Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/550

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The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Against Richmond. 549

world. Some of the papers were found loose in Dahlgren's pockets >thers were between the leaves of the memorandum -book.

"The papers thus brought to light were preserved by myself in the continual presence of witnesses of unquestionable veracity until about two o'clock in the afternoon of the day after their capture at which time myself and party met Lieutenant Pollard, who, up to this time, knew nothing in the world of the existence of the Dahlgren Papers. At his request, I let him read the papers ; after doing which he requested me to let him carry them to Richmond. At first, I refused, for I thought that I knew what to do with them quite as well as any one else. But I was finally induced by my friends, against my will, to surrender the papers to Lieutenant Pollard, mainly in consideration of the fact that they would reach Richmond much sooner through him than through a semi-weekly mail. The papers which were thus handed over to the Confederate Government I state it again were correctly copied by the Richmond newspapers.

" A thousand and one falsehoods have been told about this affair by our own men as well as by the Yankees. Some of our own men were actuated by motives of selfishness and ambition to claim, each one for himself, the whole credit of the affair; when, in fact, the credit belongs to no particular individual, but collectively, to the whole of our party. We were a strange medley of regulars, raw troops, old farmers, preachers, schoolboys, etc. But I believe that all present did their duty, only to find that all the credit was afterwards claimed, with a considerable degree of success among the ignorant, by those who were not present.

" The credit of the command of our party belongs alone to Captain Fox, than whom there was no more chivalric spirit in either army. In making this statement, I am actuated only by a desire to do jus- tice to the memory of one who was too unassuming to sound his own trumpet. I am also told, by soldiers, that Lieutenant Pollard deserves a considerable degree of credit for the part he played in following and harassing the enemy up to the time they took the right fork of the road near Butler's Tavern.

' ' You are, of course, aware of the fact that the enemy has always denied the authenticity of the Dahlgren Papers, and declared them to be forgeries. To prove the utter absurdity and falsehood of such a charge, I submit the following :

" i. The papers were taken by Littlepage from the person of a man whose name he had never heard. It was a dark night, and the