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[521]

If M. Quad's query, ‘Who sacrificed Dahlgren?’ has not been satisfactorily answered yet, let some one else try his hand.

R. Bartley, Signal Officer United States Army.

On the above we make now only two comments:

1. We happened to be present at the time at Frederick's Hall depot, around which the artillery of Ewell's corps was in winter quarters, and we state of our own personal knowledge that there were no infantry to protect the guns, and Colonel Dahlgren might have made his raid a brilliant success, if (instead of putting so much confidence in the statement of the ‘intelligent contraband’) he had dashed into camp, captured the guns and equipments of Ewell's artillery (at least a third of what belonged to the whole Army of Northern Virginia), and, abandoning his wild scheme of capturing Richmond, had carried them into the Federal lines, as he could easily have done.

2. The hanging of the poor negro who acted as guide, and offered to show them a ford near Dover Mills, was an utterly unjustifiable murder. We were in that neighborhood several years ago, saw the tree on which he was hung, and were told by an old resident of unimpeachable veracity that there was, and is, a ford at the point to which the negro conducted the column, which is passable nearly the whole year, but that the winter rains had swollen the James so that it was at that time unfordable.

A statement in the Philadelphia Times several years ago by one of Dahlgren's officers, to the effect that a proof that there never was a ford there, and that the negro guide was a traitor, was found in the fact that he himself ‘saw sloops passing up the river’ at that point, is as wild as the attempt to prove that the ‘Dahlgren Papers’ were forged by Confederates. Every resident of this section, every schoolboy who has studied the geography of Virginia, knows that the James is not navigable above Richmond, and that no ‘sloop’ was ever seen at Dover Mills.

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