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Like a Meteor Blazing Brightly: The Short but Controversial Life of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren

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The only biography on Ulric Dahlgren, a brilliant, ambitious young man who became the youngest full colonel in the United States Army at the age of 21 yet died before his 22nd birthday, this account chronicles his full life story. Offering evidence of Dahlgren’s ties to Abraham Lincoln, this extensively researched record addresses the theory that Lincoln authorized the kidnapping and assassination of the entire Confederate cabinet, including President Jefferson Davis. Looking at the notorious Dahlgren Affair ...

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Overview

The only biography on Ulric Dahlgren, a brilliant, ambitious young man who became the youngest full colonel in the United States Army at the age of 21 yet died before his 22nd birthday, this account chronicles his full life story. Offering evidence of Dahlgren’s ties to Abraham Lincoln, this extensively researched record addresses the theory that Lincoln authorized the kidnapping and assassination of the entire Confederate cabinet, including President Jefferson Davis. Looking at the notorious Dahlgren Affair within the context of Dahlgren’s entire life, this examination provides insight into a unique individual’s past as well as an unclear incidence in American history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781889020334
  • Publisher: Edinborough Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric J. Wittenberg is an attorney and a Civil War historian who has contributed to America's Civil War, Blue & Gray, and North & South. He is the coauthor of One Continuous Fight and Plenty of Blame to Go Around and the author of Glory Enough for All, Protecting the Flank, and The Union Cavalry Comes of Age. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Stephen W. Sears xi

Author's Preface xiii

Introduction 3

1 A Boy's Proud Family Legacy 7

2 Growing Up in the Nation's Capital 17

3 The Gathering Storm 34

4 Ulric Dahlgren Makes His Mark 44

5 Ulric Dahlgren Finds His Niche 61

6 Dahlgren Shows a Talent for Scouting Missions 79

7 A Dash into Fredericksburg 89

8 Campaigning With Burnside And Hooker 104

9 The Gettysburg Campaign1 Ulric Dahlgren's Finest Hour 121

10 The Slow Road to Recovery 145

11 An Untimely End to a Promising Life and an Unending Controversy Spawned 161

12 Ulric Dahlgren's Final Adventure 194

13 An Incomplete Life Assessed 219

Appendix I Were the Dahlgren Papers Authentic? 238

Appendix II Present Day Maps 248

Notes 251

Bibliography 293

Index 311

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Excellent book

    Those that follow Eric Wittenberg's work know this is a pet project that has been years in the making. We expect the author to produce a fair balance portrait by bring his considerable experience to bear on the questions surrounding this individual. Like a Meteor blazing Brightly is everything a biography should be, complete and balanced with none of the elements that make a hagiography.This is more than a biography. This is a mini history of the Civil War and the times. We see how "access" is almost everything, the importance of friends in high places and the expectation that friends take care of friends. Ulric Dahlgren is a Colonel at 21 of the United States Volunteers. He could visit the White House, chat with Lincoln and stop by the War Department to say hello to Staunton. He is athletic, hard working, intelligent, personable and brave. All accounts agree that he is a very likable young man from an excellent family with good connections. In short, Ulric Dahlgren is the perfect candidate for a staff officer. A position he finds, first with Franz Sigel and later for Fighting Joe Hooker. In each position, he managed to make himself very valuable and when George Meade takes command, he maintained his position. Badly wounded during the pursuit of Lee's army we get a look at medical care for the well to do. After gangrene sets in an amputation of his leg below the knee saves his life. The author touches on the after care of an amputee and the problems associated with amputation in passing. This is enough to give us a glimpse into the world of pain and suffering these men endured.Being the youngest colonel in the Army of the Potomac, the son of Admiral John Dahlgren, dropping by the White House and the War Department do not rate a biography. Leading a raid on Richmond, carrying papers ordering the assignation of Jefferson Davis and members of his cabinet with plans to burn the city rate a biography. The Dahlgren Raid is the subject of numerous histories. None of them have looked at the raid from Ulric Dahlgren's life or incorporated it into the story. Approximately 100 pages are devoted to the Dahlgren Raid, the papers and controversy still raging. The author's conclusions are sure to upset people but, as always, he presents an excellent logical case for them. I found his reasoning compelling and he convinced me that his conclusions are correct.Very well written, informative, logical and well documented, this is an excellent book. The excellent maps by David Roth include two present day maps that allow us to follow the path of the raid. Physically this is a quality book, well illustrated, fully footnoted with an index and bibliography.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent book on Dahlgren

    Those that follow Eric Wittenberg's work know this is a pet project that has been years in the making. We expect the author to produce a fair balance portrait by bring his considerable experience to bear on the questions surrounding this individual. Like a Meteor blazing Brightly is everything a biography should be, complete and balanced with none of the elements that make a hagiography.
    This is more than a biography. This is a mini history of the Civil War and the times. We see how "access" is almost everything, the importance of friends in high places and the expectation that friends take care of friends. Ulric Dahlgren is a Colonel at 21 of the United States Volunteers. He could visit the White House, chat with Lincoln and stop by the War Department to say hello to Staunton. He is athletic, hard working, intelligent, personable and brave. All accounts agree that he is a very likable young man from an excellent family with good connections. In short, Ulric Dahlgren is the perfect candidate for a staff officer. A position he finds, first with Franz Sigel and later for Fighting Joe Hooker. In each position, he managed to make himself very valuable and when George Meade takes command, he maintained his position. Badly wounded during the pursuit of Lee's army we get a look at medical care for the well to do. After gangrene sets in an amputation of his leg below the knee saves his life. The author touches on the after care of an amputee and the problems associated with amputation in passing. This is enough to give us a glimpse into the world of pain and suffering these men endured.
    Being the youngest colonel in the Army of the Potomac, the son of Admiral John Dahlgren, dropping by the White House and the War Department do not rate a biography. Leading a raid on Richmond, carrying papers ordering the assignation of Jefferson Davis and members of his cabinet with plans to burn the city rate a biography. The Dahlgren Raid is the subject of numerous histories. None of them have looked at the raid from Ulric Dahlgren's life or incorporated it into the story. Approximately 100 pages are devoted to the Dahlgren Raid, the papers and controversy still raging. The author's conclusions are sure to upset people but, as always, he presents an excellent logical case for them. I found his reasoning compelling and he convinced me that his conclusions are correct.
    Very well written, informative, logical and well documented, this is an excellent book. The excellent maps by David Roth include two present day maps that allow us to follow the path of the raid. Physically this is a quality book, well illustrated, fully footnoted with an index and bibliography.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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