Hugh Judson Kilpatrick
Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (
January 14, 1836– December 4, 1881) was an officer in the Union Armyduring the American Civil War, achieving the rank of brevet major general. He was later the United States Minister to Chile, and a failed political candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Known as "Kilcavalry" (or "Kill-Cavalry") for using tactics in battle that were considered as a reckless disregard for lives of soldiers under his command, Kilpatrick was both praised for the victories he achieved, and despised by southerners whose homes and towns he devastated.
Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, more commonly referred to as Judson Kilpatrick, the fourth child of Colonel Simon Kilpatrick and Julia Wickham, was born on the family farm in Wantage Township, near Deckertown, New Jersey (now Sussex Borough).
Kilpatrick graduated from the
United States Military Academyin 1861, just after the start of the war, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery. Within three days he was a captainin the 5th New York Infantry ("Duryée's Zouaves").
Kilpatrick was the first
United States Armyofficer to be wounded in the Civil War, struck in the thigh by canister fire while leading a company at the Battle of Big Bethel, June 10, 1861. By September 25he was a lieutenant colonel, now in the 2nd New York Cavalry, which he helped to raise, and it was the mounted arm that brought him fame and infamy.
Assignments were initially quiet for Lt. Col. Kilpatrick, serving in staff jobs and in minor cavalry skirmishes. That changed in the
Second Battle of Bull Runin August 1862. He raided the Virginia Central Railroadearly in the campaign and then ordered a foolish twilight cavalry charge the first evening of the battle, losing a full squadronof troopers. Nevertheless, he was promoted to full colonelon December 6.
Kilpatrick was aggressive, fearless, ambitious, and blustery. He was a master, in his mid-twenties, of using political influence to get ahead. His men had little love for his manner and his willingness to exhaust men and horses and to order suicidal mounted cavalry charges. (The rifled muskets introduced to warfare in the 1850s made the historic cavalry charge essentially an anachronism. Cavalry's role shrank primarily to screening, raiding, and reconnaissance.) The widespread nickname they used for Kilpatrick was "Kill Cavalry". He also had a bad reputation with others in the Army. His camps were poorly maintained and frequented by prostitutes, often visiting Kilpatrick himself. He was jailed in 1862 on charges of corruption, accused of selling captured Confederate goods for personal gain. He was jailed again for a drunken spree in
Washington, D.C., and for allegedly accepting bribes in the procurement of horses for his command.
In February 1863, Maj. Gen.
Joseph Hookercreated a Cavalry Corpsin the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Stoneman. Kilpatrick assumed command of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division. In the Chancellorsville Campaign in May, Stoneman's cavalry was ordered to swing deeply behind Gen. Robert E. Lee's army and destroy railroads and supplies. Kilpatrick did just that, with gusto. Although the corps failed to distract Lee as intended, Kilpatrick achieved fame by aggressively capturing wagons, burning bridges, and riding around Lee, almost to the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia.
At the beginning of the
Gettysburg Campaign, on June 9, 1863, Kilpatrick fought at Brandy Station, the largest cavalry battle of the war. He received his brigadier general's star on June 13, fought at Aldie and Upperville, and assumed division command three days before the Battle of Gettysburgcommenced. On June 30, he clashed briefly with J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry at Hanover, Pennsylvania, but then proceeded on a wild goose chase in pursuit of Stuart, rather than fulfilling his mission of intelligence gathering.
On the second day of the Gettysburg battle,
July 2, 1863, Kilpatrick's division skirmished against Wade Hampton five miles northeast of town at Hunterstown. He then settled in for the night to the southeast at Two Taverns. One of his famous brigade commanders, Brig. Gen. George A. Custer, was ordered to join Brig. Gen. David McM. Gregg's division for the next day's action against Stuart's cavalry east of town, so Kilpatrick was down to one brigade. On July 3, after Pickett's Charge, he was ordered by army commander Maj. Gen. George G. Meadeand Cavalry Corps commander Alfred Pleasontonto launch a cavalry charge against the infantry positions of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's Corps on the Confederate right flank, just west of Little Round Top. Kilpatrick's lone brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth, protested against the futility of such a move. Kilpatrick essentially questioned his bravery and allegedly dared him to charge: "Then, by God, if you are afraid to go I will lead the charge myself." Farnsworth reluctantly complied with the order. He was killed in the attack and his brigade suffered significant losses.
