More of the raid.--the Yankee Colonel
The most important blow which has yet been struck the daring raiders who attempted to enter this city on Tuesday last was wielded by Lieut. Pollard, of the 9th Virginia cavalry, on Wednesday night about 11 o'clock, in the neighborhood of Walkerton, in King and Queen county.
Lieut. P., with the greater portion of his own company, had been watching the movements of the enemy all day on Wednesday in King William, and ascertained that night that Dahlgren, with about two hundred of his deluded followers, had crossed the Mattaponi at Aylett's. With his own men he crossed over and followed the retreating raiders.
On reaching the forks of the road, a few miles above Walkerton, Lieutenant P. learned that the enemy had taken the river road, leading to that place.
Leaving a few men to follow on after them, he quitted the main road with the larger portion of the force at his disposal, and by a circuitous route and forced march he succeeded in throwing himself in front of the enemy and awaited his approach.
In the meantime he had been joined by the home guards of King and Queen and a few men of Robins's battalion.
A little before 11 o'clock at night the enemy approached on the road in which they were posted.
A fire was at once opened upon them; but their leader, Col. Dahlgren, relying perhaps upon his numbers, or stung by chagrin at his failure to capture Richmond, determined to force his way through, and at once forming his men, ordered a charge, which he led himself.
It proved, however, a fatal charge to him; for in the onset he was pierced with a ball and fell dead.
After his fall the command could not be rallied, but were soon thrown into confusion inextricable.
Our boys, noticing this, availed themselves of the opportunity it afforded and used it to the best advantage.--Dashing in among the discomfited foe, they succeeded in capturing ninety prisoners, thirty five negroes, and one hundred and fifty horses. The body of Dahlgren also fell into their hands, and on his person was found the papers which we publish below, disclosing the diabolical schemes which the party had in view in making the late, and to them, disastrous raid:
Dahlgren killed — important
papers found upon his person.--
ninety of his men made prisoners.
Address to the officers and men.The following address to the officers and men of the command was written on a sheet of paper having in printed letters on the upper corner, "Headquarters Third Division, Cavalry Corps,--1864:" ‘ Officers and Men. You have been selected from brigades and regiments as a picked command to attempt a desperate undertaking — an undertaking which, if successful, will write your names on the hearts of your countrymen in letters that can never be erased, and which will cause the prayers of our fellow soldiers now confined in loathsome prisons to follow you and yours wherever you may go. We hope to release the prisoners from Beile 1st and 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 and his traitorous crew to escape. The prisoners must render great assistance, as you cannot leave your ranks too far or become too much scattered, or you will be lost. Do not allow any personal gain to lead you off, which would only bring you to an ignominious death at the hands of citizens. Keep well together and obey orders strictly, and all will be well, but on no account scatter too fast for in union there is strength. With strict obedience to orders, and fearlessness in the execution, you will be sure to succeed. We will join the main force on the other side of the city, or perhaps meet them inside. 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 tight as will follow, let him step out, and he may go hence to the arms of his sweetheart, and read of the braves who swept through the city of Richmond. We want no man who cannot feel sure of success in such a holy cause. We will have a desperate fight; but stand up to it when it does come, and all will be well. Ask the blessing of the Almighty, and do not fear the enemy. ’
Special orders and Instructions.The following special orders were written on a similar sheet of paper, and on detached slips, the whole disclosing the diabolical plans of the leaders of the expedition: Guides — Pioneers (with oakum, turpentine, and torpedoes)--Signal Officer--Quartermaster--Commissary: Scouts and pickets — men in rebel uniform: These will remain on the north bank and move down with the force on the south bank, not getting ahead of them; and if the communication can be kept up without giving alarm, it must be done; but everything depends upon a surprise, and no one must be allowed to pass ahead of the column. Information must be gathered in regard to the crossings of the river, so that should we be repulsed on the south side we will know where to recross at the nearest point. All mills must be burned, and the canal destroyed; and also everything which can be used by the rebels must be destroyed, including the boats on the river.