church where he had been an attentive listener for successive Sabbaths. The large number of letters which I have received from those who knew him or have heard his story assure me that my son appeared to others as he appeared to me. Among the latest received is one sent me for perusal, from an entire stranger, who writes thus: * * * The lamented young Dahlgren, with whom it had been our pleasure to form a brief, but most agreeable acquaintance. This was while he was in the city, recovering from the amputation of his limb. We first met him at----. He was present upon his crutches, and received marked attention both from military and civilians. The news of his cruel death produced in us a feeling of unmingled sadness — the more so, perhaps, from the vivid impression left on us by meeting him just before he went last to the field and entered upon his fatal expedition. It was at one of Speaker Colfax's receptions where we had a long and agreeable conversation with him, and had the pleasure of introducing quite a number of our friends, and I know that his gentleness and modest deportment, joined to that moral heroism that seemed to pervade his whole spirit, will not soon be forgotten by those who conversed with him. Some who heard the elaborate and wonderful sermon of Dr. Sunderland on his death, but who had never met him, were ready to say that the character drawn by the Doctor was that of a very remarkable young man. To some of these it was my privilege to say that the picture drawn of him was a true one. My wife has often referred to his conversation at Colfax's. His whole soul seemed to be patriotically absorbed in the struggle of his country. His conversation with every one, however commenced, would soon be turned to the great conflict in which our beloved country is engaged for the maintenance of its government against the determined efforts of wicked men to destroy it. To a number of young ladies that were introduced to him he said, in a pleasant but earnest manner--“Ladies, you ought to encourage the young men to enlist in the Union army, and fight for our country. It is their duty, and ought to be a privilege to be engaged in such a cause, and if they should fall, it would be in a holy cause. No one should consider his life too dear to lay it down, if need be, for our glorious Union and country.” These were the sentiments, and as near as I can remember, the language used by him. There seemed a wonderful earnestness and almost inspiration about him in reference to our country. He felt that it was glorious to die for one's country. To all it is a subject of deep sorrow that one so promising and so fully imbued with genuine patriotism should thus early in life be cut down in such a ruthless manner. Thus he appeared in the social circle. Another letter shows him in the perilous hours of the expedition that preceded his death — from an officer who was near him at the time. His playful, pleasant smile ever cheered and inspired his companions. Good nature and firmness seemed in him most pleasantly blended, and as I rode beside him it was with the greatest pleasure that I watched his face, and with every glance gained new trust. (The column was now near Richmond.) We advanced, and as night came on we met the enemy; the skirmishing was heavy; the enemy's fire very annoying; but I stopped in admiration of the Colonel's coolness. He rode along the line, speaking to the men, so calm, so quiet, so brave, that it seemed to me the veriest coward must needs fight if never before. When he gave the order to retire, he detailed our regiment for rear guard and placed me in charge with orders to keep well closed up, but not to let the enemy drive me on the column. He then rode ahead In the darkness the column became divided, etc. The last letter he ever wrote was to myself. It was from the camp, just before putting foot in stirrup, and about to set out on the last of a brilliant and eventful career. He directed that it should only be given to me in the event of his not returning. He speaks of the enterprise as “glorious, and that he would be ashamed to show his face again if he failed to go in it.” He expressed himself as fully sensible of the danger, and concluded thus: “If we do not return, there is no better place to give up the ghost.” Such was the brave and generous spirit whose light has been quenched forever. That of itself might have sufficed to sate the vengeance even of traitors. The shocking cruelty which has been exhibited to his inanimate body, and the perpetration of forgery to justify it, will, in the and, recoil on the infamous ruffians. To the gallant young soldier it has been as nothing. He had passed away to his final account, leaving behind him a name far beyond the reach of the chivalry. There are those left, however, whose pride and pleasure it will be to vindicate his fair fame, and he will be remembered as a young patriot of spotless life and purest purpose; honest, true and gentle, dutiful to every obligation, unselfish and generous to a fault; an undaunted soldier of the Union, who never struck a blow except at an armed enemy, but carefully and kindly respected the claims of defenceless women and children; an accomplished gentleman, a sincere Christian, a faithful comrade, who, not recovered from the almost fatal illness consequent on losing a limb in battle, went forth to brave every hardship in the hope of aiding in the release of our captive soldiers from the dungeons of a merciless enemy, who for this treated his dead body with savage ferocity, and hesitated not to forge his name. Peace to his ashes, wherever they rest; the laurels on the young and fair brow of Ulric Dahlgren will never fade while there are true men and women in the land to keep them green.
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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