Colonel Dahlgren's leading address to the officers and men of his command was written on a sheet of paper, having in printed letters on the upper corner ‘ Headquarters Third Cavalry Corps, 1864.’ This address was patriotic and reverent in some parts, but contained a sentence which was particularly offensive to the Southern people. ‘We hope to release the prisoners from Belle Isle first, and having seen them fairly started, we will cross the James River into Richmond, destroying the bridges after us, and exhorting the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful city; and do not allow the rebel leader, Davis, nor his traitorous crew, to escape.’ Another striking sentence in this address was this: ‘ Many of you may fall, but if there is any man here not willing to sacrifice his life in such a great and glorious undertaking, or who does not feel capable of meeting the enemy in such a desperate fight as will follow, let him step out and go to the arms of his sweetheart and read of the braves who swept through the city of Richmond.’ Other special orders were written on detached slips. These related mainly to the details of the approach toward the city and the entrance into Richmond over the bridge across James River. These papers caused a storm of protest throughout the South. The Richmond newspapers argued therefrom that every captured man of Dahlgren's regiment should be executed, but this was not done. [There was, at one time, as announced in the Southern Historical Society Papers, photographic copies of the orders in the archives of the Southern Historical Society, but they have never been found, though diligently sought for by the present Secretary.] The Richmond Daily Examiner for March 7th, 1864, contained a striking article on Dahlgren's raid. They got the information for the article largely from Captain Dement, of our forces; who had been captured by Dahlgren in Goochland County, and forced by him to accompany him throughout his raid and act as his guide. It was to Captain Dement that the straggling members of Dahlgren's command surrendered on the morning after their leader had been shot. This officer afterwards came into Richmond and gave an accurate account of the entire raid. Captain Dement and Mr. Mountcastle (who was also a captive of Dahlgren's) gave a full description of Dahlgren's personality to the Richmond people. Judge Henry E. Blair, a nestor of the law, was another of Dahlgren's
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The battlefields of Virginia .
The address of Hon. John Lamb .
Historical memorial of the Charlotte Cavalry .
Some war history never published.
Mr. Davis 's Version of it.
Yankee gunboat Smith Briggs. from the Times-dispatch, March 18 , 1906 , and July 15 , 1906 .
First battle of Manassas .
Mrs. Eggleston 's address.
William Smith , Governor of Virginia , and Major-General C. S. Army , hero and patriot.
Fellow-citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia .
Roll of brave men.
List of Virginia chaplains, Army of Northern Virginia .
Location of the guns.
The Berkeley brothers from the Richmond News-leader, January 21 , 1907 .
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.