THE DAHLGREN AFFAIR by Duane Schultz

THE DAHLGREN AFFAIR

Terror and Conspiracy in the Civil War
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Schultz, the author of a series of well-received works of narrative history (Quantrill’s War, 1996; Over the Earth I Come, 1992, etc.) concerned with America in the turbulent 19th century, adds another with this wonderfully vivid portrait of Confederate attempts to stir up rebellion in the North during the war’s waning days—efforts that even included a chilling but unsuccessful attempt at germ warfare. In 1864, during a daring raid by Union cavalry to free prisoners held in the Confederate capital of Richmond, a dashing young Union colonel is shot down. The Confederates publicize papers they claim to have found on his body indicating that he planned to track down and assassinate Jefferson Davis. using the papers (which, Schultz convincingly argues, were very likely forged by Confederate operatives) as an excuse, Davis orders a campaign unleashed on the North to foment rebellion among the increasingly vocal groups of Copperheads—Democrats violently opposed to the continuation of the war. Agents were sent North to enlist locals to attack Federal posts, assault prisons where Confederate soldiers were being held, sink ships, and spread chaos. Thanks to bad luck, Union spies, and a lack of resolve on the part of the Copperheads, the plans largely failed. Schultz handles all of this melodramatic material with vigor and clarity, a first-rate addition to the bulging shelves of Civil War Studies. (b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-393-04662-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998




MORE BY DUANE SCHULTZ

NonfictionCUSTER by Duane Schultz
by Duane Schultz
NonfictionTHE MOST GLORIOUS FOURTH by Duane Schultz
by Duane Schultz
NonfictionQUANTRILL'S WAR by Duane Schultz
by Duane Schultz