March 1, 1864 witnessed the failure of the Kilpatrick cavalry raid into Richmond in an attempt to free Union prisoners within that city. Once the main force under Kilpatrick approached Richmond’s outer defenses he ascertained that he could not penetrate into the city and moved away to the east, ending his raid.
The night Dalgren’s force, just two miles from Richmond, learned of Kilpatrick’s withdrawal and also retreated, moving to the northeast of Richmond. Confederate troops ambushed Dalgren’s command, capturing over a hundred Federals and killing Dalgren.
In the aftermath of battle, papers were alleged found on Colonel Dalgren’s body which claimed the goal of Kilpatrick’s mission was the assassination of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. That allegation brought a new and controversial perspective to the American Civil War.