The Dahlgren Affair and the 1864 Union Raid on Richmond


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By early 1864, POW populations in Civil War prison camps had exploded, and conditions in the camps were abysmal. In an attempt to liberate captured Union soldiers held at nearby Belle Isle prison, Gen. Judson Kilpatrick and Col. Ulric Dahlgren plan a daring raid on Richmond. When the raid doesn't go as planned, suspected ulterior objectives lead to the Dahlgren Affair -- one of the most enduring controversies of the Civil War.

Historians still debate whether the Dahlgren Affair was a sinister, under-handed plot or a U.S. Civil War version of a false-flag operation. The truth remains a mystery, but we'll do our best to get to the bottom of it in this episode of Portraits of Blue & Grey.

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