night, the command went into camp at a place six miles from Richmond, and two miles from the Chickahominy; there was a slight fall of rain and sleet, and the men built fires, cooked their chickens and bacon, and had turned in for a few hours' sleep; but as all persons are doomed to disappointment at some time or other, so it was their lot on this occasion. At about half-past 10 o'clock, just as the command was fairly asleep, except those on duty, the rebels opened a two-gun battery upon the camp of General Davies's brigade, and immediately after charged the camp of the Seventh Michigan. The men, though taken entirely by surprise, seized their carbines, and under Colonel Litchfield, supported by the First Vermont, Colonel Preston, handsomely repulsed the enemy, who, owing to the camp-fires, had decidedly the advantage over our troops, owing to their occupying a position between the enemy and the camp-fires. After forcing the enemy back, the Commanding General decided to move his command again, so as to be ready for any emergency at daylight. In this affair a number of horses were killed, and a few were stampeded by the shrieking shell rushing through the midnight air. The scene, all things considered, was not a very fascinating one to a man of tender nerves. Several men were wounded, and Colonel Litchfield, who is missing, it is feared is also wounded. The enemy had the exact range of General Davies's headquarters, but he remained at his post during the whole attack, which lasted three quarters of an hour, and was loudly cheered by his command for the noble conduct he displayed on this occasion. The enemy did not seem disposed to follow the rear-guard, and the command moved forward, without interruption, toward the Pamunkey River. The enemy had burned all the boats in this river, so that if it had been desirable to cross, such a movement was entirely impracticable. General Kilpatrick, therefore, decided to move across the White House Railroad, and down the Peninsula. During the day, Captain Mitchell, of the Second New-York, with the bulk of Colonel Dahlgren's command, rejoined the main column, and great [574] was the rejoicing thereat, for nothing had been heard from it since the previous Sunday night. The enemy, Tuesday night and all day Wednesday and Wednesday night, hovered all about the command, and picket-skirmishing was almost constantly going on in different directions. Wednesday morning, at about nine o'clock, a large force of cavalry came upon the rear of the column. General Kilpatrick was not unprepared for this, and decided to give them battle. The First Vermont, under Lieutenant-Colonel Preston, ably assisted by Captains Grant and Cummings, and the First Maine, bore the brunt of this fight, which lasted something over an hour; while the Sixth Michigan and other regiments of General Davies's brigade were in position to render whatever assistance might be necessary. Only one charge was made, and that was by company A, First Maine, led on by Captain Estes, A. A. G., and Captain Cole, when five of the enemy were captured. The enemy, satisfied no doubt, that they could not scare the command away, silently retired, but when the command moved forward, harassed the rear and flanks. Several times an offer was made, but they refused to accept the offer of battle. On this day (Wednesday) several refugees from Richmond came into camp, and reported the presence of Captain Wilson, of the Second Ohio, who had escaped from the Richmond bastile, near at hand. For some reason, however, best known to himself, he did not join the command. Wednesday, also, Lieutenant Whitaker was sent to destroy Tunstall's Station, on the White-House Railroad, but upon arriving there, much to his astonishment, he found the place in flames. From negroes in the vicinity, he ascertained that a column of Union cavalry from General Butler's department had just left there. This was the first intimation of assistance being so near at hand. Thursday morning, General Kilpatrick moved toward New-Kent Court-House, and on the way met Colonel Spear, in command of a cavalry force, looking after General Kilpatrick's command. The meeting was a gratifying one on both sides. Near New-Kent Court-House, the command came across the first negro troops they had ever seen. Here was a full brigade which had been marched up; and, as the cavalry passed by, cheer after cheer was given by both commands. No brigade ever made a better appearance or a better impression upon those who, for the first time, saw colored troops. A mountain of prejudice was removed in an instant. Between New-Kent to Williamsburgh, the column was more or less annoyed by bushwhackers; ten of these rascals were captured. Of our men, one was killed, several were wounded, and one or two horses were killed.

Colonel Dahlgren, with a picked command, after leaving the main column, went to Frederick Hall, on the Virginia Central Railroad, destroyed that road and the telegraph line, and captured twelve officers who were there on court-martial duty. The James River Canal was then struck eight miles east of Goochland Court-House, between there and Wertham Creek an immense amount of property was destroyed. Six gristmills in full operation, a saw-mill, six canal-boats loaded with grain, several locks of the canal, works at the coal-pits at Manikin's Bend, and the barn of Secretary Seddon, were all destroyed. It was at this point that Colonel Dahlgren discovered that his guide had deceived him, so as to thwart the principal object of the expedition, and he was immediately hanged to the nearest tree. The command then struck the plank-road and moved on to Richmond from a westerly direction, and when within three miles of that city, had a lively skirmish with some rebel infantry. This was late Tuesday afternoon, and about the time General Kilpatrick retired from the Brook turnpike. Could the command have been there three hours earlier, the results of the expedition might have been still more satisfactory than now. Finding the force too large to operate against with any prospect of success, and not knowing the whereabouts or fate of the main column, Colonel Dahlgren decided to fall back, and, if possible, reach that column, destroying property on the way. Colonel Dahlgren and Major Cook, with about one hundred men, went a different route from the main portion of the column, commanded by Captain Mitchell. The latter came in on Wednesday, as stated above; but of the other command nothing is certainly known. A prisoner, however, states that a Colonel with one foot had been captured.

The loss of the whole command, by straggling and in every other way, will not probably exceed one hundred and fifty men, and after three days rest, the horses and men will be ready for duty again wherever their services may be needed.


Fortress Monroe, Va., Saturday, March 5, 1864.
By referring to the foregoing account, and taking a look at the map, it will be seen that our forces traversed nine different counties now occupied by the enemy, namely, Spottsylvania, Caroline, Hanover, Goochland, Henrico, Louisa, New-Kent, James City, and York. These counties embrace nearly all of the most aristocratic in the State; peopled before the war mainly by families who boasted of their long line of ancestors, the number of their negroes, their broad acres — in fact, where the feudal lords reigned supreme both over the white trash and the negro in bondage. The condition of this section of the country, which has been under almost uninterrupted rebel sway for three years cannot be otherwise than interesting. In riding through these counties, the stranger is painfully impressed with the Sundaylike stillness that everywhere prevails; at the large number of dilapidated arid deserted dwellings, the ruined churches with windows out and doors ajar, the abandoned fields and workshops, the neglected plantations, and the ragged, dejected, and uncouth appearance of the few people who are to be seen at home; the almost entire absence of men and boys, every thing indicating a condition of affairs which nothing but civil war could produce. Our troops [575] as a general rule, when within the enemy's line, I feel proud in being able to say, conducted themselves as becomes soldiers, only doing that which they are allowed to do by the recognized rules of war by all civilized nations; destroying nothing but what is used as a direct agency in sustaining the bogus Confederacy, and taking so much provisions only, and forage, as may be required for immediate use. No attempt is made to intimidate the inhabitants who are quietly at home attending to their legitimate business, and hence they never think of running away from an invading Yankee column. In no other country, in no other war, in the history of the world, I will venture to say, has there been shown so much confidence of a people in the honor of those whom they look upon as invaders, as the people of the South when visited by the Union troops — the Southern newspaper press to the contrary notwithstanding. Neither men, women nor children run away at our approach, and however much animosity they may manifest openly or indirectly, they seem to realize that they have an honorable foe to deal with.

But your bitter, vindictive secesh is a rare object to find; the persons met with in the recent raid, for the most part, profess to have no interest in the rebellion — it came without their aid, and they have no desire to aid in its continuance any more than they are forced to do by what they feel to be the despotic rule of Jefferson Davis. All the real secesh capable of bearing arms are already in the army, together with many others whose hearts are not in the cause. I had frequent opportunities to converse with both of these classes. One of the most bitter rebels in his talk I ever met with, when captured, commenced a tirade of characteristic Southern braggadocio. He talked of “our best men in the field;” the South “could never be whipped;” “never had been whipped;” “it was a shame that Southern gentlemen were compelled to fight niggers;” and a whole series of the usual twaddle made use of by braggarts of the negro school, leading every one who heard him to suppose that he was a perfect pink of perfection — a pure F. F. V. This man, who is the type of the so-called chivalric sons of the South, was caught bushwhacking, shot at a man after he had surrendered, told half a dozen lies in almost as many minutes, admitted that he never owned a negro in his life, and that his family is both poor and illiterate — the poor white trash which Toombs so picturesquely set off once in the United States Senate. This is no fancy sketch; and, when the fellow was exposed, he very coolly fell back upon the rights of a prisoner of war — that is, in his opinion, a prisoner of war should not be exposed in his arrogance and falsehood. Of such is the Southern army to-day made up. That they will fight well all do know — and that is about all the redeeming quality there is in the race. Their very pride and conceit makes them recklessly brave. This same fellow, after some conversation, volunteered the remark: “If we do come together again, we can whip the whole world.”

In the counties visited, there are but a few field-hands left of the black class; and a respectable resident asserts it as his belief that not one fourth as much land will be cultivated this year as there was the last, when the crop was much less than the year before. January and February is the time for preparing the ground for sowing and planting in this part of the State, but it was a rare sight to see a ploughed field on the first of March.

At several points white men were seen working in the field, and occasionally a large ploughed field could be seen; but, as a general rule, however, the farms are running over with weeds, the buildings are out of repair, fences are down, and the Virginia wild hog, heretofore seldom seen, except in pine forests, overruns the land. Particularly is this the case with the manorial estates to be seen as you approach the Pamunkey.

There is an abiding faith both with soldiers and citizens, that the war will end this year in one way or the other. Your sanguine secesh, of course, (who is generally ignorant or stupidly blind to what is going on in the outside world,) is quite confident that the “Southern cause,” as he calls it, will triumph; but from what I saw and heard, I do not believe a majority of the people outside of the army would give the turn of a copper to secure the success of that cause. The people generally do not hesitate to say they are heartily tired of the war; and well they may be, for every branch of industry, except that to aid the confederate government, is at a stand-still; families are broken up and scattered, and the whole country is flooded with a species of paper money so nearly worthless as to scarcely be believed. This stuff is thrown about carelessly, and is to be found everywhere stowed away in houses as carelessly as a prudent Yankee house-keeper does rags. For a ten-dollar greenback I was offered at one place a pile of confederate scrip large enough to fill an ordinary saddle-bag. In the use of this money we had some experience. At a little oyster saloon, about six miles from Richmond, General Davies and a party of friends numbering eight in all, partook of a supper which cost eighty-five dollars and forty cents in confederate money, and the proprietor readily took thirty-two dollars confederate and a two dollar greenback for the amount. The fare consisted of eggs, bacon, honey. and bread. I obtained a bill of items from the gentlemanly owner of the place to adorn the books of some Antiquarian Society. A few years hence it will be much more of a curiosity than now.

As to the question of food. Every family seemed to have a little. Halting for an hour at a house, the occupant was asked if he had any corn, to which he gave a most positive negative reply. The proper officer was not satisfied, and, by a little searching, forty. or fifty bushels were found stored away in a loft of the house. He denied also having bacon, and said that neither corn nor bacon could be bought for love or money, but “the boys” somehow managed to find quite a little pile of the hog-meat [576] concealed in an out-of-the-way place; and this was the experience along the whole route in the different counties. At nearly every occupied house was to be found a lot of chickens, and occasionally more or less turkeys, ducks, geese, and drakes, and not unfrequently small grunters were to be seen roaming through the fields at will. It was quite evident that there was no superabundance of food, but a good supply of apple-jack somehow could always be obtained at one hundred and twenty-five dollars per gallon — a price frequently paid. Confederate scrip was floating about so plentifully, that the price of the liquor made but little difference to the purchaser--one hundred and fifty dollars per gallon would have been paid just as willingly.

