Union raid on Richmond, seat of the Confederacy
Some 4,000 Union fighters led by Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick and Col. Ulric Dahlgren conducted a brazen raid on Richmond, Va., capital of the Confederacy, this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. Hundreds of cavalry at the head of the Union force opened the way while columns coming from behind ripped up the tracks of the Virginia Central Railroad as they headed south to the James River. The raiders led by Kilpatrick reached the outskirts of Richmond on March 1, 1864, and there fierce skirmishing erupted near the city’s defenses. But when Dahlgren’s reinforcements failed to arrive in time, the Kilpatrick raiders were compelled to retreat by Confederate cavalry. Dahlgren’s cavalry couldn’t penetrate the city either, owing to the opposition, and thus withdrew northward only to be ambushed by Confederate enemies. Dahlgren was killed and many of his unit captured.