Item #8484 Mirror of Events 1861–62–63–64. Narrative of Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Expedition. February 28, to March 4 1864. Charles Magnus.

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Magnus, Charles.

Mirror of Events 1861–62–63–64. Narrative of Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Expedition. February 28, to March 4 1864.

New York: Charles Magnus’ New York Printing Establishment, 12 Frankfort St., [1864]. Broadside, 29.25” x 10.5”, printed in red. Five columns beneath two titles. Two names inscribed on verso in ink: “Mr. John E. Huston Owego, Tioga County, New York” and “Henry P. W[?].” CONDITION: Good, several tiny punctures along old horizontal folds, a few minor tears along margins, some light toning along old folds, trimming to the upper-half of the right margin, a few tiny ink stains, partial losses to a few dates and words.

A Charles Magnus broadside featuring a narrative of Gen. Hugh J. Kilpatrick’s assault on Richmond (conducted in tandem with Col. Ulric Dahlgren), and a chronology of the major events of the Civil War.

The first part of this broadside, entitled “Mirror of Events 1861–62–63–64,” records events of the war up to March 4th, 1864 on both sides, including navy and army operations, battles, changes in military leadership, conflicts over waterways and railroads, the capture of prisoners and prisoner exchanges, expeditions, and so forth. The losses for various battles are recorded as well, and it is noted that on August 4th, 1862 “James H. Lane, in Kansas, enlisted Negro Troops under the Act of February 28, 1795”—a reference to the first African American unit raised during the Civil War. The sacking of the city of Lawrence, Kansas on August 15th, 1863 by Quantrell’s Guerillas is characterized as “the most fiendlike act of the war.” Some of the events listed occurred in Indian Territory, such as a “fight with Sioux Indians in Dacotah” on August 23rd, 1863. The chronology of events ends with the conclusion of Kilpatrick’s expedition, on March 4th.

The second part, “Narrative of Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Expedition. February 28–March 4 1864,” details Hugh Judson Kilpatrick’s (1836–1881) operation within enemy lines and his dash upon Richmond, Virginia. On February 28th, 1864, Kilpatrick—nicknamed “Kill-Cavalry” for his recklessness—led some 4000 cavalry in a raid, in tandem with Col. Ulric Dahlgren (1842–1864), toward Richmond, in an attempt to liberate Union soldiers held at both Belle Isle and Libby Prison. Kilpatrick took his division out on February 28th, sneaking past Robert E. Lee’s flank and heading south for Richmond. On March 1st, they were within five miles of the city but its defenses were too strong and many rebel squadrons pursued them the entire way. In a tight spot, Kilpatrick bolted down the Virginia Peninsula where Ben Butler’s Army of the James was stationed. Kilpatrick was dismayed to find out that Dahlgren’s brigade had not made it across the James River, failing to achieve the goal of burning Richmond and assassinating Jefferson Davis and his cabinet. 

Kilpatrick’s raid resulted in 324 rebel cavalrymen killed and wounded, 1,000 prisoners taken, and the destruction of much infrastructure on Richmond’s outskirts. During the raid, the cavalry also distributed pamphlets advertising amnesty to Southern civilians who took the oath of loyalty to the U.S. The discovery and publication of papers found on Dahlgren’s body—he was shot dead in a rebel ambush during the expedition—sparked a controversy. Prominent Confederates denounced the so-called “Dahlgren papers” as a fiendish and atrocious document. The present narrative concludes as follows, with Dahlgren’s fate yet unknown:

Too much praise cannot be awarded Colonel Dahlgren, nor too much regret felt at his supposed capture. Not fully recovered from the loss of his leg in the charge upon Hagerstown, he volunteered his services to General Kilpatrick, and was assigned to the most important command of the expedition. The greatest consternation prevailed in Richmond during the fighting, as well it might. The men who have been baffled of their prey—the rebel capital—feel that they would have been gloriously successful if the authorities at Washington had permitted General Butler to co-operate with them and keep picket infantry employed down the peninsula.

Born in Germany, Charles Magnus (1826–1900) immigrated to New York City amid the 1848 Revolution, establishing himself as a prolific illustrator, bookseller, and map and print publisher. He is credited with over 1000 known works, including maps, broadsides and lithographs, his earliest works dating to the 1850s. Magnus produced numerous broadsides and maps to commemorate important events. During the Civil War, he was one of a handful of publishers who had full access to Union military camps through his political connections. In turn, he became well known for his authentic views of Civil War-era cities, individuals, and events, as well as his pictorial envelopes featuring Civil War subjects. Following the war he developed a successful business in panoramic city views, song sheets, and envelopes. 

REFERENCES: Haskell, Daniel Carl, Ed. Manhattan Maps: a Co-operative List (New York: New York Public Library, 1931), p. 1004; “Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid” at Encyclopedia Virginia online.

Item #8484

Price: $850.00

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