These people at home pretended that they had no choice as to which troops visited their plantations. The confederates took all they could find in the shape of provisions, and while they hoped to be excused from receiving visits from either, they thought they could be treated no worse by the Yankees. As you move toward the heart of rebeldom, the feeling of animosity is more intense in hatred toward Yankees. and is more openly manifested. Around the outer borders, where the people have more frequently seen Union troops, and know more of what is going on in the outside world, they seem to have enlarged and more liberal ideas; as you approach the centre more bigotry and intolerance, more outspoken hatred is met with. Until a point near Richmond was reached there was but little on the part of the people to indicate that we were moving among a united mass of enemies. On the Brook pike, within a few miles of Richmond, quite a number of very respectable-looking young women came out to the roadside and made use of some taunting expletives — such as no real lady would be guilty of — but judging from the surroundings, I suppose they were considered ladies at home. One of these women was almost frantic with indignation. “I never thought,” said she, raising her hands in holy horror, “that you would be mean enough for this.” This she repeated frequently as the column moved along. No one offered any disrespectful remark in reply. The boys were simply amused at her eccentric conduct. This course of conduct seemed to exasperate her; to have Yankee soldiers come there was bad enough, but to be laughed at by them seemed to her the very height of the intolerables.

Much has been said of the publicity given to this raid before the movement was commenced or immediately thereafter. It is undoubtedly true that a great many people knew that there was a movement on foot of some kind, but of what kind, or which way it was to go, or its destination, it seems nearly every one was in ignorance. The enemy knew nothing of the matter, and the correspondents in the field and at Washington, from the different publications in the papers, it is quite certain, knew but little more than the rebels. One paper recounts, in fearful terms, how that owing to the indiscretion of some nameless person, the enemy had met Kilpatrick in superior force at the very inauguration of the movement, and fears were entertained for the safety of the command. This class of correspondents show how much knowledge they had of the affair by still persisting in the statement that Kilpatrick left Stevensburgh on Saturday evening, when without much trouble, they might have known that he did not move until Sunday night. Old sores are always tender, and a newspaper in the habit of being beaten in news is frequently stirred up to commit indiscretions. The truth of the matter is, that, whether any of the newspapers did or did not act prematurely in publishing the movements of General Kilpatrick, the enemy did not take advantage of it. The picket at Ely's Ford knew nothing of it, and the column moved to Beaver Dam on the Central Railroad, before hearing a hostile shot. So skilfully managed, indeed, was the whole affair, that the announcement of General Kilpatrick crossing the Rapidan was made in the Richmond papers on the very day he arrived before that city. The pickets within three and a half miles of Richmond were captured before they were aware that an enemy's force was near them; and wherever the column moved before reaching Richmond, the enemy were taken by surprise and were entirely unprepared to resist the movement.

Captain Armstrong, of the Commanding General's staff, besides his regular duties, had charge of the distributing of the President's Amnesty Proclamation. Printed in small pamphlet form, this production was scattered broadcast everywhere. It was placed in the hands of the people, left in their houses, churches and shops, stowed away in books and in every conceivable nook and corner, so that if any large portion of the people are disposed to suppress the only public document emanating from Mr. Lincoln which has not been reproduced in the Richmond papers, they will hardly be able to accomplish their purpose.

The negroes everywhere, as usual, manifested great delight at seeing a column of Yankees, and acted unreservedly, as though they expected to find them all friends, and aided the expedition in various ways. They could always tell where corn could be found for the horses, and where provisions and horses had been concealed. They frequently gave valuable information as to the location of the enemy's pickets, of the presence of scouts in the neighborhood, and could tell when the last confederate soldier had passed along the road. These services were rendered freely and without hesitation, often without the asking. Their services were brought into requisition in destroying railroads, and in one instance, at least, continued the work of destruction after the troops had left the spot, saying, as the column moved off: “We'll catch up.” Nearly all asked permission to come along, and many did so without asking the privilege, seeming to take it as a matter of course they were expected to join the command. There was no large number of negroes in any one place; but there were a few found in [577] every locality — just enough, the whites said, to raise crops for the local population to consume. Only about one million dollars' worth of this kind of property was brought away. Many of the negroes and negresses gave out on the long marches, and were left on the road. One squad of stout-limbed and stout-hearted women marched for two days with the command, and were finally rewarded by reaching General Butler's lines, where they have some rights that white men are bound to respect under the present regime.

Only a few cattle were seen on the whole march. Every thing large enough for beef has been confiscated for the use of the army. The same may be said of horses. The few to be seen — except here and there an exception — are poor in flesh and in spirit. Not more than three hundred horses were obtained probably throughout the whole command — all having been pressed into the rebel service.

Several prisoners taken in front of Richmond while our cavalry was engaged within the defences of that capital, state positively that General Bragg was on the field during the action, and was furious at the audacity of the Yankees. The panic in Richmond was undoubted. Citizens who left the city at eight o'clock and were taken into custody between ten and eleven o'clock, said that they heard nothing of the approach of our forces. It is believed that they first knew of the presence of a cavalry force by a messenger who went across the fields soon after crossing Brook Creek.

All things considered, no better weather could have been asked for the consummation of the object of this raid. The first night, Sunday, was cloudy; the next day there was no sun, so that the column could not be seen at a distance by the enemy. That night there was a slight fall of rain, refreshing to the horses, and doing the men of the command no particular harm, as it was not very cold. Tuesday night was the only really disagreeable time — just when the camp was shelled — then there was a fall of rain which gradually turned into sleet, and subsequently snow. The mud was deep, nevertheless the command had to move on through the mud and slush six inches deep to a defensive position some ten miles distant. If it was disagreeable for the men on horseback, let the reader imagine how much more disagreeable it was for a hundred or more dismounted men, whose horses had been shot or stampeded in the night-attack. Bravely did these dismounted troopers plod on through the mud, hour after hour, mile after mile. All the led horses were brought into requisition — a few stray animals were picked up in the morning, so that nearly all of the dismounted were remounted the next day. Wednesday, for the first time, the sun shone forth — never at a more welcome moment — making every one forget the hardships they had undergone, and the perils by which they were then surrounded. The bottomlands of the broad Pamunkey never looked more tempting, and the whole command was halted thereon, and neighboring corn-cribs and farmhouses furnished food for horses and men.

Up to this time, (Wednesday evening,) no one knew of the approach of a force from General Butler's department, and the first intimation of it was when Lieutenant Whitaker, with a small detachment, went out to burn Tunstall Station and destroy the railroad-track, and found that the station was in flames, and that a Union force had preceded. Thursday morning, a few miles south of the railroad, the advance met Colonel West's command. The gratification of the troops at meeting such a force so unexpectedly can only be imagined by those who have been similarly situated.

Near New-Kent Court-House a brigade of colored troops was standing at ease in column by regiments, and certainly no troops ever made a better first impression. Cheers filled the air, given with a cordial good — will by both commands.

The Peninsula seems to be almost entirely abandoned by all its former residents, and given over to bushwhackers and roaming bands of lawless men. North of Williamburgh, bushmen hang upon the flanks and rear of any column of troops that may pass, to pick up stragglers, secure horses, and not unfrequently, apparently, for the sole purpose of gratifying a morbid spirit of revenge, firing into a column indiscriminately, with no hope of securing any immediate advantage thereby. Occasionally a poor family is found at home, but they manifest no particular feeling either for or against the Union cause. Their sons and brothers capable of bearing arms are in the rebel service, and therefore it is supposed their sympathies are in that direction. The locality between Burnt Ordinary and New-Kent Court-House is particularly obnoxious on account of bushwhackers. On Tuesday last, four colored soldiers of Colonel West's command, were captured in this vicinity, and one was shot through the arm. I have before recorded the experience of General Kilpatrick's command while passing through the district indicated.

The rebels have evidently obtained a supply of railroad-iron from some source within the last year. The writer hereof, while on General Stoneman's raid, in the spring of last year, had his attention particularly called to the condition of the tracks of several roads. It was badly worn and peeled off in many places, so as to be dangerous for cars to be run at any great speed. Since that time these roads have been relaid, at several points, certainly, with a first quality of T rail, and several piles of new rails were destroyed last week by our troops, laid by the road-side for use when necessary. All the cars seen, were next to worthless.



An account by a participant.

Yorktown, Va., March 7, 1864.
For some time I had noticed indications of a movement, being situated as I am, (acting Quartermaster Sergeant in the Division Ordnance Department,) all ordnance stores being drawn [578] through this department. Requisitions were made the last of February for a quantity of torpedoes, rat-tail files, turpentine, oakum, and other inflammable articles. For what were they to be used? and in such haste too? for the order was for immediate use. Why, General Kilpatrick was going on a raid again; or, perhaps, (as the Hon. J. M. Howard told us in our little theatre at Stevensburgh,) we were going into Richmond. Acting in the capacity I now do, I had no occasion to go, but love of adventure got the better of the comforts of our snug little office, and I begged the privilege of accompanying the expedition, which was granted, and on Sunday, at five P. M., I was at General Kilpatrick's headquarters, and reported in charge of three sixmule teams, loaded with assorted ammunition. The evening was cold and cheerless, with drizzling rain.

In a short time the cavalry began to draw up under their several commanders. It was here that General Kilpatrick gave Colonel Dahlgren and Major Cook their orders. I heard him say to the Major: “Good-by, Major; do this thing up clean for me, and then ask any thing you like.” The Major replied, as he rode off: “You will find it all right, General, depend on me.” As his command started, Colonel Dahlgren being a cripple, rode in an ambulance. Their orders were to go to Richmond by the James River, and signal us, (the other commands,) when a rush simultaneously was to be made on the city. But you must have seen by the papers how treachery foiled its accomplishment.

At dark, “Kill” was in the saddle, and the column moved across the Rapidan, at Ely's Ford, where we captured the picket post of a captain and fourteen men. We were now within their lines, and great caution was necessary; but we marched all night, no rest, for we had to get to the rear of Lee's forces. Monday, A. M., we reached Beaver Dam and cut the telegraph. We were now in Spottsylvania County, and created consternation among the inhabitants. On coming to the railroad, parties were detached up and down the line to demolish it, blow up bridges, etc. The air became full of smoke as we neared Beaver Dam Station, which was all in flames, with a train of cars, hundreds of cords of wood, and every thing of value, consigned to the flames.

This day we halted and slept for an hour or so, and then continued our march. The roads were very rough. One of my wagons upset in a creek, and I lost some of my ammunition. All along the route the darkeys flock to us and solicit the privilege of going with us, as they say, to the land of freedom. Every plantation on the road has to pay tribute to the “Yank,” according to their stock, which is never very definitely ascertained, for time presses, and we come down on them like “June bugs,” cleaning them out of every thing in the line of forage, horses, mules, provision, etc.

Tuesday was rainy, with sleet. We cross the north branch of the Chickahominy and Pamunkey rivers, and pass a large mansion belonging to a Dr. Bassett, whose darkeys all leave and become contrabands. This is at Ashland, and a sign-post shows us seventeen miles to Richmond. The railroad passes through this place, or rather it did, for we tore up the track for miles and burned the station. We now cross the south branch of the Pamunkey River, on a high bridge. My mules being weary, the General gave orders to destroy some of the load, which I did by throwing twenty-six boxes of ammunition into the river. After our forces had crossed, the bridge was burned.

It was at this place the rebel infantry that had been marching in our rear, caught up; but we drove them back and got across the river safely, destroying the bridge after us. They could follow no further. We burn all the bridges we come to, and tear up the track of the Fredericksburgh Railroad. We take many prisoners out of the houses along the road, mostly cavalry, who say they are disbanded till the fifteenth of March, to recruit their horses.

At three P. M. we are inside the outer fortifications, and only two miles and a half from the city of Richmond. The ball opens from our batteries and the rebels. We pick out a camping ground, and lay down to sleep, almost in range of their guns. I was awakened at eleven P. M., by the boom of cannon very close. I started up to find my train deserted by all except my teamsters. I rushed up to the General's headquarters, but found it vacated, the lights left burning, but no one one to give any orders. I knew no time was to be lost, so hurried my men to get the mules to the wagons, and they did hurry, for by this time the grape and canister came pouring in. Had they known my train had been there, they could have gobbled us up. Never did teamsters get ready quicker. But, now, where to go to, was the query; we did not know the road our columns had taken, but I chose the one opposite to Richmond, and kept on at double-quick, till we luckily came to our men; we marched till three A. M., and then went into camp and slept till morning.

