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[589] William, the residence of most of its members. The ferry-boat having been previously removed, and Lieutenant Pollard's arrangements for disputing their passage when they reached the King and Queen side of the river being suspected, they dashed across the river as precipitately as possible, under the fire of a small squad of rangers left on the south bank for that purpose. While passing through King William they captured one prisoner, Mr. William Edwards, and several horses, and mortally wounded a man attached to the signal-corps, whose name we could not learn. Subsequently Colonel Dahlgren, in command of the party, ordered the release of Mr. Edwards and the restoration of his horse and some valuables which were forcibly taken from his person when captured.

The Yankees had no sooner reached King and Queen County than they were harassed, both front and rear, by the Rangers, until Lieutenant Pollard was reinforced by Magruder's and Blake's companies of the Forty-second Virginia battalion, now on picket-duty in King and Queen, and Fox's company of Fifth Virginia cavalry, on furlough in the same county. Here the fight became general, resulting in the death of Colonel Dahlgren and the capture of the greater number of the party, the rest having fled in disorder and panic to the nearest woods. It is believed that few, if any, will reach Gloucester Point alive, as the home-guard of King and Queen, whose bravery was conspicuous during the whole affair, are scouring the country and cutting off escape.

A large body of this raiding party was pushing toward the peninsula at last accounts, preferring that route to the rather hazardous attempt to reach Gloucester Point through King William and King and Queen. We regret this very much, as in both counties adequate preparations were made to prevent the soil of either county from being converted into a highway, as in the earlier period of the war, for Yankee robbers whose track is marked, wherever they are permitted to obtain a foothold, with desolation and blood.


A further account.

From information derived from a trustworthy source it appears that the credit of the capture of the “Dahlgren party” is mainly due to Captain William M. Magruder and a squadron of Robbins's battalion under his command, who have for some time past been posted in King and Queen County as a corps of observation. Learning that the enemy was moving down the north bank of the Mattapony by the river road, with the evident intention of reaching Gloucester Point, Captain Magruder determined to anticipate him, and with this view left his camp with about one hundred of his command and Lieutenant Pollard and seventeen men of the Ninth Virginia cavalry, making for a point on the river between Mantua Ferry and King and Queen Court-House, which he succeeded in reaching in advance of the enemy.

Posting his command at an eligible point along the road in ambush, he had not long to wait before the enemy made his appearance, headed by Dahlgren himself, slowly and cautiously approaching, as if apprehensive of their impending fate. As the head of the column neared the point of concealment, Dahlgren's attention was attracted by a slight rustling in the bushes, occasioned doubtless by the movement of some of our party. Drawing his pistol he called out: “Surrender, you damned rebel, or I'll shoot you.” In an instant private McCoy sprang into the road, and, levelling his piece, shot the miscreant dead.

A general volley was then poured into the enemy's ranks, which had the effect of emptying their saddles and killing as many horses and throwing the rest into inextricable confusion. Then ensued a scene of the wildest panic, which was heightened by the intense darkness of the night. Each man looking to his own personal safety, all sought refuge in flight, and spurring their jaded horses over the bodies of their wounded and over each other, the whole body broke pell-mell over a ditch and watling fence, which the most adventurous fox-hunter would hardly have essayed in the heat of the chase, into a small field. Captain M. immediately disposed his force around the field so as to prevent all egress, and quietly awaited the approach of daylight, when the whole party surrendered without resistance.

Much praise is due Captain Magruder for his coolness and judgment in this affair. If he had ordered a charge upon the discomfited enemy in the road, the probability is that some of our own men would have fallen by the hands of their comrades by an indiscriminate fight in the dark, while the opportunity of escape by the enemy would have been increased. As it was, the prudent course adopted secured most effectually the result desired without a single casualty on our side. This account strips the valorous Dahlgren's name of the little éclat which might have attached to it if he had fallen, as was at first stated, while boldly leading a charge in an effort to cut his way through our lines. He was shot down, as he deserved to be, like a “thief in the night,” with his stolen plunder around him, while seeking, under cover of darkness, to elude the punishment he so richly merited.


The negro guide.

Dahlgren's guide, recommended to him “at the last moment” as the “very man he wanted,” by one “truly yours, John C. Babcock,” has reached the Libby, in company with the two or three hundred brigands he attempted to guide into the heart of Richmond. His name is John A. Hogan, an Irishman by birth, twenty-three years old, tall and lithe, with a fine open countenance. When asked his rank, he declared himself a full high private, and did not aspire to any thing else. Being interrogated as to his knowledge of Richmond and its suburbs, he

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