Kilpatrick and the rest of the cavalry pursued and harassed Lee during his retreat back to Virginia. That fall, he took part in an expedition to destroy the Confederate gunboats "Satellite" and "Reliance" in the
Rappahannock River, boarding them and capturing their crews successfully.
The Dahlgren Affair
Just before the start of Lt. Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaignin the spring of 1864, Kilpatrick conducted a raid toward Richmond and through the Virginia Peninsula, hoping to rescue Union prisoners of war held at Belle Isle and in Libby Prison. He destroyed much property and had many encounters with the enemy, but was unsuccessful in his aims. And one of his brigade commanders, Col. Ulric Dahlgren, son of Rear Admiral John Adolph Dalhgren, was killed in the process. The "Kilpatrick-Dahlgren" expedition was such a fiasco that Kilpatrick found he was no longer welcome in the Eastern Theater. He transferred west to command the 3rd Division of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Cumberland, under Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.
Final campaigns through Georgia and the Carolinas
Summing up Judson Kilpatrick in 1864, Sherman said "I know that Kilpatrick is a hell of a damned fool, but I want just that sort of man to command my cavalry on this expedition."
Starting in May 1864, Kilpatrick rode in the
Atlanta Campaign. On May 13, he was severely wounded in the thigh at the Battle of Resacaand his injuries kept him out of the field until late July. He had considerable success raiding behind Confederate lines, tearing up railroads, and at one point rode his division completely around the enemy positions in Atlanta.
Kilpatrick continued with Sherman through his March to the Sea to Savannah and north in the
Carolinas Campaign. He delighted in destroying Southern property. On two occasions his coarse personal instincts betrayed him: Confederate cavalry under the command of Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton raided his camp while he was in bed with a young Southern woman he had met while going through Columbia, and, at the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, he was forced to flee for his life in his underclothes until his troops could reform. Kilpatrick accompanied Maj. Gen. William T. Shermanto the surrender negotiations held at Bennett Placenear Durham, North Carolina, on April 17, 1865.
Kilpatrick later commanded a division of the Cavalry Corps in the
Military Division of the Mississippifrom April to June 1865, and was promoted to major general of volunteers on June 18, 1865.
Kilpatrick became active in politics as a Republican and in 1880 was an unsuccessful candidate for the
U.S. Congressfrom New Jersey.
In 1865, Kilpatrick was appointed Minister to
Chileby President Andrew Johnson, and he was continued in that office by President Grant. As American Minister to Chile, he was involved in an attempt to arbitrate between the combatants of the Chincha Islands Warafter the Valparaiso bombardment(1866). The attempt failed, as the chief condition of Spanish admiral Méndez Núñez was the return of the captured "Covadonga". Kilpatrick asked the American naval commander Commander John Rodgers to defend the port and attack the Spanish fleet. Admiral Méndez Núñez famously responded with, "I will be forced to sink [the US ships] , because even if I have one ship left I will proceed with the bombardment. Spain, the Queen and I prefer honor without ships than ships without honor." ("España prefiere honra sin barcos a barcos sin honra".")
Kilpatrick was recalled in 1870. The 1865 appointment seems to have been the result of a political deal. Kilpatrick had been a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor of New Jersey but lost out to Marcus Ward. Due to his service in helping Ward, Kilpatrick was rewarded with the post in Chile. Due to the Grant administration recalling him, Kilpatrick supported
Horace Greeleyin the 1872 presidential election. By 1876, Kilpatrick returned to the Republicans and supported Rutherford B. Hayesfor the presidency.
In Chile he married, as his second wife, Luisa Fernandez de Valdivieso, a member of a wealthy family of Spanish origin that had emigrated to South America in the 17th century. Artist and socialite
Gloria Vanderbilt(born 1924) is Hugh Judson Kilpatrick's great-granddaughter. Another prominent descendant is CNN newsman Anderson Cooper, Kilpatrick's great-great-grandson.