Wednesday--the snow had fallen in the night, but fast disappeared by the warm sun that came out in the morning. Having well rested and eaten a good breakfast, we start again toward the White-House Landing. Pass the “Old house Hotel,” and Post-Office on the “Piping Ford” road. Cross the Chickahominy. We are trying to get to General Butler's lines. The remnant of Major Cook's command overtake us, and we hear of the loss and capture of Colonel Dahlgren, Major Cook, and half their men. This for the time throws a gloom along the lines, which up to the time had been very buoyant. We try to go across the Pamunkey, but the rebels have destroyed the bridge. The General goes with a negro to see a ferry-boat, but finds that it would take too long to get over four thousand men and horses that way. This evening the rebs attacked our outside picket reserve, and captured several of the Seventh Michigan and First Vermont cavalry. We camped for the night without [579] any thing to mar the rest of our wearied soldiers.

Thursday--a fine morning, we start at eight A. M. Meet Butler's troops coming to our aid. They have eight regiments of colored infantry, two regiments of cavalry, and two batteries. We were glad to see them, (if they were black.) They make good-looking soldiers, and are well drilled. We are now at New-Kent Court-House. Halt for two or three hours, and then take the road to Williamsburgh. We have three men shot this day by bushwhackers. We camp for the night at a place called “Burnt ordinary,” ten miles from Williamsburgh.

Friday--boots and saddles at seven A. M. March to Williamsburgh, arrived at ten; an old city, with very fine old buildings, many covered with ivy. The place is under military rule, and in charge of a Provost-Marshal. I noticed two fine monuments, one, so old I could not decipher the inscription, but was told it was erected to the memory of the first Governor of Virginia; the other a tall marble column, over the remains of Lucien Minor, a law professor and an advocate of temperance; it was erected by the Sons of Temperance of the city of Williamsburgh.

Leaving this place, we come to Fort Magruder. It was here that McClellan had a big fight. The forces at this point are under the command of Colonel Spears. We do not stay here, but march on to Yorktown, where we arrive at four P. M. As we near this place the sight is beautiful. On mounting the hill, the York River comes into sight, leading out into the Chesapeake Bay. The scene is novel to many of our men, and they are struck with admiration as they see the many boats plying on the water. Yonder is a fleet of oyster-boats; here and there are anchored transports; those two grim-looking objects up the river are Uncle Sam's gunboats; moored out in the middle of the stream is an iron-clad; while hundreds of small boats flit about in all directions. While looking with all the eyes I had, bang! goes a gun from the fort. It is the evening gun and tells that the city of Yorktown is closed for the night to all not having the countersign; so I have to defer the pleasure of going there till the morning.

Saturday--a splendid morning, the birds carolling their pleasant notes, the sun very warm, making it perfect spring; the river is resplendent with the many different craft floating, with their white canvass and showy ensigns thrown to the breeze. I mount my horse and take a ride to the Fort. Yorktown is a fort naturally, but the labor of our forces has made it, I think, impregnable. Thirty-six pounders are placed all around it, with their ugly-looking mouths pointing in every direction. Inside are numerous guns of smaller calibre. There are many ladies living here feeling perfectly secure, and well they may.

On the outside of the town are numerous camps, mostly of colored troops. Look at those long rows of cabins, hundreds in number. I ask an old man what troops are stationed there; “That's Slabtown,” said he, “and those are negro huts.” So off I ride to see for myself a specimen of old Butler's negro emancipation settlements. The streets are laid out regularly, about four rods wide. Each cabin is about twelve by eighteen feet, and one story high. They are all built of pine slabs, and the roofs are of the same. They each have an alley between, of four feet. Many are whitewashed, and with neat fences round them. The interiors are generally neat and clean. The streets are kept swept, and every thing shows good discipline on the part of the authorities. It was a funny sight to see so many negroes together, for in the town there are between two thousand and three thousand. They are of all shades, from the darkest Ethiops to the fairest octoroons. Children are seen in great numbers, some as black as ebony, tumbling around without seeming to care or wish for any thing but sporting, in a state of almost nudity, while some are as white as any of our fair daughters of Michigan, with fine curly ringlets dancing around their chubby and pretty faces. These people have nearly all been slaves, and those that were born free say that they were no better till our forces gained possession. They work chiefly for the Government. Some fish and drag for oysters; some work at trades, and are very handy. They have their own stores, post-office, schools, church, in fact every thing that can be desired, and I must say I never saw a more contented set of people anywhere.

I think I have been long enough at Slabtown, and so will go and get some oysters. Well, I've been and got over a bushel, and have not taken an hour. As the tide was out, I picked them up with my hands; they are very plenty. After eating my oysters I went to bed and was aroused by an aid-de-camp of General Kilpatrick's, with orders to have a wagon loaded to go on the boat to Suffolk. I despatched it with three trusty men. I ascertained that a detachment of all the best horses of every command was going on some expedition of “Kill's.” He had been down to Fortress Monroe, in the morning, to see General Butler. After they had started I went to bed again and slept till morning.

Sunday--a cold morning. There are a quantity of troops, both black and white, leaving on the transports. After the bustle of their leaving, quiet reigned and every thing bore the appearance of the Sabbath. The negroes dressed in their best clothes, and taking their walks, looked very comfortable.

Monday--a military execution. On going into Yorktown this morning I saw an unusual stir and cleaning up. On inquiry, I found out a man was to be shot, and asking the particulars, was told the unfortunate man's name was Thomas Abrams, a private in the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth New-York volunteers. His crime was aiding the escape of one Boyle, of the New-York Mounted Rifles, from Fort Magruder, who was under sentence of death; also giving the said Boyle information of a proposed movement of [580] Colonel Spears on Richmond, which he carried to the rebels and frustrated the design.

In a short time the drums beat, and the men marched to an open space on the outside of the Fort, formed in two lines about one hundred yards apart, the batteries forming across the end, leaving it three sides of a hollow square, with the end open toward the river. At eleven o'clock the prisoner was brought from the Fort, in a wagon carrying a coffin. He was accompanied by a minister. As they neared the place of execution, he gazed around, apparently indifferent. The wagon drove into the space and stopped; the minister got out, when the prisoner, though his hands were shackled, jumped over the side nimbly and took his position beside the coffin; the sentence was then read, after which the firing party that had accompanied the wagon, walked up and faced the prisoner, about three rods distant. He then knelt with the minister in prayer for a few minutes. An officer then took a white handkerchief and folded it over his eyes; the prisoner then, by his own wish, took off his coat, leaving his breast bare save a white shirt. After shaking hands with the chaplain and officers, he seated himself comfortably on the coffin, and all withdrew to a short distance. The word was given, “Ready! Aim! Fire!” and the poor wretch threw up his hands, and fell back across the coffin. I rode up to see him; not a move was discernible after the volley; it seemed as if every shot took effect; his shirt was riddled, but not a stain of blood was to be seen. He was a brave man; must have been to meet death so coolly. Pity he had not died in action, that his friends and family might revere his memory!

This is evening, and I am writing this on some boxes of cartridges, by the fire out in the open air, and the wind keeps my candle flickering. The transports have come back and landed the troops on the other side of the river, and we are going to-morrow, report says, back to Stevensburgh, by the way of Port Conway.

Charles Brooke, Quartermaster Sergeant, in charge Ordnance Train, Kilpatrick's Expedition.


New-York Tribune account.

Washington, Saturday, March 5, 1864.
The much talked of raid by General Kilpatrick has ended with failure as to the main result intended to be accomplished, but with success in cutting the railroads between Lee's army and Richmond, and the destruction of much property, stores, etc., and the actual shelling of Richmond.

Starting on Sunday at three A. M., from camp with five thousand cavalry, picked from his own and Generals Merritt's and Gregg's divisions, he proceeded to the Rapidan, crossing at Ely's Ford. From thence the column. marched to Spottsylvania Court-House, which place was reached without encountering any of the enemy.

From Spottsylvania Court-House to the end of his daring journey he was more or less harassed by the rebels, and frequently found that his lines had fallen in very unpleasant places. At the place last named the command was divided into different parties, who were to scour the country as they proceeded toward a common centre — Richmond. Every road was to be carefully scouted, that no concealed foes, even in small numbers, should be left behind, so as to concentrate and worry him.

The expedition was a warlike tour, when all the fun, chickens, turkeys, geese, hogs, corn, oats, hay, horses, mules, negroes, graybacks, whether made of flesh or paper, that could be had, were to be had. They carried with them but two or three feeds each for their horses, and about as many days' rations for the men, the General being determined that for once the celebrated order, Subsist on the enemy's country, should be faithfully executed.

On Monday, they reached the Virginia Railroad, and tore up the track in four places, destroying whatever property would render the road useless.

At Frederickshall, on the Central Railroad, they came upon a court-martial, peacefully holding its sessions, and captured a colonel, five captains, and two lieutenants.

General Lee had passed over the railroad on his way to his army but an hour before our men reached it. As they passed through the country in the most good-natured way, questioning as to whether any Yanks had been seen there lately, the inhabitants could not believe it was Lincoln's cavalry who were paying them a visit.

The negroes generally were delighted, and many, in the presence of their owners, asked to be allowed to go along. A large number were thus gathered together, who cheerfully trudged along with the cavalry, delighted at gaining their freedom. Occasionally Union families were encountered who gave valuable information, and freely offered what they had to eat and drink.

Leaving Frederickshall on Monday, they pushed on for Richmond — a detachment of five hundred men under Colonel Dahlgren keeping well to the right, in the direction of Louisa Court-House, while General Kilpatrick, with the main body, moved upon Ashland, both parties scouring the country thoroughly, and doing all possible damage.

As the forces neared Richmond the two main parties began concentrating. Colonel Dahlgren was to move down to the right of Richmond, destroying as much of the James River Canal as possible. Then, taking the river road, was to cross, if possible, and enter the city from the south side and attempt the deliverance of the prisoners on Belle Isle.

General Kilpatrick, with the main body, was to attack the city by the Brooks turnpike, simultaneously if possible with the other movement. It was hoped to reach the city on Monday night or early the following morning, when a partial if not a total surprise could be effected.

Two of those fatalities which, more than once during this war, have snatched success from the very grasp of those who by their valor and daring [581] have richly deserved the victor's crown, interposed to prevent the consummation of one of the best-conceived and most brilliant plans of the whole war.

Colonel Dahlgren had taken a negro to pilot him to Richmond. His detachment had rapidly moved across the country, destroying barns, forage and every thing which could possibly be of service to the enemy. Pushing on so as to reach Richmond as soon as possible, Colonel Dahlgren discovered that his negro guide had betrayed him, and led him toward Goochland instead of to Richmond, and Tuesday midnight found himself miles in just the opposite direction from that which he wished to take. The negro was promptly hanged for his baseness.

Exasperated by this treachery, the men burned the barns and out-buildings of John A. Seddons, the rebel Secretary of War, and it is, perhaps, fortunate that the gentleman himself was not present. Retracing his steps, Colonel Dahlgren marched down the river road, destroying the Dover flour-mills, several flouring establishments and saw-mills. His force also did considerable injury to the James River Canal, burning canal-boats and seriously damaging one or two locks.

They did not reach the immediate vicinity of Richmond till afternoon, when every body was on the alert, Kilpatrick having already made his attack.

Colonel Dahlgren's detachment was divided into several parties for the accomplishment of different objects, keeping together, however. One party attempted to cross the river, but were repulsed. A very sharp fight ensued, and, finding the enemy in superior numbers and confronting them on every road, the force was compelled to fall back.

