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Cover Art
Author Schultz, Duane P.

Title The Dahlgren affair : terror and conspiracy in the Civil War / Duane Schultz.

Published New York : W.W. Norton, [1998]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  973.736 SCHU    AVAILABLE
Edition 1st ed.
Physical description 298 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 283-288) and index.
Summary The story begins with a daring cavalry raid to free thousands of Union prisoners held under desperate conditions in Richmond, Virginia, capital of the Confederacy. The raid fails, and the Union commander - 21-year-old Ulric Dahlgren, a one-legged colonel, hero, and friend of Abraham Lincoln's - is killed. On Dahlgren's body are found orders purportedly instructing his men to find and execute Jefferson Davis and the rest of the Confederate cabinet. The first consequence of the raid and the discovered papers was an outpouring of horrified, indignant rage throughout the South. The Union army and politicians disclaimed all knowledge of the orders and challenged their authenticity. Not long afterwards, Jefferson Davis, in retaliation, authorized the use of terrorism against civilians in the North in the form of guerrilla raids, bank robberies, arson, sabotage, and prolonged warfare.
Besides the enigmatic Dahlgren, the primary actors in this intrigue include Thomas Hines, a 23-year-old classical scholar who organized the campaign of terror from Maine to Minnesota as revenge for the Union plan to murder Jefferson Davis, and Elizabeth Van Lew, a well-bred, middle-aged Richmond woman who spied for the Union and was called by Ulysses S. Grant the most effective Union operative of the war. The larger, political story is fascinating as well. Both presidents, Lincoln and Davis, are seen as desperate men in danger of losing the war, one at the ballot box, the other on the battlefield. The Confederacy was losing the Civil War, but Lincoln's opponent in the election of 1864, George McClellan, would very likely negotiate a peace with the South. It was imperative that the South weaken Lincoln's hold on the electorate, and if no opportunity arose, then one must be manufactured. This would be the Confederacy's last chance of survival.
Subject Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid, Va., 1864.
ISBN 0393046621