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[400] after some skirmishing these retired. Another party was dispatched to destroy the bridge of the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad across the South Anna—a purpose that was foiled by the presence of a small observing force. The main column then advanced with insignificant opposition, and on the forenoon of the following day, March 1st, reined up before the fortifications of Richmond. The swoop had been so sudden that the troopers passed unopposed within the outer line of redoubts; but the Confederates having, meanwhile, brought up some forces, Kilpatrick found himself arrested before the second line by opposition he could not break through. In the mean time, Colonel Dahlgren, with his isolated party, had moved southward from Frederickshall, after destroying the depot, till he struck the James River, where he did considerable damage to the canal, etc. A native of the country had undertaken to lead the party to a ford not far from Richmond, but through ignorance or treachery he missed his way, and conducted the column to near Goochland Courthouse, a full day's march from the intended point. The guide was hanged on the nearest tree, and Dahlgren moved down the course of the river towards Richmond, in front of which he arrived late on March 1st. But in the interim, General Kilpatrick, having been estopped in front of the fortifications, and hearing nothing of Dahlgren's column, became fearful as to his safety, and decided to fall back down the Peninsula, which he did in face of considerable opposition.

Dahlgren was thus completely isolated from the main body, while the country around him, now thoroughly aroused, was alive with parties of armed citizens and militia. During the night of the 3d, while on the retreat, Colonel Dahlgren, with a hundred horsemen, became separated from the rest of his command, and falling into an ambush, he was killed, with some of his men, the rest surrendering. The other portion succeeded in making a junction with Kilpatrick's column, which returned to the Army of the Potomac by way of Fortress Monroe.

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