In attempting to cut their way out, Colonel Dahlgren and Major Cook of the Second New-York, with about one hundred and fifty men, got separated from the rest. The other detachments succeeded in rejoining General Kilpatrick, but nothing has been heard of this one. The people on the road and some of the prisoners aver that a Colonel who had but one leg was captured by the rebels. If so, it is feared he must have been wounded, but strong hopes are entertained that with his usual determination he has cut his way through with at least part of his hundred and fifty men. Meanwhile, General Kilpatrick had advanced down the Brooks turnpike from Ashland, having torn up the rails at that point, destroying the telegraph as he marched. At one of the stations, however, the operator succeeded in sending a despatch to Richmond announcing that the Yankees were coining. He was a prisoner in less than fifteen minutes, but that short time put Richmond on the qui vive, and it has since been ascertained that about a dozen field-pieces were put in battery and a new intrenchment thrown up while awaiting his arrival.

The troops reached the outer fortifications early on Tuesday morning, and, as the spires and houses of the city came in view, cheer upon cheer went up from our men. Riding rapidly toward the city, the outer line of works was entered. The rebels therein surrendered, threw down their arms, many of them surrendering and others taking to their heels.

A fight then ensued for the next line, but the batteries were too much for them, and so, with his battery, General Kilpatrick opened upon them and the city.

There is no doubt that the men would have dashed upon and over any thing that stood in their way, so enthusiastic had they become, but General Kilpatrick acted the wiser part, and as the shrill whistle of the locomotive told of the bringing up of reinforcements from Pickett's brigade, at Bottom's Bridge and vicinity, he reluctantly gave the order to move toward Mechanicsville.

That this was difficult to do, soon became apparent. On every road the enemy's pickets confronted them, and a series of manoeuvres took place, in which the enemy were found to be on the alert at every point. Night coming on, Kilpatrick, with his accustomed audacity, halted and made preparations to camp. He had chosen a place, however, too near a rebel camp, and of this fact he was reminded by being shelled out of his position. So the command groped its way on in the darkness and gloom, fighting when pressed too hard, and with the tell-tale whistle of the locomotive now warning them that troops were being hurried back to Bottom's Bridge in the hope of cutting off their retreat.

On Monday, General Butler received orders to send out a force to meet General Kilpatrick and assist him if necessary. This movement was part of General Kilpatrick's plan as proposed. Had he known of or even expected a force at New-Kent Court-House or at Bottom's Bridge, he would not have then turned away from Richmond, but would have treated General Butler's forces to a fight for the same prize.

Two thousand infantry under Colonel Dunkin, Fourth United States colored regiment, eight hundred cavalry under Colonel Spears, Eleventh Pennsylvania cavalry, and Belger's First Rhode Island battery, the whole under command of Colonel West, were ordered to New-Kent Court-House, there to be governed by circumstances as to further movements. The infantry colored troops left on Monday afternoon, and reached New-Kent Court-House about noon the next day, having made an extraordinary night march through rain and mud.

The cavalry left Williamsburgh Monday night and arrived Tuesday morning. About eight o'clock Tuesday afternoon, Colonel Spears took a portion of his cavalry force and proceeded to Tunstall Station, where he destroyed a new steam saw-mill and its machinery, burned a freight-car, and twenty thousand feet of lumber.

On Tuesday night, a portion of Kilpatrick's force was discovered, but not knowing whether they were rebels or not, preparations were made to give them a warm reception. On Wednesday morning, the question was solved, and as the two [582] columns of cavalry came in on both sides of the colored brigade, drawn up to receive them, the mutual cheers were deafening.

This incident is marked from the fact that heretofore the army of the Potomac, and particularly the cavalry, have entertained a marked dislike to colored troops. After resting awhile they resumed their march down the peninsula. General Davis, who led, had several men shot by guerillas, and General Kilpatrick and his attendants chased a body, capturing a lieutenant and two men.

The force picked up on the way one of the escaped Richmond prisoners, a Colonel Watson or Watkins, of an Ohio regiment. The troops went into camp a few miles from Fort Magruder on Thursday night, and yesterday were to move to Williamsburgh for the purpose of procuring forage and rations, and resting the command.

This raid has been one of the most daring of the war, and but for the two fatalities mentioned would have proved a complete success. The men and horses have borne the hard marching remarkably well, the saddles not being removed during the trip, and but little sleep being given to the men.

The men made themselves quite at home with the inhabitants, and the stock of poultry, hogs, etc., has somewhat decreased. The people generally were given to lying, none of them having any thing to eat, either for man or horse. Among other acquisitions large piles of confederate money were secured and squandered with a recklessness befitting their easy acquisition. One party paid eighty-odd dollars for a supper for eight, comprising the best the house afforded.

The ratio with the people was four dollars graybacks for one of greenbacks. A large number of horses also found their way along with the command, and many a soldier has mementoes of Richmond, gathered inside the fortifications. Over five hundred prisoners were taken, but from the nature of the expedition it was impossible to bring them in.

The casualties have not yet been ascertained. Colonel Dahlgren, Major Cook, and Lieutenant-Colonel Litchfield, with about one hundred and fifty men, are missing. The latter is known to have been wounded.

Too much praise cannot be awarded Colonel Dahlgren, nor too much regret felt at his supposed capture. Not fully recovered from the loss of his leg in the charge upon Hagerstown, he volunteered his services to General Kilpatrick, and was assigned to the most important command in the expedition.

The greatest consternation prevailed in Richmond during the fighting, as well it might. The men who have been baffled of their prey — the rebel capital — feel that they would have been gloriously successful if the authorities at Washington had permitted General Butler to cooperate with them, and keep Pickett's infantry employed down the Peninsula.



Another account.

The following letter was written by a member of the Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry, who participated in the raid:

detachment Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry, Yorktown, Va., March 5, 1864.
dear Captain: Before this reaches you, you will have read in the newspapers the full account of “Kilpatrick's great raid;” but, notwithstanding all that, I may be able to give you some facts and incidents which the newspaper reporters have no knowledge of.

On the twenty-seventh ultimo a detail of five hundred men was made from our brigade, proportioned as follows: one hundred of the Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry; one hundred Sixteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, and three hundred of the First Maine cavalry. We reported to General Kilpatrick the same day. We bivouacked near his headquarters, and the next day, a little after dark, we started on our expedition with a force of between three thousand and four thousand men. About three hours, however, before starting, an advance force of five hundred men was sent ahead to clear the ford, and draw the attention of any small parties of “rebs” who might be straggling around. We crossed Ely's Ford at one o'clock in the morning, without opposition, and pushed forward rapidly, passing, in our course, Chancellorsville, of historic fame, and at daylight we entered Spottsylvania Court-House. The numerous campfires around the place indicated that the “Johnnies” were around, but upon our approach they had fled precipitately, too much frightened to offer any resistance to our advance. On we went, stopping only at long intervals for a few moments' rest and refreshment for ourselves and horses. We proceeded rapidly, passing through Mount Pleasant, Markham, and Childsburgh. Up to this time we had followed up the trail of our advanced five hundred, but at Mount Pleasant we diverged from the main road to go to Childsburgh, whilst our advance had taken the road leading to Frederickshall, with the understanding that they were to join us at Hanover Junction. At Childsburgh we struck for Beaver Dam Station, on the Virginia Central Railroad. When we had proceeded about two miles from Childsburgh, we suddenly came upon a rebel engineer train and captured the whole thing, engineers and all. They were going to Fredericksburgh, and had much valuable apparatus with them. About three o'clock P. M., we dashed into Beaver Dam Station, captured. the telegraph apparatus and operator, and in less than ten minutes the whole station, with all its buildings, etc., was in flames. We ascertained that a train from the Junction was due in a few minutes. General Kilpatrick despatched a party from the First Maine to attack it when it came up, but we were a little too late. They saw the smoke and flames of the burning station and stopped just before the party sent out to attack them came up. The trainguards fired a few shots at our party and then they reversed motion and rushed back to Hanover [583] Junction. I will say here that it was the Fourth and Sixteenth Pennsylvania cavalry regiments that destroyed the station, our brigade being in advance that day. It was our intention to go to Hanover Junction and destroy the station also, but for obvious reasons we changed our course and struck directly for Richmond.

I will not take time nor space to describe all the incidents along the route; suffice it to say that we burnt another station on the Fredericksburgh and Richmond Railroad. On Tuesday, at noon, we passed within the first line of fortifications around Richmond. We took up a position near Old Church, threw out our skirmishers, and opened a brisk artillery fire on them of two hours duration. We lost one officer — a captain — killed. We now directed our course toward White House, but halted for the night at Bidnella Cross-Roads — threw out our pickets, and in a drenching rain, lay down to get a few hours' sleep, of which we all stood very much in need; but fate ordained it otherwise. General Kilpatrick had set his heart upon taking Richmond, and for that purpose he detailed Major Taylor with four hundred men of his (Taylor's) command, consisting of First Maine, Fourth Pennsylvania, and Sixteenth Pennsylvania, who were to lead the advance, and all the rest were to follow in due time. The preliminaries were all arranged and the enterprise ready to be carried into execution, when we were attacked. This, of course, knocked the project on the head, and it had to be abandoned. The night was awful dark. The rebs came down upon us with a yell that made us think of Pandemonium; but we soon got our lines formed and advanced upon them, when they hastily fell back, not, however, until they had killed the Lieutenant-Colonel of the Sixth Michigan, and captured about two hundred of the men of that regiment.

We now directed our course in such a manner as to strike the Pamunkey about eight miles above White House. The next morning it was ascertained that the rebs were following us up. About ten o'clock we formed a line of battle. Two squadrons of the First Maine were deployed as skirmishers, the remaining two squadrons and the Fourth and Sixteenth Pennsylvania were drawn up for a charge. In about ten minutes our skirmishers attacked them, and almost immediately after, the devils saw our colors and came down toward us on a charge. Captain Cole, of the First Maine, was ordered to meet the charge, which he did in gallant style, completely routing them, and driving them like sheep before him.

In this charge the rebs lost five killed and quite a number wounded and captured. We only sustained a loss of two captured from the First Maine.

Our advance party of five hundred had not formed a junction with us yet, and we began to have some apprehension for their safety.

We now pushed on for the Pamunkey, about four miles distant--the rebels had gotten all they wanted from us, and molested us no further. Our whole force now succeeded in crossing a branch of the Pamunkey. Lieutenant Grant, of the Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry, was in command of the skirmish-line. Just as they were in the act of crossing, they discovered a body of troops coming toward them. They were dressed in blue, and it was soon discovered that they were friends. Upon coming up they proved to be our advance party; there were only about three hundred left — they were surrounded at Frederickshall, lost all their field-officers, and about two hundred men, the remainder cutting their way through. The next day we were reenforced by three regiments of cavalry and a “nigger” brigade of infantry, from Williamsburgh; but we were completely worn out, as well as our horses; we needed rest, so the column was headed for Yorktown, which place was reached without any note-worthy incident. Our appearance created the utmost consternation wherever we went: had a thunderbolt fallen in amongst them, they could not have been more astonished. than to see a Yankee column galloping along with perfect impunity, so near Richmond.

On the whole, I can't say that I regret the trip; but if we had known that we were coming on this raid we might have made some different arrangements about clothing and rations.

Your sincere friend,

T. W. B.


Rebel reports and Narratives.

Richmond, March 1, 1864.
Yesterday afternoon intelligence reached the city that a heavy column of Yankees had made their appearance in the neighborhood of Frederickshall, on the Virginia Central Railroad, fifty miles from Richmond. The statement was somewhat startling, because of the known fact that the greater portion of the reserve artillery of the army of Northern Virginia was quartered at that point, and without an adequate force for its protection. Later in the afternoon, the report reached the city that the whole of the artillery, amounting to some eighty pieces, had been captured; but this, in turn, was contradicted by a statement that the enemy did not go to Frederickshall, but struck the railroad some two miles south of that point, where they tore up a portion of the railroad track. After inflicting this damage on the road, they left, taking a southerly direction. We are inclined to think, from all the information we can gather in relation to the affair, that this latter statement is, in the main, correct. The raid is no doubt intended to interrupt communication between General Lee's army and Richmond, but it is hoped that, like Stoneman's raid last spring, it may prove a failure.