--Should a ferry boat be seized, and can be worked, have it moved down. Keep the force on the south side posted of any important movement of the enemy, and in case of danger some of the scouts must swim the river and bring us information. As we approach the city, the party must take great care that they do not get ahead of the other party on the south side, and must conceal themselves and watch our movements. We will try and secure the bridge to the city (one mile below Belle Isle,) and release the prisoners at the same time. If we do not succeed, they must then dash down, and we will try and carry the bridge from each side. When necessary, the men must be filed through the woods and along the river bank. The bridges once secured, and the prisoners loose and over the river, the bridges will be secured and the city destroyed. The men must keep together and well in band, and once in the city it must be destroyed, and Jeff Davis and Cabinet killed. Pioneers will go along with combustible material. The officer must use his discretion about the time of assisting us. Horses and cattle, which we do not need immediately, must be shot rather than left. Everything on the Canal and elsewhere, of service to the rebels, must be destroyed. As Gen. Custer may follow me, be careful not to give a false alarm. The signal officer must be prepared to communicate at night by rockets, and in other things pertaining to his department. The Quartermasters and Commissaries must be on the lookout for their departments, and see that there are no delays on their account. The engineer officer will follow to survey the road as we pass over it, &c. The pioneers must be prepared to construct a bridge or destroy one. They must have plants of oakum and turpentine for burning, which will be rolled in soaked balls and given to the men to burn when we get in the city. Torpedoes will only be used by the pioneers for destroying the main bridges, &c. They must be prepared to destroy railroads. Men will branch off to the right with a few pioneers and destroy the bridges and railroads south of Richmond, and then join us at the city. They must be well prepared with torpedoes, &c. The line of Falling Creek is probably the best to work along, or, as they approach the city, Goode's Creek; so that no reinforcements can come up on any cars. No one must be allowed to pass ahead for fear of communicating news. Rejoin the command with all haste, and, if cut off, cross the river above Richmond and rejoin us.--Men will stop at Bellona Arsenal and totally destroy it, and anything else but hospitals; then follow on and rejoin the command at Richmond with all haste, and, if cut off, cross the river and rejoin us. As Gen. Custer may follow me, be careful and not give a false alarm.
Programme of the route and work.The following is an exact copy of a paper written in lead pencil, which appears to have been a private memorandum of the programme, which Dahlgren had made to enable him to keep his work clearly in mind: Saturday.--Leave camp at dark (6 P. M.); cross Ely's Ford at 10 P. M. 20 miles--Cross North Anna at 4 A, M. Sunday; feed and water one hour. 3 miles--Frederick's Hall Station, 6 A. M.; destroy arts, 8 A. M. 20 miles--Near James river, 2 P. M. Sunday; feed and water one and a half hours. 30 miles to Richmond — March towards Kilpatrick for 1 hour and then as soon as dark cross the river, reaching Richmond early in the morning. （Monday) One squadron remains on north side, and one squadron to cut the railroad bridge at Falling Creek, and join at Richmond--33 miles. Gen. Kilpatrick--cross at 1 A. M. Sunday--10 miles. Pass river 5 A. M. (resistance.) Childsburg--14 miles - 8 A. M. Resistance at North Anna - 3 miles. Railroad bridges at South Anna--26 miles--2 P. M. Destroy bridges — Pass the South Anna and feed until after dark — then signal each other.--After dark move down to Richmond, and be in front of the city at daybreak. Return--In Richmond during the day — feed and water men outside. Be over the Pamunkey at daybreak — feed and water, and then cross the Rappahannock at night, (Tuesday night,) when they must be on the look out. Spies should be sent on Friday morning early, and be ready to cut.
A guide Furnished.The following paper was enclosed in an envelope directed to "Col. U. Dahlgren, &c., at Gen. Kilpatrick's Headquarters, and marked "confidential." The letter is not dated: James river from Richmond up. I send him to you mounted on my own private horse. You will have to furnish him a horse. Question him five minutes and you will find him the man you want.
John O, Babcock.
On the margin of the letter to written: "He crossed the Rapidan last night and has late information."