On February 28, US Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick left his encampment at Stevensburg with 4,000 picked men to raid Richmond. Col. Ulric Dahlgren, son of Rear Adm. John Dahlgren, commanded an advance force of 500 men.
While the main body under Kilpatrick rode along the Virginia Central Railroad tearing up track, Dahlgren rode south to the James River, hoping to cross over, penetrate Richmond's defenses from the rear, and release Union prisoners at Belle Isle.
Kilpatrick reached the outskirts of Richmond on March 1 and skirmished before the city's defenses, waiting for Dahlgren to rejoin the main column. Dahlgren, however, was delayed, and Kilpatrick was forced to withdraw with Confederate cavalry in pursuit.
Hampton attacked Kilpatrick near Old Church on the 2nd, but the Federals found refuge with elements of Butler's command at New Kent Court House.
In the meantime, Dahlgren's men, unable to penetrate Richmond's defenses, tried to escape pursuit by riding north of the city. Dahlgren's command became separated, and on March 2 his detachment of about 100 men was ambushed by a detachment of the 9th Virginia Cavalry and Home Guards in King and Queen County near Walkerton.
Dahlgren was killed and most of his men captured. Papers found on Dahlgren's body that ordered him to burn Richmond and assassinate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet caused a political furor.
Southerners accused the North of initiating "a war of extermination." Meade, Kilpatrick, and Lincoln all disavowed any knowledge of the Dahlgren Papers.
Result(s): Confederate victory
Location: King and Queen County
Campaign: Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid (February-March 1864)
only battle in campaign Campaigns
Date(s): March 2, 1864
Principal Commanders: Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick and Col. Ulric Dahlgren [CS]; Major General Wade Hampton [CS]
Kill-Cavalry: The Life of Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick
"Kill-Cavalry" because of the unusually high casualty rate among his men, cavalry commander Hugh Judson Kilpatrick was also the most notorious scoundrel in the Union army. Kilpatrick lied, thieved, and whored his way through the Civil War, yet managed to attain the stars of a major general.
Victory Without Triumph
The Wilderness, May 6th & 7th, 1864
John Priest meticulously details the vicious infantry fighting along the Plank Road, Longstreet's counterstrike against the II Corps, the cavalry operations of both armies near Todd's Tavern, and John B. Gordon's daring assault against the Army of the Potomac's right flank.
The Spotsylvania Campaign
The Spotsylvania Campaign marked a crucial period in the confrontation between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in Virginia. Waged over a two-week period in mid-May 1864, it included some of the most savage fighting of the Civil War and left indelible marks on all involved
The Battle of the Wilderness May 5-6, 1864
Fought in a tangled forest fringing the south bank of the Rapidan River, the Battle of the Wilderness marked the initial engagement in the climactic months of the Civil War in Virginia, and the first encounter between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee
In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: The Wilderness Through Cold Harbor
For forty days, the armies fought a grinding campaign from the Rapidan River to the James River that helped decide the course of the Civil War. Several of the war's bloodiest engagements occurred in this brief period: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor
Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864
This chronicles the great 1864 Overland Campaign, forty days that marked the end of the Civil War. In detail the battles in Virginia's Wilderness to the combat at Spotsylvania the trap laid by Lee at the North Anna River, to the killing ground of Cold Harbor
The Journal of James Edmond Pease: A Civil War Union Soldier, Virginia, 1863
James was only 15 when he joined, but he was able to get in. Nobody really liked him cause he was unlucky. One day in the confusion he charged ahead of his company and scared off all the Confederates single handed. After that, he became well liked by most people and soon rose Corporal. He showed his bravery when he spent a week in enemy territory. By the end of the war he rose up to Second Lieutenant.
Night Boat To Freedom
Night Boat to Freedom is a wonderful story about the Underground Railroad, as told from the point of view of two "ordinary" people who made it possible. Beyond that, it is a story about dignity and courage, and a devotion to the ideal of freedom.
Behind the Blue and Gray
The Soldier's Life in the Civil War
Civil War reading can be very dry, but not this book. Delia Ray takes us on a soldiers journey beginning with enlistment and ending with a soldiers life after the war, using quotes from actual letters and diaries strategically placed throughout the book.
Grace's Letter to Lincoln
Many important details of the time period help to make the reader understand what life was like then. It also includes photos of the actual letters written between Grace and Mr. Lincoln
Bad Blood: The Border War That Triggered the Civil War
In the years leading up to the Civil War, a bloody conflict between slaveholders and abolitionists focused the nation's eyes on the state of Missouri and the territory of Kansas. Told through the actual words of slave owners, free-staters, border ruffians, and politicians, Bad Blood presents the complex morality, differing values, and life-and-death decisions faced by those who lived on the Missouri-Kansas border
Blue Vs. Gray - Killing Fields
Relive the most vicious fighting of the Civil War, in which General Ulysses S. Grant forcibly reversed the tide of the conflict by paying with the blood of thousands. It was a desperate time for the Union
The Civil War in Virginia
Virginia was the arena where North and South fought many of their bloodiest battles. the program gives a full account of the events that took place describing in detail the history of the American Civil War in Virginia
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.