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Confedertee Orders, Reports and Letters ---- Virginia


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 3 (Gettysburg Campaign) N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX. Page 1034

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, July 22, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:

SIR: Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Powell, U. S. Army, who was wounded and taken prisoner at Wytheville on the evening of the 18th instant, is believed to be the same officer who, on the morning of the 10th of January last, caused the houses and barns of Mr. [Austin] Handley and Mr. [James A.] Feamster, near Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, to be burned, under circumstances set forth in the accompanying affidavits. *

I entered into correspondence with Brigadier-General Scammon, U. S. Army, commanding in my front, on the subject. He disclaimed any knowledge of the outrage, condemned it in strong terms, and assured me that it should be investigated. It seems, however, that Lieutenant-Colonel Powell was retained in service, and I have been informed that he has since been promoted.

Lieutenant-Colonel Powell is not so severely wounded as was supposed, and I bring his case to your notice, and forward the accompanying affidavits, to ask that he be not exchanged until it is ascertained from the Government of the United States if he burned the property I have mentioned under orders from superior authority. His conduct, as I understood it, was in violation alike of the laws of this State and the rules and usages of civilized warfare. If his Government avows the act, and declares that he acted under orders, or if he can show that it was done under the pressure of military necessity, m he may be excused. Otherwise I submit that he should be held to answer for his crime.

He is a bold, daring man, and one of the most dangerous officers we have had to contend with in the northwest of this State, and I am particularly anxious that he should not be allowed to return to the Kanawha Valley if it can be avoided.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES.

Major-General.

P. S. -The prisoner captured at Wytheville declare, as I am informed, that this Lieutenant-Colonel Powell had given orders to burn Wytheville, and he himself admitted to an officer that he had given the same order in regard to Lewisburg.



OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 52, Part 1 (Supplements) MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII. Page 896 - 897

PETERSBURG, May 6, 1864.

General BRAGG and

General BEAUREGARD:

Following telegram just received from Ivor:

The enemy presented himself at Broadwater Ferry to-day and was driven away. They are burning every house between Suffolk and the Blackwater, from the character of the smoke from burning houses. He is marching with the intention of forming a junction with the force which landed on the James River. His strength

is 3,000 cavalry and eight pieces of artillery on the Blackwater road, ans some infantry on the Franklin road. If I had my regiment together I could cross the river and annoy him, but with my present force can only hold the ford.

J. D. REDCLIFFE,
Colonel, Commanding.



This is a letter sent by Gen. Robert E. Lee C.S.A to General George G. Meade U.S. about what later became knwon as the Dalgreen Affair. For the purpose of being clear< I also added the union Communication to this page. GP
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 33, Part 1 (New Berne) OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV. Page 178 - 179

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, April 1, 1864.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I am instructed to bring to your notice two papers found upon the body of Colonel U. Dahlgren, who was killed while commanding a part of the Federal cavalry during the late expedition of General Kilpatrick. * To enable you to understand the subject fully I have the honor to inclose photographic copies of the papers referred to, one of which is an address to his officers and men, bearing the official signature of Colonel Dahlgren, and the other, not signed, contains more detailed explanations of the purpose of the expedition and more specific instructions as to its execution. In the former this passage occurs:

We hope to release the prisoners from Belle Island first, and having seen them fairly started, we will cross the James River into Richmond, destroying the brigades after us and exhorting the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful city; and do not allow the rebel leader Davis and his traitorous crew to escape. The prisoners must render great assistance, as you cannot leave your ranks too far or become too much scattered, or you will be lost.

Among the instructions contained in the second paper are the following:

Teh bridges once secured, and the prisoners loose and over the river, the bridges will be secured and the city destroyed. The men must keep together and well in hand, and once in the city it must be destroyed and Jeff. Davis and cabinet killed. Pioneers will go along with combustible material.

In obedience to my instructions I beg leave respectfully to inquire whether the designs and instructions of Colonel Dahlgren, as set fort in these papers, particularly those contained in the above extracts, were authorized by the United States Government or by his superior officers, and also whether they have the sanction and approval of those authorities.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,
General.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS, -- --, 1864.

