Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/546
The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid Against Richmond. 545
father and the United States Government. It was to justify these ruthless acts that the announcement already mentioned had been spread about in regard to the orders alleged to have been found on Colonel Dahlgren after he fell, which were said to have directed the death of the insurgent president and the destruction of Richmond. The document alleged to have been found upon the person of Colonel Dahlgren is utterly discredited by the fact that the signature attached to it cannot possibly be his own, because it is not his name a letter is misplaced and the real name Dahlgren is spelled Dalhgren; hence it is undeniable that the paper is not only spurious, but is a forgery. Evidence almost as positive is to be found in the writing of the Chris- tian prefix of the signature. The document is signed 'U. Dahl- gren,' whereas Colonel Dahlgren invariably signed himself ' Ulric Dahlgren,' never with the bare initial of the first name. Among all the letters of his writing which can be collected not an instance to the contrary occurs, down to the last that he ever wrote, just before starting for Richmond. It is entirely certain that no such orders were ever issued by Colonel Dahlgren. All that he gave were verbal, as might have been expected under the circumstances, and in no case intimated in the least degree the intention conveyed by the obnoxious passages of the spurious order.
"Nothing of the kind was received by the officers or privates of the command, even to the time when Richmond was in view, and it is highly improbable that they would have been uninformed of any important purpose of the expedition when they were supposed to be on the verge of action. Lieutenant Bartley, the signal officer of the column, in a published letter December 29th, 1864, after giving an account of the treatment received when a prisoner, says:
" ' All this brutal punishment was inflicted upon us, according to the statement of the Confederate prison officials, on account of those papers said to have been found on the body of Colonel Dahlgren at the time he was killed. But the name of Colonel Dahlgren can never be injured by any slander or forgery that can be concocted by all the enemies of our country. His deeds speak for themselves. His career with Sigel, Burnside, Hooker, Meade and Kilpatrick, together with his exploits at Fredericksburg, Beverley Ford, Cham- bersburg and in front of Richmond, will live when the name of the last traitor in the land is forgotten.
'"I pronounce those papers a base forgery, and will give some of my reasons for so doing. I was with the expedition in the capacity of signal officer, and was the only staff officer with him. I had