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[123]

Fist Massachusetts cavalry.

The officers and men of the First Massachusetts Cavalry formed part of General Judson Kilpatrick's force in his Richmond raid. The men look gaunt and hungry because they are down to “fighting weight.” Starvation, fatigue, exposure, and nights in the saddle soon disposed of any superfluous flesh a trooper might carry. These men heard the laugh of the Confederate sentries inside the fortifications of the Southern Capital, and turned back only when success seemed impossible. Kilpatrick's object had been to move past the Confederate right flank, enter Richmond, and release the Union captives in its military prisons. This bold project had grown out of President Lincoln's desire to have his proclamation of amnesty circulated within the Confederate lines. The plan included also a raid upon communications and supplies. A joint expedition, under Dahlgren, met defeat, and Kilpatrick, not hearing from it, turned back.

Troopers of the first Massachusetts just after their attempt to raid Richmond in 1864

A group of officers, first Massachusetts cavalry


 

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