It is the universal belief of the Southern people, that when General Kilpatrick and Colonel Dahlgren attempted their coup tie main upon Richmond, in 1864, it was done with a view, whilst holding the city temporarily, to release the Federal prisoners; to destroy and burn the hateful city;" and to " kill "Jeff Davis and Cabinet on the spot." Richmond, at that time, was filled with refugee ladies and children, whose husbands and parents were away in the armies ; and the South was naturally filled with indignation at the expose of the object of the expedition. To use a trite expression —Put the shoe on the other foot—Let the North imagine General Early's body to be found in the vicinity of Washington, when his forces retired from there in July of the same year, with orders upon it, to his troops, to " destroy and burn the " hateful city," " kill" Abe Lincoln " and Cabinet on the spot"— " exhorting " long pent-up prisoners, with long pent-up revengeful feelings, to do it. I ask, would his remains be taken up tenderly and interred in the Congressional Burying Ground and his memory be cherished as a " murdered martyred hero ? " The best men of the North, now, in their cooler moments, may try to disabuse their minds of such an idea; but it it a fact that any officer who could, at that time, have informed the Northern public that he had captured and destroyed Richmond and killed " Jeff Davis and Cabinet on the spot," the Presidency of the United States would have been but meagre compensation for him, in the hearts of the masses of the people.
Fitzhugh Lee. 1870