Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/98

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94 Southern Historical Society Papers.

cavalry division, under command of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, to force its way into Richmond, with instructions "to destroy and burn the hateful city, and not allow the rebel leader, Davis, and his traitor- ous crew to escape." Once in the city, it must be destroyed and Davis and his cabinet killed. Dahlgren was killed and his force routed, and these orders were found on his body. The Washing-- ton government then threatened to execute a number of Confeder- ate officers in retaliation "for the killing of Dahlgren and heaping indignities upon his dead body." Confederate States government retorted that the Confederate government would then hang ten of- ficers for every man thus executed by the Federals. A major gen- eral of the United States Army was wanted by the Confederacy, and hence Captain McKowen undertook to supply the want. Tak- ing with him a few trusted comrades, who, like himself, knew every foot of ground in that section of country, he made his way in the night time within the Federal lines, and after many hairbreadth es- capes, located General Dow'stent, which was stealthily approached, the sentinels being secured without noise, and


The escape was miraculous, for McKowen had penetrated far within the Federal lines, and only succeeded in making his escape by using the greatest precaution. General Neal Dow was safely brought to camp, and next day, under an escort, sent to Richmond, Va.

Be it said to the credit of both governments that retaliatory meas- ures at no stage of the war were resorted to.

It was on the 6th day of July, 1863, that the news of the fall of Vicksburg reached Port Hudson. The gun-boats on the river an- nounced their victory by firing a tremendous salute, which was re- echoed from their land batteries, while the Federal infantry, who had worked their way close to the breastworks, shouted the news across the lines. On the yth of July, General Gardner communi- cated with General Banks, asking for official assurance of the news. If Vicksburg had really been surrendered, he asked for a cessation of hostilities, with the view of arranging terms for the capitulation of Port Hudson,

On July 8th, the Confederate flag was lowered and the enemy en- tered Port Hudson.

General Gardner could not have held out much longer. His am-