Passengers by the Fredericksburgh train, last night, state that the Yankee force consisted of one brigade of cavalry, and several pieces of artillery; that they crossed at Ely's Ford, on the Rappahannock, and passed through Spottsylvavia Court-House about eleven o'clock on Sunday night.

A despatch was also received yesterday afternoon [584] from Colonel Mallory, commanding at Charlottesville, that a cavalry force of the enemy were threatening that point, and that our troops were fighting them about three miles from the town. Late last night, report stated that they had been repulsed, and had retired.

The train which left this city yesterday morning, carried, as a passenger, General R. E. Lee, and for a while, those who feed upon rumors had it circulated that the train had been captured, and General Lee made prisoner. For this, however, there was no foundation, as information had been received of the safe arrival of the train at Gordonsville. Some uneasiness was felt in the early part of the evening, for the safety of the down passenger-train, due here at seven o'clock, but it was ascertained later in the night that it, too, was safe.


Richmond, March 2, 1864.
The raid of the enemy, so sudden and unexpected, has so completely interrupted telegraphic communication that little is known of the damage inflicted by them on the Virginia Central Railroad; but what little we have been able to ascertain leads to the belief that the injury to that road has been comparatively trifling.

After leaving Frederickshall, on Monday evening, the force seems to have divided, a portion of them passing through the upper part of Hanover County to the Fredericksburgh Railroad, which they are reported to have struck between Taylorsville and Ashland, and the others moving off through Louisa into Goochland County.

Early in the day yesterday, nothing could be heard from Ashland, on account of the interruption of the telegraph line, and nothing could be learned of the column of the enemy that struck the railroad at that point, until they appeared on the Brook turnpike, a few miles from the city. This was about ten o'clock A. M. They were gallantly met by a detachment of battery-troops, commanded by Colonel Stevens. After an engagement of some thirty minutes with light fieldpieces, they were driven off and retired in the direction of the Meadow Bridges, on the Central road. During the firing, the enemy threw several shells at the fine mansion of Hon. James Lyons, one or two of which, we understand, passed through the building, but happily without inflicting any material damage. It was reported last night, that this column had encamped about five miles from the city, on the Mechanicsville road. In the fight on the Brook road, Colonel Stevens had one man killed and seven wounded. This force of the enemy is variously estimated at from one thousand to five thousand cavalry, and a battery of artillery. The best information we have, leads to the impression that their force at this point did not exceed one thousand three hundred. In the fight, nothing but artillery was used.

The column that went into Goochland County paid a visit to the house of the Hon. James Seddon, Secretary of War. We heard last night, that the damage done by them on his place amounted to but little. They burnt two or three flouring-mills in the county, among them, the Dover Mill, some twenty-five miles above the city. General Henry A. Wise, who was at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. Hobson, in Goochland, narrowly escaped capture. He was at Mr. Hobson's when the enemy went to Mr. Seddon's place, and hearing of their presence in the neighbood, he put out for Richmond, and arrived here about the middle of the day yesterday. This column of the enemy is said to have consisted of four regiments of cavalry and one battery of artillery. A report reached the city last night that a portion of them had crossed James River, whilst others were moving in the direction of Richmond on the Westham plank-road, with the view, it is conjectured, of forming a junction with the column that was repulsed on the Brook turnpike. If it be true that any portion of them crossed the James River — which was doubted at the War Office--the design doubtless is, in conjunction with those approaching on the Westham road, to attempt the release of the prisoners on Belle Islland. About nightfall, musketry-firing was heard on the plank-road, supposed to be about five miles distant from the city, and as a body of our troops had been sent in that direction, the inference is, that they had come up with the approaching enemy. Of the result of the firing we had learned nothing up to the time of writing this article.

Later.--Since writing the above, some fifteen prisoners, captured at different points along the line of the enemy's routes, have been brought in. They say that the column of their forces which approached on the Brook road are under General Kilpatrick, and that the column which went into Goochland is commanded by General Gregg. The main body of Kilpatrick's forces crossed the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridges, late in the afternoon. The rear-guard went into camp last night at the junction of the Mechanicsville and Meadow Bridges roads.

Whilst in Groochland, Gregg's force burned the barn of Hon. J. A. Seddon. It is also reported that they carried off with them Mrs. Patterson Allan, who is under indictment for treason in the confederate court. This is only rumor, and should be received with allowance.

Kilpatrick's party visited the premises of Mr. John P. Ballard, about three miles from the city, and stole from his stables a pair of valuable carriage-horses.1



Another account.

Richmond, March 2, 1864.
Our last notice of the movements of the enemy closed with their appearance at Frederickshall, on the Central Railroad, and the approach of another column toward Charlottesville. The latter, we learn, were met by our cavalry under Colonel Caskie, and repulsed. At Frederickshall they tore up the track for a considerable distance, and, it is trustworthily reported, captured and brought off several of our officers and eight pieces of artillery stationed there, besides doing considerable damage by destroying the carriages, and [585] otherwise rendering it unserviceable for immediate use.

Leaving Frederickshall on Monday, they crossed the Central Railroad and divided into two detachments, one moving in the direction of James River Canal, and the other of Ashland, where it spent Monday night.

The force penetrated yesterday (Tuesday A. M.) to the farm of John A. Seddon, Secretary of War, in Goochland County; burned his barn and stable, and it is reported by escaped men that his dwelling-house was in flames. They burned all the flour and saw-mills in the vicinity, including the Dover flour-mills and barns, and the mills of Stanard & Morson; destroyed a number of freight and other boats in the canal, and did considerable damage to the iron-works at Mannakio. The only damage done to the canal beside the destruction of boats, was cutting the lock at Simpson. General H. A. Wise was at the time on a visit to his son-in-law, whose farm adjoins that of Secretary Seddon, but fortunately became apprised of their approach in time to make his escape. He arrived in the city yesterday.

The other detachment, that came to Ashland, was accompanied by a battery of artillery, and approached on the Brook turnpike, about six miles north-west of the city, yesterday morning. They were promptly met and kept in check, and finally handsomely repulsed, by a portion of engineer troops under Colonel W. H. Stephens, who manned a few sections of light artillery. A duel ensued, and shots were exchanged for about two hours. The enemy then withdrew in the direction of Mechanicsville, burning the trestle-work of the Central Railroad across the Chickahominy in their retreat. Our loss in the fight on the Brook road was one killed and six or seven wounded, but we are unable to learn their names. Neither the force nor the loss of the enemy is yet ascertained, as they carried their dead and wounded with them. We captured two prisoners, who were committed to Libby Prison.

During the retreat of this column they threw two or three shells at the dwelling-house of the Hon. James Lyons, which exploded in the yard without damage. They stopped the carriage of Mr. John P. Ballard, took out both the horses, and carried off the horses of Mr. Goddin. The latest report we have from. this retreating column is, that they had halted five or six miles from the city to take refreshments. They are probably endeavoring to make their escape by way of the White House. We omitted to mention a report that they saluted Camp Lee with a few shells, but this lacks confirmation.

The detachment that went to Goochland, according to the statement of an escaped prisoner, included a large body of negroes, mounted and armed. They seized and brought with them a considerable number of negroes as they passed through the country, as well as a large number of horses, which were brought into requisition whenever others were exhausted and gave out. Before leaving the Central Railroad they impressed into service a negro guide, to pilot them to the vicinity of the city, where they intended and expected to arrive last night, to effect a junction, probably, with a column from the direction of Ashland. The negro, however, intentionally or ignorantly piloted them in a wrong direction, and they landed in Goochland, as above stated, about daylight yesterday, for which they hung him yesterday morning.

It is reported that a detachment from this column went to the river at Mannakin's Ferry, it was believed with the intention of crossing it, if practicable, and coming over on the south side. Whether they succeeded or not we have not learned. Some of the privates expressed regret at the burning of houses, but said they acted under orders. A negro belonging to Stanard was captured, and, after being with them all day, feigned sickness, and being sent off under guard, three of our pickets galloped up and captured the Yankee, and released the negro.

About three o'clock yesterday afternoon, the enemy advanced toward the city by the Westham or River road, evidently the same force that went to Goochland. They formed into line of battle not far above the city, and, from the brisk firing of musketry heard in that direction about dusk, it is supposed that a fight occurred. The enemy were afterward reported to have been repulsed. Several prisoners were brought in about eight o'clock last night. Up to the late hour of writing this we learned no particulars.

The body of raiders is under command of General Kilpatrick, celebrated in connection with the raid of last spring, over very much the identical route. Besides the general destruction of property, one of the principal objects of the raid was evidently the release of the prisoners in this city, but the plan miscarried by the treachery or ignorance of this negro guide. It is not to be supposed that it would have been successful, had it been otherwise. The whole force is estimated at about two large brigades, and whatever the object, they have won a title to considerable boldness, to say the least of it.

Later.--Last night at about a quarter past ten o'clock, brisk artillery-firing was heard in the direction of Meadow Bridges or Mechanicsville, which continued half an hour. It proceeded, doubtless, from the column that retreated in that direction. It was reported that a skirmish occurred earlier in the night on the Westham road, in which the enemy charged Hurley's battalion and the Twenty-eighth Virginia regiment, who were in charge of the main body, and were repulsed. We heard of no casualties.

An official communication received last night, expresses the opinion that Meade is advancing against General Lee. The same opinion is entertained in a high official quarter. If Meade means fight, it may begin to-day, the weather permitting, though it may be only a demonstration in favor of the raid on the city.



Another account.

Richmond, March 4, 1864.
In concluding our report yesterday, we stated [586] that the raiders had succeeded in effecting their escape by crossing the Pamunkey at Piping Tree. Subsequent information has satisfied us that this statement was erroneous, and that only a small portion of the enemy's forces crossed the Pamunkey in their retreat. The main body, after passing Old Church, in Hanover County, moved down into New-Kent, on their way, doubtless, to Williamsburgh.

Yesterday afternoon, Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, with about forty of his Marylanders, assisted by a detachment of the Ninth Virginia cavalry, which had joined him, came up with their rear-guard, near Tunstall's Station, when a skirmish ensued, resulting in the capture of seventy of the raiders. This is probably the last heavy pull that will be made upon them, as it is understood that the remainder of the party had pushed on beyond New-Kent Court-House.

Thus ends the great raid which was designed for the destruction of General Lee's communications and the liberation of the Yankee prisoners in Richmond. The injury to the communications with the army of Northern Virginia can be repaired in three days, and, instead of releasing the prisoners already in our hands, they have added not less than two hundred and fifty to their numbers.

It is somewhat difficult to ascertain the exact loss of the raiders in killed and wounded. It is thought that in the fights on Mick's and Green's farms they had seventeen killed, and it is known that they had not less than twenty wounded. In Hampton's night attack upon them, near Atlee's, he killed four or five and wounded as many more. In the several engagements which occurred, they must have lost, at a low estimate, twenty-five in killed and seventy wounded.

Their loss in prisoners will reach two hundred and fifty. Up to seven o'clock yesterday evening, one hundred and seventy had been booked at the Libby, and these did not include the seventy captured by Colonel Johnson in the neighborhood of Tunstall's.

What their net loss in horses will amount to cannot, of course, be estimated, as the number they stole in their line of march will go far to make up the number captured from them. They did not lose less than five hundred in killed and captured. Beside the horses, they lost a Napoleon gun, many saddles, carbines, sabres, pistols, blankets, etc. Altogether, the expedition was rather an expensive one to Kilpatrick's Government, taking into consideration the results accomplished.

We were in error as to the name of the officer who commanded this battalion in the recent fight with the enemy on Green's farm. Captain John McAnerney, and not McIthaney, is his name. He came to Virginia in the early part of the war with the Third Alabama regiment, and was wounded in the battles around Richmond. His wound disabling him, he was appointed a clerk in the Post-Office Department. On the day of the raid he assumed command of the battalion as senior Captain, Major Henly being sick.

