Charles G. Dahlgren

Charles G. Dahlgren
Born (1811-08-13)August 13, 1811
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died December 18, 1888(1888-12-18) (aged 77)
Brooklyn, New York
Place of burial City Cemetery, Natchez, Mississippi
Allegiance United States United States of America
Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
 Confederate States Army
Rank brigadier general
Battles/wars American Civil War

Charles Gustavus Ulrich Dahlgren (August 13, 1811 December 18, 1888) was a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War. He commanded the 3rd Brigade, Army of Mississippi, before a dispute with the President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, cost him his career.[1]

Early life and career

Dahlgren was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Bernhard Ulrik Dahlgren (1784-1824) and Martha (Rowan) Dahlgren (1789-1838). His father was a merchant and Swedish Consul stationed in Philadelphia. His older brother was John A. Dahlgren, an admiral in the Union Navy. He moved to the South as a young man. He was an official of the Bank of the United States at Natchez, Mississippi, and engaged in several other business ventures.[2] Dahlgren died in Brooklyn, New York, and is buried in City Cemetery, Natchez, Mississippi.[3]

Civil War service

Following Mississippi's passage of the ordinance of secession and the subsequent outbreak of the Civil War, Dahlgren raised two regiments of state-sponsored volunteer infantry (the 3rd and 7th Mississippi Infantry) by his own means. When his brigade was transferred from state service to the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, he lost his command. Dahlgren was known for a short temper and strong opinions, and strongly opposed this transfer. His outspoken opposition to the nationalization of his men cost him his command and sparked a feud with the family of Jefferson Davis that spanned from 1862 to 1906.

Charles Dahlgren came from a family that played a prominent role in the effort to defeat the Confederacy. His older brother, John A. Dahlgren, was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy and enjoyed a measure of fame for inventing the Dahlgren gun. In 1864, John's son, Col. Ulric Dahlgren, died leading a failed Union cavalry raid with orders to assassinate Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Cabinet. Charles's other brother, William, spent part of the war in England spying on Confederate purchasing agents. In ironic contrast, Charles's compelling story evolves within the hierarchy of Southern aristocracy.[4]

See also


  1. Allardice, Bruce S. (2006) More Generals in Gray (LSU Press. Page 69-71) ISBN 9780807131480
  2. Oscar G. Marell (1918) Sweden-America (Swedish Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America. Page 19-22)
  3. Eicher, p. 197.
  4. Gower, Herschel, Charles Dahlgren of Natchez: The Civil War and Dynastic Decline, Brassey's, Inc., 2002, ISBN 1-57488-525-1.


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