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Civil War roundtable to focus on Davis assassination attempt

Mark Waters will present "The Union Attempt to Assassinate President Jefferson Davis" to the Washington Civil War Round Table meeting on Monday evening, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. at The Jockey Club restaurant on The Square in Washington.

Claibourne Darden, Round Table President, said that the public is invited and welcomed. The cost of the meeting is $10 per person and includes a very nice dinner. Please make reservations, as soon as possible, by e-mail at or by calling (404)210-5811 and leaving a message.

The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid on Richmond, Feb. 28-March 3, 1864, was a hair-brained raid concocted by Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick (US), Records indicate that both President Lincoln and Secretary of State of War Stanton approved the plan. Gen. Kilpatrick, with 3,500 cavalry, was to attack and enter Richmond from the north. Col. Dahlgren (US), with 450 cavalry, was to enter from the south and release the Union prisoners held there. Once this was done, the union forces would combine in an attempt to assassinate President Davis and as many of the cabinet members as possible.

The raid was an unmitigated fiasco. Gen. Kilpatrick lost his nerve and skedaddled. Col. Dahlgren was killed. On Dahlgren's body were found his orders to assassinate President Davis and his cabinet. This attempted assassination had a profound effect on the Confederate prosecution of the war from then on.

Dr. Waters is a native of Florida, although his father and grandfather were born in Wilkes County. He attended Duke University and received his PhD from the University of Georgia.

He worked as a Physical Scientist for the National Weather Service and was a Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He is a co-founder of the Washington Civil War Round Table.

Membership in the Washington Civil War Round Table is open to everyone, and new members can join at the meeting. Annual dues are $25 for individuals, $35 for a family.

Web posted on Thursday, August 21, 2008

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