In addition to the names already published by us, we have heard of the following wounded in the late fights: Of Henly's battalion--privates D. T. Carter, S. McLain, R. B. Green, and Gray Deswell. Of the Armory battalion--Lieutenant Truehart, slightly in shoulder; private Jones, mortally; private Rees, badly in the neck. Among the local troops, we understand our total loss to be: Killed, three; mortally wounded, two; wounded, twelve; missing, five.

The injury sustained by this road from the raiders is slight, and only such as to prevent the running of the trains for a few days. In the neighborhood of the Chickahominy they destroyed the trestle-work over the Brook, and some fifteen feet of what is known as the dry trestling on the other side of the Chickahominy. At Beaver Dam they tore up some hundred yards or more of track, and burnt one or two unimportant railroad buildings. This is about the extent of the damage inflicted upon the road.

Some uneasiness has been expressed with reference to our artillery at Frederickshall, and apprehensions entertained that it sustained some damage from the raiders on Monday. The fact that several of the artillery officers were captured by them excited these apprehensions. We are glad to state, however, that not a single piece was injured, as the enemy were not at Frederickshall at all. They struck the railroad some three miles below that point.

The remains of Captain Albert Ellery, who fell in one of the fights on Tuesday night, were interred in Hollywood Cemetery. They were followed to their last resting-place by the battalion of which he was a member, and Smith's battalion band. Among the pall-bearers, we noticed Marshal Kane and Doctor Charles Magill.



The death of Dahlgren.

Richmond, March 5, 1864.
The most important blow which has yet been struck the daring raiders who attempted to enter this city on Tuesday last, was wielded by Lieutenant Pollard, of the Ninth Virginia cavalry, on Wednesday night, about eleven o'clock, in the neighborhood of Walkertown, in King and Queen County.

Lieutenant Pollard, with the greater portion of his own company, had been watching the movements of the enemy all day on Wednesday, in King William, and ascertained that night that Dahlgren, with about two hundred of his deluded followers, had crossed the Mattapony at Aylett's. With his own men he crossed over and followed the retreating raiders. On reaching the forks of the road, a few miles above Walkertown, Lieutenant Pollard learned that the enemy had taken the river road, leading to that place. Leaving a few men to follow on after them, he quitted the main road with the larger portion of the force at his disposal, and by a circuitous route and forced march, he succeeded in throwing himself in front of the enemy and awaited his approach. In the mean time, he had been joined by the home-guards of King and Queen [587] County, and a few men of Robbins's battalion. A little before eleven o'clock at night the enemy approached on the road in which they were posted. A fire was at once opened upon them, but their leader, Colonel Dahlgren, relying, perhaps, upon their numbers, or stung by chagrin at his failure to capture Richmond, determined to force his way through, and at once forming his men, ordered a charge, which he led himself. Tt proved, however, a fatal charge to him; for, in the onset, he was pierced with a ball and fell dead. After his fall, the command could not be rallied, but were soon thrown into confusion inextricable. Our boys, noticing this, availed themselves of the opportunity it afforded, and used it to the best advantage. Dashing in among the discomfited foe, they succeeded in capturing ninety prisoners, thirty-five negroes, and one hundred and fifty horses. The body of Dahlgren also fell into their hands, and on his person was found the paper which we publish below, disclosing the diabolical schemes which the party had in view, in making the late, and, to them, disastrous raid.2

Lieutenant Pollard, commanding company H, of the Ninth Virginia regiment, aided by some home-guards and a few men from Lieutenant-Colonel Robbins's command, succeeded in penning Colonel Dahlgren on Wednesday night, about eleven o'clock. Dahlgren made a determined effort to force his way out, and was killed leading the charge.

Thursday morning, the remaining officers having escaped, the party surrendered, ninety Yankees and thirty-five negroes.

Several papers were found in the pockets of Dahlgren, copies of which are subjoined:

address to the officers and men.

The following address to the officers and men of the command was written on a sheet of paper, having, in printed letters, on the upper corner, “Headquarters, Third division, cavalry corps, 1864” :

officers and men: You have been selected from brigades and regiments as a picked command, to attempt a desperate undertaking — an undertaking which, if successful, will write your names on the hearts of your countrymen in letters that can never be erased, and which will cause the prayers of our fellow-soldiers now confined in loathsome prisons to follow you and yours wherever you may go. We hope to release the prisoners from Belle Isle first, and, having seen them fairly started, we will cross the James River into Richmond, destroy the bridges after us, and, exhorting the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful city, will not allow the rebel leader Davis, and his traitorous crew, to escape. The prisoners must render great assistance, as you cannot leave your ranks too far or become too much scattered, or you will be lost.

Do not allow any personal gain to lead you off, which would only bring you to an ignominious death at the hands of citizens. Keep well together and obey orders strictly, and all will be well; but on no account scatter too far, for in union there is strength. With strict obedience to orders and fearlessness in their execution, you will be sure to succeed. We will join the main force on the other side of the city, or perhaps meet them inside. Many of you may fall; but if there is any man here not willing to sacrifice his life in such a great and glorious undertaking, or who does not feel capable of meeting the enemy in such a desperate fight as will follow, let him step out, and he may go hence to the arms of his sweetheart, and read of the braves who swept through the city of Richmond. We want no man who cannot feel sure of success in such a holy cause. We will have a desperate fight; but stand up to it when it does come, and all will be well. Ask the blessing of the Almighty, and do not fear the enemy.

U. Dahlgren,3 Colonel Commanding.


Special orders and instructions.

The following special orders were written on a similar sheet of paper, and on detached slips, the whole disclosing the diabolical plans of the leaders of the expedition:

Guides and pioneers, with oakum, turpentine and torpedoes, signal-officer, quartermasters, commissaries, scouts and pickets, and men in rebel uniforms — these will remain on the north bank and move down with the force on the south bank, not get ahead of them, and if the communication can be kept up without giving an alarm, it must be done; but every thing depends upon a surprise, and no one must be allowed to pass ahead of the column; information must be gathered in regard to the crossings of the river, so that, should we be repulsed on the south side, we will know where to recross at the nearest point.

All mills must be burned and the canal destroyed, and also every thing which can be used by the rebels must be destroyed, including the boats on the river. Should a ferry-boat be seized which can be worked, have it moved down. Keep the force on the south side posted of any important movement of the enemy, and in case of danger, some of the scouts must swim the river and bring us information. As we approach the city, the party must take great care that they do not get ahead of the other party on the south side, and must conceal themselves and watch our movements. We will try and secure the bridge to the city, one mile below Belle Isle, and release the prisoners at the same time. If we don't succeed they must then dash down, and we will try to carry the bridge by storm. When necessary the men must be filed through the woods and along the river bank. The bridge once secured and the prisoners loose and over the river, the bridges will be burned and the city destroyed. [588]

The men must be kept together and well in hand, and, once in the city, it must be destroyed and Jeff Davis and his cabinet killed. Pioneers will go along with combustible material. The officer must use his discretion about the time of assisting us. Horses and cattle which we do not need immediately, must be shot rather than left.

Every thing on the canal and elsewhere, of service to the rebels, must be destroyed.

As General Custer may follow me, be careful not to give a false alarm. The signal-officer must be prepared to communicate at night by rockets, and in other things pertaining to his department. The quartermasters and commissaries must be on the lookout for their departments, and see that there are no delays on their account. The engineer officer will follow and survey the road as we pass over it, etc. The pioneers must be prepared to construct a bridge or destroy one. They must have plenty of oakum and turpentine for burning, which will be soaked and rolled into balls and be given to the men to burn when we get into the city. Torpedoes will only be used by the pioneers for burning the main bridges, etc. They must be prepared to destroy the railroads.

Men will branch off to the right with a few pioneers and destroy the bridges and railroads south of Richmond, and then join us at the city. They must be well prepared with torpedoes, etc.

The line of Falling Creek is probably the best to march along, or, as they approach the city, Good's Creek, so that no reinforcements can come up on any cars.

No one must be allowed to pass ahead, for fear of communicating news.

Rejoin the command with all haste, and if cut off, cross the river above Richmond and rejoin us. Men will stop at Bellona Arsenal and totally destroy it, and every thing else but hospitals; then follow on and rejoin the command at Richmond with all haste, and, if cut off, cross the river and rejoin us. As General Custer may follow me, be careful and not give a false alarm.


Programme of the route and work.

The following is the exact copy of a paper, written in lead-pencil, which appears to have been a private memorandum of the programme that Dahlgren had made to enable him to keep his work clearly in mind:

Saturday, leave camp at dark--six P. M.; cross Ely's Ford at ten P. M.; twenty miles, cross North-Anna at four A. M. Sunday, feed and water one hour; three miles, Frederickshall Station, six A. M.; destroy artillery eight A. M., twenty miles; near James River, two P. M. Sunday, feed and water one hour and a half.

Thirty miles to Richmond. March toward Kilpatrick for one hour, and then, as soon as dark, cross the river, reaching Richmond early in the morning of Monday. One squadron remains on north side, one squadron to cut the railroad bridge at Falling Creek, and join at Richmond--eighty-three miles--General Kilpatrick cross at one A. M., Sunday--ten miles--pass river five A. M.--resistance; Childsburgh, fourteen miles, eight A. M. Resistance at North-Anna, three miles--railroad-bridge at South-Anna, twenty-six miles, two P. M.; destroy bridges, pass South-Anna, and feed until after dark, then signal each other. After dark move down to Richmond and be in front of the city at daybreak. Return.

In Richmond during the day, feed and water — men outside.

Be over the Pamunkey at daybreak, feed and water, and then cross the Rappahannock at night--Tuesday night--when they must be on the lookout. Spies should be sent on Friday morning early, and be ready to cut — a guide furnished.

The following paper was inclosed in an envelope directed to Colonel U. Dahlgren, etc., at General Kilpatrick's headquarters, and marked “confidential.” The letter is not dated:

dear Colonel: At the last moment I have found the man you want, who is well acquainted with the James River from Richmond. I send him to you mounted on my own private horse. You will have to furnish him a horse. Question him five minutes and you will find him the man you want. Respectfully and truly yours,


On the margin of the letter is written:

He crossed the Rapidan last night and has late information.


Another account.

The column of Yankees under Dahlgren took on their route two prisoners, Captain Demont and Mr. Mountcastle, who accompanied the force from Goochland to the debut at Walkerton. From these gentlemen and other sources of information we gather some interesting accounts of Dahlgren's excursion.

Dahlgren came down the Westham plank-road, with eight hundred or a thousand men. The Armory battalion was on the enemy's flank, and appears to have been completely surprised. But when the enemy came in contact with Henley's battalion the cavalry broke at the first fire. The first volley of musketry seems to have done all the disaster that occurred. There were eleven Yankees killed and some thirty or forty wounded.

After the affair Dahlgren seemed to be anxious for his retreat, and divided his forces so as to increase the chances of escape. The force under his immediate command moved down the south bank of the Pamunkey, and crossed the river at Dabney's Ferry.

Their exact number was not at first easily ascertained, and, as usual, the most exaggerated accounts were soon circulated throughout the country, increasing as they spread, until the miserable fugitives from the Richmond defences were magnified into a full brigade. From the ferry they proceeded by the most direct route to Aylett's, on the Mattapony, watched closely at every step by scouts detached from Lieutenant James Pollard's company of Lee's Rangers, now on picket-duty and recruiting services in King [589] William, the residence of most of its members. The ferry-boat having been previously removed, and Lieutenant Pollard's arrangements for disputing their passage when they reached the King and Queen side of the river being suspected, they dashed across the river as precipitately as possible, under the fire of a small squad of rangers left on the south bank for that purpose. While passing through King William they captured one prisoner, Mr. William Edwards, and several horses, and mortally wounded a man attached to the signal-corps, whose name we could not learn. Subsequently Colonel Dahlgren, in command of the party, ordered the release of Mr. Edwards and the restoration of his horse and some valuables which were forcibly taken from his person when captured.