Officers and Men:

You have been selected from brigades and regiments as a picked command to attempt a desperate undertaking--an undertaking which, it successful, will cause the prayers of our fellow-soldiers now confined in loathsome prisons to follow you and your wherever you may go. We hope release the prisoners form Belle Island first, and having seen them fairly started, we will cross the James River into Richmond, destroying the bridges after us and exhorting the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful city; and do not allow the rebel leader Davis and his traitorous crew to escape. The prisoners must render great assistance, as you cannot leave your ranks too far or become too much scattered, or you will be lost. Do not allow any personal gain to lead you off, which would only bring you to an ignominious death at the hands of citizens. Keep well together and obey orders strictly and all will be well; but on no account scatter too far, for in union there is strength. With strict obedience to orders and fearlessness in the execution you will be sure to succeed. We will join the main force on the other side of the city, or perhaps meet them inside. Many of you may fall; but if there is any man here not willing to sacrifice his life in such a great and glorious undertaking, or who does not feel capable of meeting the enemy in such a desperate fight as will follow. let him step out, and he may go hence to the arms of his sweetheart and read of the braves who swept through the city of Richmond. We want no man who cannot feel sure of success in such a holy cause. We will have a desperate fight, but stand up to it when it does come and all will be well. Ask the blessing of the Almighty and do not fear the enemy.

U. DAHLGREN,

Colonel, Commanding.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS, -- - --, 1864.

Guides, pioneers (with oakum, turpentine, and torpedoes), signal officer, quartermaster, commissary, scouts, and picket men in rebel uniform. Men will remain on the north bank and move down with the force on south bank, not getting ahead of them, and if the communication can be kept up without giving an alarm it must be done; but everything depends upon a surprise, and no one must be allowed to pass ahead of the column. Information must be gathered in regard to the crossing of the river, so that should we be repulsed on the south side we will know where to recross at the nearest point. All mills must be burned and the canal destroyed; and also everything which can be used by the rebels must be destroyed, including the boats on the river. Should a ferry-boat be seized and can be worked, have it moved down. Keep the force on the south side posted of any important movement of the enemy, and in case of danger some of the scouts must swim the river and bring us information. As we approach the city the party must take great care that they do not get ahead of the other party on the south side, and must conceal themselves and watch our movements. We will try and secure the bridge to the city, 1 mile below Belle Island, and release the prisoners at the same time. If we do not succeed they must then dash down, and we will try and carry the bridge from each side. When necessary, the men must be filed through the woods and along the river bank. The bridges once secured, and the prisoners loose and over the river, the bridges will be secured and the city destroyed. The men must keep together and well in hand, and once in the city it must be destroyed and Jeff. Davis and cabinet killed. Pioneers will go along with combustible material. The officer must use his discretion about the time of assisting us. Horse and cattle which we do not need immediately must be shot rather than left. Everything on the canal and elsewhere of service to the rebels must be destroyed. As General Custer may follow me, be careful not to give a false alarm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Of course Meade and Williams and Kilpatrick all denied any knowledge of these orders. ----GP




War of the Rebellion: Serial 060 Page 0221 Chapter XLV. EXPEDITION AGAINST RICHMOND, VA.

MURDER OF THEIR NEGRO GUIDE BY THE RAIDERS.

There now remains no doubt of the barbarous atrocity of the Yankee raiders in the murder of an inoffensive negro who was captured near the Rapidan. The victim of their brutal wrath was a boy named Martin, the property of Mr. David Meems, of Goochland. It appears that the negro was impressed as a pilot, and had informed the yankees that they could cross the river at Jude's Ferry, about 2 miles from Dover Mills. The river was, however, fuller than usual, although it is very probable that the negro advised the raiders according to the best of his information. For no other offense than the imaginary one of misleading the enemy, the negro was hung to a tree, where his dead boyd was found a few hours after life was extinct.

Page 0222

THE ENEMY AT TUNSTALL'S.

We learn that the Yankees destroyed Pearson's saw-mill, near Tunstall's Station. They plundered the neighboring country of all the grain the meat they could lay their hands on. They did no damage to the railroad.