64 Southern Historical Society Papers.
on the northside, until he reached the gates of Richmond. ]\Iuch has been written regarding his movements and acts up to that point. Much also respecting his retreat and death. However, in those several accounts the important event with which this writer has to do has been largely lost sight of, or failed of the attention and recognition it reserved. More than that, such at- tention and recognition as it has received has led to a great deal of misunderstanding and involves not a few "mistakes of his- tory." The "important event" was and is the "last stand," which was made by the Third (Henley's) Battalion Troops, for local defense, almost within the shadow of the spires of the city. Against that stand Dahlgren's arson squadrons broke ; by the battalion they were hurled back in utter confusion.
The night of March i, 1864, was a moonlight night, though the moon was obscured by a heavy white cloud, from which a fine, misty rain was falling. The first resistance Dahlgren encountered was at Green's Farm (forks of the road), on the River Road. There he engaged the Armory Battalion, a much inferior force to his own, which he soon routed and pushed back demoralized towards Richmond, not, however, before he had lost several men.
Meantime, Confederate reinforcements had been coming up in the shape of the Third Battalion, some of the companies marching collectively, others detached. This part of the line of defense was under command of General Custis Lee. In order that the reader may better understand the situation and get a clear idea of the status and personnel of the battalion, two quo- tations, subject, however, to some explanation, one of them to correction, are here given. They are from Mrs. Davis' life of her husband, and a report of General Custis Lee, respectively. Mrs. Davis writes :
"The 'Department Battalion' was composed of the clerks from all the departments of the government, not from the Treasury Department alone, and of a company of Richmond boys under eighteen years of age, and it was this latter company that went bv mistake to Green's Farm, which was not far beyond the line