In March 1881, in recognition of Kilpatrick's service to the Republicans in New Jersey as well as a consolation prize for his defeat for a House seat, President
James Garfieldappointed Kilpatrick again to the post of Minister to Chile, where he died shortly after his arrival in the Chilean capital Santiago. His remains returned to the United States in 1887 and were interred at the West Point Cemeteryin West Point, New York.
Kilpatrick was the author of two plays, "Allatoona: An Historical and Military Drama in Five Acts" (1875) and "The Blue and the Gray: Or, War is Hell" (posthumous, 1930).
Battle of Gettysburg, Third Day cavalry battles
*cite book | last = Eicher | first = John H. | coauthors = David J. Eicher | title = 'Civil War High Commands | location = Stanford, Calif. | publisher = Stanford University Press | year = 2001 | isbn = 0-8047-3641-3 | oclc = 45917117
*cite book | author = Johnson, Robert Underwood | coauthors = Clarence C. Buel (eds.) | url = http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/battles/index.cfm | title = Battles and Leaders of the Civil War | location = New York | publisher = Century Co | date = 1884-1888 | oclc = 2048818
*cite book | last = Lewis | first = Lloyd | title = Sherman: Fighting Prophet | location = | publisher = Harcourt, Brace | origyear = 1932 | year = 1958 | isbn = | oclc = 497732
*cite book | last = Martin | first = Samuel J. | title = Kill-Cavalry: The Life of Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick | location = Mechanicsburg, Pa. | publisher = Stackpole Books | year = 2000 | isbn = 0-8117-0887-X | oclc = 42428710
*cite paper | first = John Edward | last = Pierce | title = General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick in the American Civil War | publisher = Thesis (Ph. D.)--Pennsylvania State University | date = 1983 | id = oclc|11893938
*cite book | last = Schultz | first = Duane | title = The Dahlgren Affair: Terror and Conspiracy in the Civil War | location = New York | publisher = W. W. Norton | year = 1999 | isbn = 0-393-31986-5 | oclc = 53405397
*cite book | last = Snell | first = James P. | coauthors = W. W. Clayton | title = History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey | location = Philadelphia | publisher = Everts & Peck | year = 1881 | oclc = 14075041
*cite book | last = Spera | first = W. H. | chapter = Kilpatrick's Richmond Raid | editor = H. P. Moyer | title = History of the Seventeenth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry | location =Lebanon, Pa. | publisher = Sowers Printing Company | date = 1911 | oclc = 1881547
*cite book | last = Tagg | first = Larry | url = http://www.rocemabra.com/~roger/tagg/generals/ | title = The Generals of Gettysburg: The Leaders of America's Greatest Battle | location = Campbell, Calif. | publisher = Savas Pub. Co | year = 1998 | location = 1-882810-30-9 | oclc = 39725526
* [http://www.gdg.org/Research/OOB/Union/July1-3/jkilpatr.html Gettysburg Discussion Group research article]
title = United States Envoy to Chile
Thomas H. Nelson
Joseph P. Root
12 March 1866– 3 August 1870succession box
title = United States Envoy to Chile
Thomas A. Osborn
Cornelius A. Logan
25 July 1881– 2 December 1881
NAME= Kilpatrick, Hugh Judson
DATE OF BIRTH=
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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Hugh Judson Kilpatrick — (* 14. Januar 1836 bei Wantage Township, New Jersey; † 4. Dezember 1881 in Santiago de Chile) war General der United States Army im Sezessionskrieg und US Diplomat und Politiker … Deutsch Wikipedia
Hugh Kilpatrick — Hugh Judson Kilpatrick Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (* 14. Januar 1836 bei Deckertown, New Jersey; † 4. Dezember 1881 in Santiago de Chile) war General der United States Army im Sezessionskrieg und US Diplomat und Politiker … Deutsch Wikipedia
Kilpatrick — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (* 1945), US amerikanische Politikerin Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (1836–1881), US General im Sezessionskrieg und US Diplomat James J. Kilpatrick (1920–2010), US amerikanischer… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Kilpatrick — /kil pa trik/, n. Hugh Judson /jud seuhn/, 1836 81, Union general in the U.S. Civil War. * * * … Universalium
Kilpatrick — /kil pa trik/, n. Hugh Judson /jud seuhn/, 1836 81, Union general in the U.S. Civil War … Useful english dictionary
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