Dahlgren Affair


an HMS American Cultures collaborative production


The Dahlgren Affair occurred in March of 1864 after an attempted and failed raid from the Union at the confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. After the raid, a young 13 year old boy, who was a member of the confederate home guard, was searching bodies for valuables and stumbled across what would later be known as the Dahlgren Papers, of course being referred to this as one of the colonels during the raid was Ulric Dahlgren. He then turned the papers, a pocket notepad and two folded documents, over to his Commander, Edward Halbach. The captain was surprised to see that these papers contained an explicit plan stating, "We hope to release the prisoners from Belle Island first & having seen them fairly started we will cross the James River into Richmond, destroying the bridges after us & exhorting the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful City & do not allow the Rebel Leader Davis and his traitorous crew to escape." It also clearly stated that, "The City it must be destroyed and Jeff. Davis and Cabinet killed." Now as these weren't exactly friendly papers, a lot of conflict and controversy arose. Thus including the Confederate leaders to approve plans to begin armed rebellion among a few Southern sympathizers living in the North, a plot to bomb the White House, and a plot to kill President Lincoln. There was also a few resaons/opinions to believe that the autheticity of the papers was misleading. In short, even though the Dahlgren Affair is not a very well known topic, it was a major cause to some of the events that will later occur in the Civil War.

Galloway, Joseph L. "Purloined Poison Letters." Mysteries of History. 24 May 2009 <http://www.usnews.com/usnews/doubleissue/mysteries/dahlgren.htm>.

Most Battles took place in between Richmond Virginia and Washington D.C because as you should know both are capitals os one of which a state and one of which is the capital of the United States of America.