The Yankees had no sooner reached King and Queen County than they were harassed, both front and rear, by the Rangers, until Lieutenant Pollard was reinforced by Magruder's and Blake's companies of the Forty-second Virginia battalion, now on picket-duty in King and Queen, and Fox's company of Fifth Virginia cavalry, on furlough in the same county. Here the fight became general, resulting in the death of Colonel Dahlgren and the capture of the greater number of the party, the rest having fled in disorder and panic to the nearest woods. It is believed that few, if any, will reach Gloucester Point alive, as the home-guard of King and Queen, whose bravery was conspicuous during the whole affair, are scouring the country and cutting off escape.

A large body of this raiding party was pushing toward the peninsula at last accounts, preferring that route to the rather hazardous attempt to reach Gloucester Point through King William and King and Queen. We regret this very much, as in both counties adequate preparations were made to prevent the soil of either county from being converted into a highway, as in the earlier period of the war, for Yankee robbers whose track is marked, wherever they are permitted to obtain a foothold, with desolation and blood.


A further account.

From information derived from a trustworthy source it appears that the credit of the capture of the “Dahlgren party” is mainly due to Captain William M. Magruder and a squadron of Robbins's battalion under his command, who have for some time past been posted in King and Queen County as a corps of observation. Learning that the enemy was moving down the north bank of the Mattapony by the river road, with the evident intention of reaching Gloucester Point, Captain Magruder determined to anticipate him, and with this view left his camp with about one hundred of his command and Lieutenant Pollard and seventeen men of the Ninth Virginia cavalry, making for a point on the river between Mantua Ferry and King and Queen Court-House, which he succeeded in reaching in advance of the enemy.

Posting his command at an eligible point along the road in ambush, he had not long to wait before the enemy made his appearance, headed by Dahlgren himself, slowly and cautiously approaching, as if apprehensive of their impending fate. As the head of the column neared the point of concealment, Dahlgren's attention was attracted by a slight rustling in the bushes, occasioned doubtless by the movement of some of our party. Drawing his pistol he called out: “Surrender, you damned rebel, or I'll shoot you.” In an instant private McCoy sprang into the road, and, levelling his piece, shot the miscreant dead.

A general volley was then poured into the enemy's ranks, which had the effect of emptying their saddles and killing as many horses and throwing the rest into inextricable confusion. Then ensued a scene of the wildest panic, which was heightened by the intense darkness of the night. Each man looking to his own personal safety, all sought refuge in flight, and spurring their jaded horses over the bodies of their wounded and over each other, the whole body broke pell-mell over a ditch and watling fence, which the most adventurous fox-hunter would hardly have essayed in the heat of the chase, into a small field. Captain M. immediately disposed his force around the field so as to prevent all egress, and quietly awaited the approach of daylight, when the whole party surrendered without resistance.

Much praise is due Captain Magruder for his coolness and judgment in this affair. If he had ordered a charge upon the discomfited enemy in the road, the probability is that some of our own men would have fallen by the hands of their comrades by an indiscriminate fight in the dark, while the opportunity of escape by the enemy would have been increased. As it was, the prudent course adopted secured most effectually the result desired without a single casualty on our side. This account strips the valorous Dahlgren's name of the little éclat which might have attached to it if he had fallen, as was at first stated, while boldly leading a charge in an effort to cut his way through our lines. He was shot down, as he deserved to be, like a “thief in the night,” with his stolen plunder around him, while seeking, under cover of darkness, to elude the punishment he so richly merited.


The negro guide.

Dahlgren's guide, recommended to him “at the last moment” as the “very man he wanted,” by one “truly yours, John C. Babcock,” has reached the Libby, in company with the two or three hundred brigands he attempted to guide into the heart of Richmond. His name is John A. Hogan, an Irishman by birth, twenty-three years old, tall and lithe, with a fine open countenance. When asked his rank, he declared himself a full high private, and did not aspire to any thing else. Being interrogated as to his knowledge of Richmond and its suburbs, he [590] said he knew it “like a bog;” he was a guest at the Hotel de Libby in July, 1863, and knew the officers of the prison. Then recognizing Mr. Ross, the clerk, Hogan broke out, “How do you do, Lieutenant Ross? Glad to see you.” Hogan boasted of his narrow escape, having had four bullets put through his clothing and hair. In reply to a question as to what he was fighting for, he replied he was fighting for fun. When such fun ends in a hempen rope, as we trust it will, Hogan will cease to estimate his business a joke.

Hogan disposed of for the present, we would inquire who is this “John C. Babcock” who sent Hogan on his own horse to Dahlgren? If found, he should certainly be sent headlong after Dahlgren, or brought to Richmond to participate in whatever fate awaits the outlaws of his command held here,--Richmond Examiner, March 8.


Gen. Elzey's congratulations.

headquarters Department of Richmond, March 8, 1864.
General orders, no. 10.

The Major-General commanding congratulates the troops upon their completely successful defence of the city of Richmond, and its rescue from the ravages of the invader.

The enemy was gallantly repulsed on the north side by Colonel Stevens's command, and on the west by Brigadier-General G. W. C. Lee's troops. Their conduct is entitled to the highest praise and credit.

To Colonel Bradley T. Johnston, and the officers and soldiers under his command, the thanks of the Major-General are especially due, for the prompt and vigorous manner in which they pursued the enemy from Beaver Dam to Richmond, and thence to the Pamunkey and down the peninsula, making repeated charges, capturing many prisoners and horses, and thwarting any attempt of the enemy to charge them.

The Major-General commanding begs leave to tender to Major-General Hampton and his command his sincere thanks for their cooperation in following up the enemy, and their gallant assault upon his camp at Atlee's Station, on Tuesday night, in which the enemy's entire force was stampeded and completely routed, leaving in the hands of General Hampton many prisoners and horses.

Lastly, the conduct of the home guard of King and Queen County, and of Captain Magruder's squadron of the Forty-second battalion, Virginia cavalry, which, in conjunction with small detachments of furloughed men, under Captain Fox and Lieutenant Pollard, of the cavalry of the A. N. V., attacked the retreating column of Colonel Dahlgren--killing the leader and capturing nearly one hundred prisoners, with negroes and horses — deserves public acknowledgment.

By command of

Major-General Elzey. T. O. Chestney, Assistant Adjutant-General.


Spirit of the rebel press.

Richmond, March 5.
If the confederate capital has been in the closest danger of massacre and conflagration — if the President and Cabinet have run a serious risk of being hanged at their own door, do we not owe it chiefly to the milk-and-water spirit in which this war has hitherto been conducted?

It is time to ask, in what light are the people of the confederate States regarded by their own government? As belligerents resisting by war an invasion from a foreign people — or as a gang of malefactors evading and postponing the penalty of their crimes? It may appear a strange question; yet the answer is not so distinct as could be desired. The enemy's government, we know, takes the second view of our position. To the Washington authorities we are simply criminals awaiting punishment, who may be hanged, or may be pardoned. In their eyes, our country is not ours, but theirs. The hostilities which they carry on are not properly war, but military execution and coercion. There is, in their opinion, no equality of rights between us; no more than between the police and a gang of garroters whom the police is hunting down. Even the one symptom of apparent recognition, upon their part, of our status as a war-making people — namely, the exchange of prisoners (a measure to which policy compelled them for a little while,) is at an end. We would not treat, forsooth, with Major-General Butler! The outlaws, indeed, pretend to tastes and preferences as to which of the efficient police constables shall be sent to deal with them. The fastidious creatures demand to be brought back to their duty by gentlemanlike officers, and to be handled with kid gloves, do they!

But the present matter in hand is not the position which the Yankees assign us. Does the confederate government take any different view of the case? Does it at least recognize us as belligerents? What a question — after three years of fierce and deadly war! Now, in submitting to take an inferior position, in suffering our enemies to do things which we may not or dare not do, in shrinking from retaliation for outrage, pillage and murder, this government does virtually acknowledge and accept the theory, the whole theory of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward. General Morgan makes a raid into Ohio; he is taken, is thrust into a State penitentiary as a felon, to await his trial as a robber. Streight and his mounted brigands lay waste and burn and plunder several counties in North-Alabama--they are taken and treated as prisoners of war. Stoneman, Spears, Kilpatrick, ride when they please up to the fortifications of Richmond, robbing the houses and hen-coops, stealing the very spoons and clothing, carrying off, at their pleasure, horses, mules, slaves. Some of the thieves are apprehended, but what care they? Their officers are conducted to the Libby and used with distinguished consideration.

The private thieves are sure of the, treatment of honorable enemies and prisoners taken in [591] battle. Several hundred of this last marauding gang are now in the confederate prisons at Richmond. They are not chained up in a penitentiary for felons, not handed over to be dealt with by the outraged laws of Virginia. Why not? Perhaps this State government at Richmond is not the true government of Virginia; perhaps the true government is the one at Wheeling, or at Alexandria, or at Norfolk, and these raiders and robbers have committed no offence against that government or against the people of the real State of Virginia--that is, the “loyal” State. This is the theory at Washington; those in “rebellion” have no rights; and to do by those caitiffs as was done by Morgan, in Ohio, would not there be regarded. as the legitimate retaliation of belligerents, but as a new outrage by rebels; and, doubtless, if the wretches were hanged, an equal number of confederate officers of the highest rank they have got would swing; and our government knows it, and in its humanity and Christian charity submits.

Again, two Yankee officers are solemnly designated by lot to be executed in retaliation for two of ours most foully murdered. But, in the eyes of our enemies, we have no rights of retaliation, nor any other rights, so they coolly inform us that if we do as we have threatened, they will not regard it as retaliation, but as a new crime, to be severely punished. They choose out two officers of rank--one a Brigadier-General--and inform us that their lives shall answer for the two whom we propose to execute. Well, this governmont, after months of hesitation, gives way, yields all, confesses that it has no rights, and lets the condemned men go. In other words, it accepts for us, and in our name, the position of rebels and malefactors.

But “we are to consider,” it seems, “not what wicked enemies may deserve, but what it becomes us, Christians and gentlemen, to inflict.” O hypocrisy, and thou forty-parson-power which alone can sound its praise through thy forty noses! What cant is this? We wonder whether Mr. Davis is aware of what many honest people begin to mutter and murmur.

They say, can this man be saving up for himself, in case of the worst, a sort of plea in mitigation of punishment? If the cause for which a hundred and fifty thousand of us have died, be borne down at last, is this Christian meekness of his intended to save his own life? They say; what comfort are these fine sentiments to the houseless families who have been driven from their homes in Tennessee or Virginia, when they find that our armies, even on the enemy's soil, are withheld from giving the invaders a taste of real war in their own quenched hearths and blazing barns? For what have we set over us a government at all, if it be not to protect us against our enemies; to avenge us of our enemies when need is; to uphold our cause in all its fulness and grandeur, and to keep our banner flying high? But this is lowering the cause and dragging the banner through the dust this is encouraging, inviting our invaders to ravage and pillage us at pleasure, sure that they will not be visited with the like in their turn.--Richmond Sentinel.


Richmond, March 7.
Perhaps the people — perhaps even the government of the confederate States--are now at length awakened to the true nature of the struggle in progress. We have been in the habit of regarding it as a war between nations; our enemies have all along looked upon it as a military execution upon a mutinous crew. The means by which their soldiers are desired “to write their names in ineffaceable letters on the hearts of their countrymen,” are by rushing at night upon a populous city, burning it down with turpentine and oakum in “soaked balls,” turning loose some thousands of ruffian prisoners, brutalized to the deepest degree by acquaintance with every horror of war, who have been confined on an island for a year, far from all means of indulging their strong sensual appetites — inviting this pandemonium to work their will on the unarmed citizens, on the women, gentle and simple, of Richmond, and on all their property — in a word, to sack, with the usual accompaniments attending that operation — to kill Jefferson Davis and his mutinous crew, and slip away as they came; to burn not only houses and bridges, but every thing else which might be of use to the rebels, barns, boats, stores, provisions, and to slaughter all horses and cattle which they could not carry away with them.

