Watch Again

America's Hidden Stories:

Were the Letters Ordering the Assassination of Jefferson Davis Real?

Watch More
back to video

»Targeting Jefferson Davis

Were the Letters Ordering the Assassination of Jefferson Davis Real?

Short | 03:21

The assassination orders found on the body of a Union colonel caused outrage in the South. But were those letters real or were they forged by the confederate government to be used as a propaganda tool?

More About This episode

During a failed raid to free northern POWs in 1864, papers are found on the body of Union Colonel Ulric Dahlgren ordering the assassination of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The discovery fuels outrage in the South and energizes the Confederate secret service. Now, historians have teamed up with descendants of the slain colonel to uncover who was behind the audacious murder plot and to consider if Abraham Lincoln's assassination one year later may have been a retaliatory measure.

Ways to Watch

Buy this show from any of these distributors

Have Smithsonian Channel through your TV provider?

Watch this episode online now.

Return to Video Page