In 1864, Union Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick devised a plan to send hundreds of calvary soldiers to liberate Union prisoners in Belle Isle, burn down the Confederate Capital of Richmond, and to assassinate Confederate President Jefferson Finis Davis. Colonel Ulric Dalhgren, the son of Union Navy Rear Admiral John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren and nephew of Confederate Brigadier General Charles Gustavus Ulrich Dahlgren, and Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick lead the Union forces during that calvary raid.
General George Armstrong Custer led a force to attack the Confederacy, outside of Charlottesville, as a distraction from the main Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid in Richmond. Major General James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart took command of the counter attack, against General Custer’s soldiers, after Stuart’s Horse Artillery was captured. General Custer withdrew his forces from the Charlottesville area after hearing train whistle, which he took to be Confederate reinforcements.
Outside of Richmond, the Union Calvary burned down various structures along the way to the city, but faced more resistance than expected. Ultimately, the mission failed as no prisoners were released, the City of Richmond was not burnt down, only buildings outside of the city were burnt, and President Jefferson Davis was not assasinated.
While reading the book, “Kill Jeff Davis”, which is about the attempted raid on the Confederate Capital of Richmond, I decided to visit one of the historical markers dedicated to that military action during the United States Civil War.