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This is the first biography of Ulric Dahlgren, a brilliant, ambitious young man who became the youngest full colonel in the United States Army at the age of twenty-one, yet died before his twenty-second birthday. This account chronicles his full life story, looking at his military career and extensive connections in the nation’s capital, and addressing the notorious Dahlgren Raid within the context of the his entire life.

"Ulric Dahlgren was born to be a soldier,” writes Eric Wittenberg, and in this first-ever biography of the young Yankee colonel he makes a very convincing case. An expert artillerist, a bold cavalryman, a recklessly daring scout—Dahlgren played all of these roles, and more, in his brief, incandescent Civil War career. His final role, in the notorious Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid on Richmond in 1864, has until now defined him in history’s judgment. By unearthing new sources and re-examining old ones, biographer Wittenberg offers a new and clearer definition of this complex character.

Even though Dahlgren was killed in action just short of his twenty-second birthday, he left an invaluable paper trail—letters and diaries and other documents—that unlock mysteries of his short and violent military career. Here for the first time, too, is an in-depth examination of his formative years. The dominant figure in this all-too-brief life was his father, Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, a close friend of President Lincoln’s and a man whose own ambitions fed Ulric’s soldierly ambitions. Of equal importance, there is much newly discovered source material here to clarify and give a defining focus to the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid.
— from the foreword by Stephen W. Sears

Softbound: ISBN 978-1-889020-33-4
6 x 9 inches, 336 pages, softbound cover, $29.95

Read about the author, Eric Wittenberg.
©2009 Edinborough Press