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[518] the James. We finally had to stop, as we were losing men in the darkness, and about 2 A. M., March 1, we halted at a small country store, fed our horses, and cooked some rations.

As soon as it was light we were on the way, and by 8 A. M. we came out on the hill at Dover Mills, on the farm of John A. Seddon, who was then Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America.

Up to this, our success had been remarkable—two nights and one day in the Confederate lines and not a shot had been fired at us. We were beginning to think we would go right through with the whole programme, but now things took a turn that looked rather bad for us.

It was now necessary to make the final arrangements for the assault on the city which was to be made that night at about eight o'clock. Our column was to divide, one part to cross the river and go as far as the Appomattox bridge, where the Richmond and Danville Railroad crosses, destroy that, then turn and strike toward Richmond, coming into Manchester opposite Belle Isle, secure the bridge, liberate our men on the island, cross them over and unite with the other prisoners from Libby and Castle Thunder. But, when all the arrangements were made and all had received their final instructions, we found our guide had sold us out. There was no ford at the place at all, but a steam ferry, with the boat at the opposite side of the river, and no ford short of twenty miles up the river. This is the most mysterious case I ever heard of. This man came down from Washington city, sent by Stanton, who was a personal friend of the Colonel. He made a bargain with Kilpatrick and Dahlgren to take them to a ford at Dover Mills and take them over, when his services would cease, and in case of any mistake or treachery on his part he was to be hanged, and if it came out all right he was to receive a large sum of money. He took charge on those terms, took us safe through and had plenty of chances to make his escape, but still kept on with us. When asked why he had misled us, he did not, or could not give a satisfactory answer. The Colonel then told him he would have to carry out his part of the contract, to which the guide assented, and admitted that was the agreement and made no objection to his execution. He went along to the tree without any force and submitted to his fate without a murmur.

A change was now necessary, so Dahlgren then determined to go down on the other side of the river and make the attack on the upper part of the city with his whole force, and trusted to circumstances to

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Ulric Dahlgren (2)
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