The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid Against Richmond. 559
LETTER FROM GENERAL J. A. EARLY.
LYNCHBURG, February 24th, 1879.
Rev. JOHN WILLIAM JONES, D. D.,
Secretary Southern Historical Society :
DEAR SIR, I send you the copy of Dahlgren's address which Mr. McDaniel gave me for the Society. You will see that the " h " is very distinct in this copy. The address seems to have been written on two half-sheets of paper, or more probably on the two odd pages of a full sheet, with the conclusion written on the second page, or on the reverse side of the first leaf, and across the writing on the first page. By holding the half-sheet, in which the conclusion is copied, to a looking-glass, you can read the first part of the ad- dress very distinctly, and, by doing the same thing with the first page you can read the conclusion across the writing, which proves conclusively that this conclusion was written on the back of the first leaf of the sheet, and that the paper was so thin that the writing showed through it. The word across the back of which Dahlgren's name is written is "destroying," and it is the tail of the "y" which at first sight gives to the "1" in his name the appearance of an "h."
I find another leaf which is no part of the address, but seems to be part of instructions drawn up for the party which was to have crossed the river above the city and come down and taken Belle Isle and released the prisoners. The rest of the instructions were on the other side of the leaf probably, as there is the appearance of writing on that side, some words of which I can make out by holding the paper to the looking-glass.
J. A. EARLY.
SUMMING UP OF THE PROOF.
As to the authenticity of the papers, then, we have established, we think, the following points :
i The papers were taken from Dahlgren's person, in the pn of witnesses, by a boy who could not write, who did not know I name of the officer killed, and who was absolutely mcapal ing the papers.