The results, indeed, of this tremendous intention of ravage and butchery, were contemptible. The “picked command, selected from brigades and regiments” for the thieving and murdering expedition, was not quite up to the mark. “The braves who were to have swept though Richmond” were very easily swept away from before Richmond; and their balls of oakum and turpentine, instead of hissing and flaming in our dwellings and amidst terrified women and children, as. was expected, had to be thrown into the Pamunkey for the present. Nevertheless, the minute programme of that piece of business cannot fail to be instructive. After our government has existed for three years, and has all that time maintained large armies to meet and baffle their far greater armies in fair fight in the field, they think it still an allowable, nay, a virtuous and glorious proceeding, to steal upon our Chief-Magistrate and his Cabinet in their beds, and, after burning their houses, to hang them up on the next tree, just as the French in Algiers would do to a Kabyle chief and his encampment in the desert, or the English in India to some Nena Sahib or Ghoorka marauder.

Now — it is as well to look our position straight in the face — we are barbarians in the eyes of our enemies. Our way of life is, according to the dictum of one of these philosophers, “the sum of all barbarism.” Against us every thing is fair. We also, though we have newspapers and orators, and a certain command of the English language, are yet so hemmed in for the present by [592] blockading fleets and armies, that our protest, if we attempt any, dies away in silence too. It is the simple fact, let us take it as we will, that those enemies against whom we fondly believe we are waging an honorable war, as nation against nation, are carrying on against us the very same sort of warfare that English armies think good enough for the revolted Sepoys and mutinous hill-tribes.

If they can surprise, by any sort of artifice, our kraal of Richmond, and deliver it over to the mercy of their troops, and hold in it one good carnival of lust and rapine, they will write their names in imperishable letters on the hearts of their countrymen. This situation of affairs was always well known to us; but it was doubted or denied by many confederates of feeble brain. Do they believe it now, understand it now, that we have it under the hand of Federal officers charged with the task of breaking up this “hateful” den of Richmond, burning and robbing our houses, stripping and violating the virtuous and often refined Christian women of this place, shooting, stabbing, hanging the highest civil officers of the law, and massacring indiscriminately the population?

This is a wholesome kind of reflection for our own countrymen. We believe it will sting them. We think it highly probable that they will peremptorily demand of their government some practical, unmistakable assertion of our full determination to be treated as honorable enemies and civilized people. And what — some may ask — what then would you have our government do?--turn the war into a war of extermination? Certainly, certainly; it is already a war of extermination, of indiscriminate slaughter and plunder on the part of our enemies. Their sparing the lives of prisoners and occasional exchanges, form but a temporary suspension of the rule, necessitated by our holding prisoners also; but the true animus, the authentic Yankee theory of the war, is manifest in the actual proceedings of our enemy wherever he has the power, and especially, and most signally, in this code of instructions for sack and massacre in Richmond.

Our government owes it to its own army and to its own people, if it cannot at the moment retaliate such atrocities in kind, at least to bring to condign punishment the robbers who, in the guise of soldiers, and under pretence of war, have been caught lurking about Richmond with their oakum balls and turpentine, and their written programme for murdering the chief magistrate and setting fire to all the houses till the city is burnt in a hundred places at once, and then inviting eight thousand bloodthirsty, lustful ruffians to gut the blazing mansions, rape the mistresses, and knock the masters in the head, in the dreadful confusion.

But if we hang these wretches, then the enemy will select an equal number for the gallows? Not while we hold sixteen thousand hostages. But if we shrink from that, there is another alternative, and the only one left us — hanging and massacre all on one side. We can choose between the two; other choice there is none.

--Richmond Examiner.

Richmond, March 7.
Presuming the documents found on the body of Dahlgren to be authentic, the whole question of the recent attempt to invade Richmond, burn and sack it, (with all the other horrible concomitants of such a scene,) can be stated and disposed of in a few words. It requires no fine disquisition to see our way clear as to what should be done with those of the banditti who have fallen into our hands. But it does require nerve to execute the palpable convictions of our judgment — a judgment which will be promptly sustained by the civilized world, including China, the most truculent of nations; nations not uncivilized.

Are these men warriors? Are they soldiers, taken in the performance of duties recognized as legitimate by the loosest construction in the code of civilized warfare? or are they assassins, barbarians, thugs who have forfeited (and expect to lose) their lives? Are they not barbarians redolent with more hellish purposes than were ever the Goth, the Hun or the Saracen? The consentaneous voice of all Christendom will shudderingly proclaim them monsters, whom no sentimental idea of humanity, no timorous views of expediency, no trembling terror of consequences, should have shielded from the quickest and the sternest death.

What more have we to dread from Yankee malice or brutality than we know now awaits us, if success attend them? What have we to hope from their clemency? Will justice meted out to these poor creatures stimulate either the brutality of the Yankees on the one hand, or increase their capacity and means for diabolism on the other? Both are now in fullest exercise. If these men go unpunished, according to the exceeding magnitude of their crimes, do we not invite Yankees to similar, and, if possible, still more shocking efforts? If we would know what we ought to do with them, let us ask what would ere now have been their fate, if, during a war, such a body of men, with such purposes and such acts, had made an attempt on and were taken in London or Paris? The English blow fierce and brutal Sepoys, who disregard and exceed the just limits of war, from the mouths of cannon; the French fusilade them. If we are less powerful, have we less pride and self-respect than either of these nations! These men have put the caput lupinum on themselves. They are not victims; they are volunteers for remorseless death. They have rushed upon fate, and struggled in voluntary audacity with the grim monster. Let them die, not by court-martial, not as prisoners, but as hostes humani generis by general order from the President, Commander-in-Chief.

Will the Cabinet and President have the nerve to do what lies palpably before them? This is the question in all mouths. What concerns the [593] people most now is not whether its public officers will come out of this war with brilliant European reputations — not whether, after leading the people out of Egypt, they shall have the reputation that Moses preserved, of being very meek — but they wish protection to themselves, their wives and children, and their honor.

--Richmond Whig.


A review of the expedition.

by E. A. Paul.
The rebels, through the newspapers, have had their say about the recent raid. As was anticipated, those located about the confederate capital very naturally were, and still are, fearfully excited at the audacity of Kilpatrick and his troopers — they had reason to be so. This is not only what was expected, but what was hoped would be the case by all who took any particular interest in the matter; and, by the degree of their exasperation over what the Richmond editors are pleased to call “the raid of barbarians,” may we judge the amount of damage done them and their failing cause. The simple fact is, that in the so-called programme of operations found upon the body of the lamented Colonel Dahlgren, they have interpolated words of their own coining, to the effect that Jeff Davis and his cabinet were to be killed, thereby giving an importance to the proclamation (which, by the way, was never read to the troops) and the memoranda of operations which were found, not at all in accordance with the spirit actuating the instigators and leaders in the movement. The writer was privileged to see the documents which Colonel Dahlgren had the day he started on the expedition, and which have been spread before the public in a garbled shape through the Richmond press, to intensify, if possible, the infernal spirits of all rebeldom in their hatred to the Union cause and all its supporters; and although having no copy of these papers before him now, he is satisfied that there was no expression therein written which could reasonably be construed even so as to express a determination to murder any person or persons — even so great an outlaw as Jeff Davis. Stripped of this interpolation, the memoranda and proclamation do not exceed the bounds of legitimate warfare. The planners and participators in this raid are as high-minded and honorable men as even the conceited editor of the Examiner could wish, and the leaders of the expedition would go as far in preventing their men committing overt acts. And even if the worst was true, how illy it becomes the indorsers of Early in Pennsylvania, Morgan in Ohio, Quantrel in Kansas, and Beauregard in his plot to murder President Lincoln and Lieutenant-General Scott, to take special exceptions to this raid! Either one of the confederate leaders named has been guilty of more doubtful acts than were ever contemplated by any body of Union raiders. Forgetting these things, they threaten to mete out condign punishment to the prisoners captured from Kilpatrick's command. The real animus, however, may be found--first, in the amount of property destroyed, some of which cannot be replaced — none of which can be well spared — and next the chagrin and mortification experienced by the bombastic South at the fact that an expedition on so important a mission should accomplish so much under the very noses and in defiance of the Richmond Junta; and, what is worse than all, by troops led on by Kilpatrick and Dahlgren--two men who, next to Butler, are most cordially hated and feared by all opposed to the Union cause, and for the reason that they have so often humiliated the knights of the black flag. Kilpatrick, particularly, has been the special object of their vengeance for ruining the prospects of one of Virginia's best known chieftains — Stuart of cavalry fame. Whipped time and again by Kilpatrick, Stuart finds now among his people none so poor as to do him reverence. Plot upon plot, similar to that concocted and nearly executed at Buckland's Mills last fall, have been laid by Stuart, in the hope of destroying the hated and feared Kilpatrick, hoping thereby to gain that confidence of his associates in crime lost by battling with the man whom he seeks to ruin. In this, however, he will not be permitted to be successful.

From the rebel statements made, it would appear that Dahlgren lost his life by neglecting to exercise the usual precautions to guard against. surprise, and was ambushed late at night. There was no moon on Wednesday or Thursday nights, (March second and third,) until toward morning; there was a cloudless sky both nights, and bright star-light, affording sufficient light to see objects at a distance, except in woods. Dahlgren being so near Gloucester, probably considered himself beyond all serious danger, and therefore it is possible was entrapped when least prepared for it, and almost entirely thrown off his guard. But I am inclined to think that Major Cook, his second in command, when at liberty to do so, will give an entirely different version of this lamentable affair. Dahlgren, though brave almost to rashness, always moved cautiously when there was the possibility of a lurking enemy being near.

He had passed beyond what he considered the most critical point. He could not have expected to find Kilpatrick beyond the Mattapony, for he must have heard his guns on Wednesday morning. The larger portion of his command rejoined the main column on that day at about two P. M.; he doubtless, in attempting to follow, ran upon the enemy, and was forced to cross the Pamunkey and Mattapony at a point further north. When, On Wednesday evening, he attempted to recross the Pamunkey at Pine-Tree Farm, he was within a very few miles of Kilpatrick, and must have seen the fires of his camp, for they were numerous and much extended by the burning of miles of basket-fence along the plantations within a, few miles of the Pamunkey. He probably supposed, however, they were fires in an enemy's camp, and therefore resolved to make his way to Gloucester. Would to God he had known whose hands kindled those extended lines of fire on that crisp March night! [594]

The story of arrangements having been made to blow up the buildings containing Union prisoners, is simply ridiculous. No doubt the rebel heart is bad enough for any such atrocity; but the prisoners were protected from this calamity by the fact that the humane design could not be carried into effect without sacrificing a large number of rebel lives and property. Possessed of more than Yankee cunning, the rebel authorities, under the panic created by the shells thrown from Ransom's battery, doubtless did attempt to intimidate the prisoners by telling them that arrangements had been made to blow up the buildings they occupied, for the purpose of preventing any general attempt to overpower the guard — a result which would doubtless have been attained had the prisoners known how near their friends were. The rumors about blowing up prisoners has this foundation and no more.

In view of all the known facts, how puerile appear the indignities heaped upon Dahlgren's body! It was the old fable of kicking the dead lion. No man in all rebeldom would have presumed to offer him an indignity when alive; but when his mangled, mutilated, and bleeding body was lying dead before them, the self-styled aristocrats, the chivalrous gentlemen of the city of Richmond, could heap indignities upon that inanimate form with impunity. Was ever sneaking cowardice more palpable?

Kick the dead body of the gallant Dahlgren to your heart's content — obliterate every mark by which his resting-place may be known; heap all the indignities upon his name and fame that the incarnate fiend of secession may suggest — but it will be of no avail; his ghost won't down at your bidding; his spirit still lives in the hearts of thousands of his compatriots in arms, who have sworn to avenge the cowardly indignities attempted to be heaped upon his name and remains.

1 Richmond Dispatch, March 1st and 2d.

2 Richmond Dispatch, March 5, 1864.

3 See Admiral Dahlgren's letter denying the authenticity of this “address.”

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