The Richmond Raid Author:John Brick In late February of 1864, the Union cavalry engaged in one of the wildest, most daring actions to take place during the whole of the war. The scheme, which involved penetrating Lee's Army and getting behind the Confederate lines, was devised by the young Brigadier General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, whose nickname was "Kill Cavalry," and it was app... more »roved by Lincoln. The idea was to enter Richmond, the Confederate capital, burn the city, and free the prisoners on Belle Isle and in Libby Prison. As was later revealed in documents that became the core of bitter controversy, the raiders also planned to capture or kill Jefferson Davis and other Confederate leaders.
To the ambitious Kilpatrick, success would mean glory and perhaps the fulfillment of his dream to become President. To Hank Stephens, a fellow West Pointer, the raid might be a way to end the cruel war quickly. Hank had already seen enough of combat to have no illusions about glory. In fact, an unhappy marriage and a seemingly doomed love affair with a Confederate officer's wife had left him without illusions of any kind. To Ulric Dahlgren, son of the famous Admiral, and himself one of the youngest Colonels in the Army, it meant a chance to prove that even though he had lost a leg at Gettysburg, he wasn't through yet. To these and the many others involved, including the women whose fates were so inevitably linked with the outcome, the raid on Richmond was a gamble with both historical and personal stakes.
John Brick has told the full story of the bold and perilous richmond raid in terms of the individual human beings who were caught up in it. And his hour-by-hour unraveling of what happened--the disastrous turn in weather, Kilpatrick's irresolution at a crucial moment, Dahlgren's green impetuousness, the unexpected ambushes, the tragic mistakes--results in a novel of dramatic suspense, of great power and immediacy.« less