March 2, 1864
--- Kilpatrick/Dahlgren Raid – Col. Dahlgren, with a small force, is ambushed near Walkerton, Virginia, on the James Peninsula, and is killed. Most of the small force with him is captured. As Dahlgren’s body is searched, the incriminating speech (never delivered) is found, and the contents raise a scandal when Southerners read that the Yankees were to “destroy and burn the hateful city; and do not allow the rebel leader Davis and his traitorous crew to escape,” and were to kill the Confederate President and his Cabinet. This sensational material will have repercussions across the South and the North, along with demands for explanations by Gen. Lee. Gen. Meade, in answer, acknowledges that these instructions were all Dahlgren’s idea, and were not part of any orders.
---Gideon Welles, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, writes in his journal of recent rumors about the Kilpatrick Raid, and of Admiral Dahlgren’s reporting to him, not knowing of his son’s death:
From what I learn, Kilpatrick, with a large cavalry force, is to make a raid upon Richmond with a view of capturing the place. He is sanguine that he will be successful. I have my doubts, for there have been so many attempts upon the place that some precautionary measures must have been taken for defending it. However, I am glad the movement is to be made if there is a reasonable hope of success.
Rear-Admiral Dahlgren came suddenly upon us this evening. I sent him leave three weeks or more ago. He is looking well after his long and fatiguing service.
---The Charleston Mercury offers some second-hand reports of Yankees atrocities perpetrated upon fine Southern citizens and their property:
Yankee Villainy in East Tennessee.–A correspondent of the Atlanta Register recounts many of the outrages perpetrated by the Yankee soldiery during their occupation of East Tennessee. We quote the following. Splendid mansions of Southern men have been made but barns and commissaries. Their splendid furniture, bed and wearing material, has been wrested from them. Many opulent families have not a blanket nor a bed quilt. I will relate one instance of Federal tyranny. Whilst Knoxville was invested by Gen. Longstreet, Foster, the present commander of the enemy’s forces in East Tennessee, was quartered in Tazewell. He went to the dwelling of Mr. Blackburn, a prominent Southern citizen of that place, and forced his family into one small room. He then ordered his horses to be put in the dining room, where he kept them during his stay in the village. His staff drew their pistols on her daughter, a lady of very delicate health, which resulted in a very severe spell of sickness, from which she will never recover, being now at the point of death.