Wednesday, May 7, 2014

March 14, 1864 (Friday): The Dahlgren Investigation

Ambush and Death of Dahlgren (Harper's Weekly)

Brigadier General J. KILPATRICK,
Commanding Third Cavalry Division:
    GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that careful inquires be made to ascertain whether Colonel Dahlgren made or issued such an address to his command as that which has been published in the journals of the day. Every effort will be made by you to learn the truth of this matter, and the officers and men of his command will be carefully questioned on this point, and the result of the investigation and whatever you may yours know of the matter will be reported at the earliest practicable moment.
    The general also desires to know whether any orders or directions of the character of those contained in the "memorandum" following the address, as printed in the public journals, were given to his command or to any portion of it.
    Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

    E. B. PARSONS,
    Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series I., vol. 33, Part 1, Page 175.

The Confederate government had the orders found on Dahlgren's body published in the press.  At this point the Union authorities were still trying to determine whether the orders were real and whether they had ever been issued.  It is a subject still debated to this day. 

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