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[425] McIlhenney, as soon as he saw the enemy, promptly arranged to attack. This was done with such impetuosity that Dahlgren and his men were routed, leaving some eighteen killed, twenty to thirty wounded, and as many more prisoners. About a hundred horses, with equipments, a number of small arms, and one three-inch Napoleon gun were captured. Our loss was one captain and two lieutenants killed, three lieutenants and seven privates wounded—one of the latter mortally. This feat of the Clerks' Battalion commanded the grateful admiration of the people, and the large concourse that attended the funeral of the fallen expressed the public lamentation.

Dahlgren now commenced his retreat. To increase the chances of escape the force was divided, he leading one party in the direction of King and Queen County. The home guard of the country turned out against the raiders, and, being joined by a detachment from the Fortysecond Battalion of Virginia Cavalry and some furloughed cavalrymen of Lee's army, surprised and attacked the retreating column of Dahlgren, killed the leader, and captured nearly one hundred prisoners, with negroes, horses, etc.

On the body of Dahlgren was found an address to his officers and men, another paper giving special orders and instructions, and one giving his itinerary, the whole disclosing the unsoldierly means and purposes of the raid, such as disguising the men in our uniform, carrying supplies of oakum and turpentine to burn Richmond, and, after releasing their prisoners on Belle Isle, to exhort them to destroy the hateful city, while on all was impressed the special injunction that the city must be burned, and ‘Jeff Davis and Cabinet killed.’

The prisoners, having been captured in disguise, were under the usages of war liable to be hanged as spies, but their protestations that their service was not voluntary, and the fact that as enlisted men they were subject to orders and could not be held responsible for the infamous instructions under which they were acting, saved them from the death penalty they had fully incurred. Photographic copies of the papers found on Dahlgren's body were taken and sent to General Lee, with instructions to communicate them to General Meade, commanding the enemy's forces in his front, with an inquiry as to whether such practices were authorized by his government, and also to say that if any question was raised as to the copies, the original paper would be submitted. No such question was then made, and the denial that Dahlgren's conduct had been authorized was accepted.

Many sensational stories, having not even a basis of truth, were put

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