Chronological History of the American Civil War
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three times that number were incarcerated there. The conditions and treatment there by the end of the war, this prison was to have a notorious reputation. Sunday, February 28, 1864 : General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (U.S.) leads 3,500 troopers south from Stevensburg, Virginia. Kilpatrick’s (U.S.) goal was to reach Richmond, along with twenty one year old, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, (U.S.) who was to raid it, and free Federal prisoners, held at Belle Island Prison. Then, race back to Union lines. To distract attention, Union infantry under General John Sedgwick (U.S.) and another cavalry detachment under General George Custer (U.S.) would force attacks towards western Virginia to draw the Rebels from Richmond. Lincoln, considered that such a raid would have enormous propaganda value, if it succeeded. It was to go wrong from the start. Belle Edmondson, lived on a farm in Shelby County on Holly Ford Road (now Airways Boulevard), about three miles from the Mississippi border and eight miles southeast of Memphis, now the property of the Memphis International Airport. She was a Confederate spy or, as spies were called then, “scout.” She made frequent trips from her farm, into the city to acquire contraband she smuggled to her farm. The farm, located between the Union and Confederate lines, was an ideal transfer point for contraband. Today, she wrote in her diary: “ Took letters to Cousin Campbell Edmondson, he left for Dixie, and will see that they are safely forwarded. Met a great many persons there, all in fine spirits, topic of conversation our glorious Victory, which was added to this morning by news that, Sherman was in full retreat for Vicksburg-had not reached Canton.” Monday, February 29, 1864 : Brig. General H. Judson Kilpatrick (U.S.) splits his command and sends part of it under Col. Ulric Dahlgren (U.S.) towards Goochland Court House, Virginia. and General Custer starts a skirmish at Charlottesville, Virginia. This being the only “leap” year month of the war, only adds an extra day to this month’s list of casualties for both North and South for a total of 10,334. No peace in sight for either side. Tuesday, March 1, 1864 : Having ridden for 36 hours, both men and horses were exhausted, but General Kilpatrick (U.S.) makes it to Richmond’s city limits. Colonel Ulric Dahlgren (U.S.) is late and cannot cross the river. He hangs his guide, a young Negro lad for leading them astray. Brig. General George A. Custer (U.S.) abandons his diversionary expedition and heads back to Union lines.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler, (pictured) after serving under several different doctors for a period of eight years (from 1852 to 1860), becomes the first and only African American woman in the United States to earn a Master's Degree, as she graduates after four years of classes from New England Female Medical College, in Massachusetts. The school will close in 1873 . Wednesday, March 2, 1864 : General Grant (U.S.) was officially promoted to lieutenant general and assumes the title General-in- Chief of the Army of the United States. Today, he simply has to answer to Lincoln himself and no one else. In Virginia, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren (U.S.) is killed, and his body falls into Confederate hands. He was allegedly carrying papers that included instructions to burn Richmond, and kill Confederate
President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet. The document will be printed in the Richmond Daily Examiner, but it is not clear, where the orders had come from, or if they were even authenic. Southerners accused the North of initiating “a war of extermination.” General Robert E. Lee
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