previous next

[553]

Kilpatrick's route and the progress made on it were known in Richmond, so that when he arrived at the outer line of defences, quite a number of people were there to welcome him. I was in the city at the time, in person only (a portion of my cavalry being with the army, and a portion off, wintering in the interior of the State, where forage was more abundant), and rode out to the line of fortifications, witnessing Kilpatrick's departure after a brief stay, and a few shots fired from his artillery. There was no cavalry to pursue him with; and his return march, as far as I know, was unmolested.

Colonel Ulric Dahlgren's command was detached from the main body under Kilpatrick, with the intention, it was presumed, of crossing James river some distance above Richmond, releasing the Federal prisoners at Belle Isle, and, by entering Richmond from the south or Petersburg side, form again a junction with Kilpatrick. James river was high; and without attempting its passage, Colonel Dahlgren moved down its north bank, doubtless with the expectation of finding and uniting with Kilpatrick in Richmond. The latter, however, had left him and his small force to take care of themselves. It resolved itself then into a case of suave qui peut. Dividing into smaller parties, to facilitate their escape, Dahlgren, at the head of one of them, attempted to return through King & Queen county, but was killed, as far as I know and believe, at the point and in the manner described in the minute statement of Edward W. Halbach, of Stevensville, in that county. His statement can be found upon page 504 in the Lost Cause.

I was still in Richmond, when, on the second morning after Colonel Dahlgren's death, Lieutenant James Pollard, of the Ninth Virginia cavalry, brought me some papers and an artificial leg, which he said had been taken from the body of one of the officers of the enemy named Dahlgren, and who had been killed in King & Queen county. Pollard was one of my officers, accidentally in that vicinity at the time, and hence brought the papers first to me. Upon ascertaining their contents, I immediately took them to Mr. Davis. Admitted to his private office, I found no one but Mr. Benjamin, a member of his Cabinet, with him. The papers were handed him, and he read them aloud in our presence, making no comment save a laughing remark, when he came to the sentence, ‘Jeff. Davis and Cabinet must be killed on the spot,’ ‘That means you, Mr. Benjamin.’ By Mr. Davis's directions, I then carried them to General Cooper, the Adjutant-General of the army, to be filed in his office. I never saw them but once afterwards, when I took them out of the


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Ulric Dahlgren (5)
Kilpatrick (4)
Jefferson Davis (3)
James Pollard (2)
King (2)
Judah P. Benjamin (2)
Edward W. Halbach (1)
S. Cooper (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: