Statement of Lieutenant Bartley, of the United States signal corps.
The expedition of General Kilpatrick and Colonel Ulric Dahlgren to Richmond in the spring of 1864 is, perhaps, less understood by the general public than any event of the late war of the same magnitude and importance, more especially the part Dahlgren's column played in that singularly unfortunate move. This comes from two causes; one that Colonel Dahlgren was killed and the rest of us captured and lay in prison till the following year, and no report of our doings was ever sent to the War Department; and the next was the disposition on the part of General Kilpatrick to keep as quiet as possible on the subject, as there was a desire on the part of some to hold him responsible for the sacrifice of Colonel Dahlgren and his command. I will now try and give your readers a short account of that memorable raid as I saw it. I was the signal officer with Dahlgren—had all his plans—was to carry out the details in regard to the destruction of public property—had the torpedoes, turpentine, signal rockets, etc., all in my charge, with orders how and when to use them. Being the only staff officer he had, I feel pretty certain I knew what he intended to do, and how it was to be done. The expedition started from Stevensburg, near Culpeper Courthouse, Virginia, on the night of February 28th, 1864, at seven o'clock. It was composed of details from the First Maine, First Vermont, Second New York, Fifth New York, and Fifth Michigan cavalry regiments—in all four hundred men—Major E. F. Cook, Second New York Cavalry, in command. I was sent from army headquarters as signal officer, to act in conjunction with Captain Gloskoski, who was General Kilpatrick's signal officer. We proceeded to Ely's Ford on the Rapidan, where we captured a commissioned officer and thirteen men, who were on guard at the ford. This was done by Lieutenant H. A. D. Merritt, Fifth New York Cavalry, who had been put in command of the advance guard. It was done so quickly that there was no alarm, and we passed into General Lee's lines and left the gate open for the main body under