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Kill-Cavalry : the life of Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick

Author: Samuel J Martin
Publisher: Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, ©2000.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"This is a biography of an antihero," Samuel Martin writes in his prologue. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick was one of the most notorious scoundrels in the Union Army. He lied, thieved, and whored his way through the Civil War, yet managed to attain the stars of a major general. But despite his faults -- or perhaps because of them -- he is a fascinating character. A promising graduate of West Point's class of 1861,
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Named Person: Judson Kilpatrick; Judson Kilpatrick
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Samuel J Martin
ISBN: 081170887X 9780811708876
OCLC Number: 42428710
Notes: Originally published: Madison, NJ : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996.
Description: 325 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: Antebellum --
Big Bethel --
Drills and misdeeds --
McClellan --
John Pope --
Descriptions --
Joe Hooker --
Brandy Station --
Aldie --
Gettysburg --
Back to Virginia --
The gunboat expedition --
Brandy Station revisited --
The Buckland races --
A plan for glory --
The Richmond raid --
The Dahlgren papers --
Atlanta --
The march to the sea --
South Carolina --
North Carolina --
The end of the war --
Ambassador to Chile --
Farmer/lecturer --
The end.
Responsibility: by Samuel J. Martin.

Abstract:

"This is a biography of an antihero," Samuel Martin writes in his prologue. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick was one of the most notorious scoundrels in the Union Army. He lied, thieved, and whored his way through the Civil War, yet managed to attain the stars of a major general. But despite his faults -- or perhaps because of them -- he is a fascinating character. A promising graduate of West Point's class of 1861, Kilpatrick saw the start of the Civil War as an opportunity to launch an ambitious career that included aspirations of military heroism, the governorship of New Jersey, and eventually the office of the Commander-in-Chief. But the reality of his abilities proved otherwise. As a cavalry officer early in the war, Kilpatrick led his troops on raids of Confederate territory intended to disrupt the lines of communication and supply. When he met with less than successful results, he would submit inflated reports of his achievements. His lies earned him a number of promotions, eventually to command of a division. His ineptitude followed him into battle where he earned the nickname "Kill-Cavalry" because of the unusually high casualty rate among his men from foolishly sending them into avoidable ambushes. Kilpatrick's character did nothing to redeem him. Adultery, lying, thievery -- it seemed there was no end to his moral failings. He was even imprisoned for three months in 1862 for profiteering. A botched raid on Richmond in 1864 finally caused Gen. George Meade to relieve him of command. But it seemed that at least one of his superiors saw his personal behavior as an asset. Gen. William T. Sherman, who made use of Kilpatrick's services as cavalry chief during his march to the sea, remarked, "I know Kilpatrick is one hell of a damned fool, but I want just that sort of man to command my cavalry." His ruthless performance in the closing months of the war earned him a promotion to major general. In the years following the war, Kilpatrick tried unsuccessfully to achieve political office. He was hampered by recurring references to his wartime performance -- both military and personal. While Kilpatrick did not attain the measure of fame or fortune he had hoped for, he did lead a comfortable postwar living as a farmer and lecturer. He served as the United States ambassador to Chile twice, during which his open affair with a woman of "abandoned morals" nearly cost him his job. He died, aged forty-five, in 1881. - Jacket flap.

"This is a biography of an anti-hero ... Hugh Judson Kilpatrick was one of the most notorious scoundrels in the Union Army. He lied, thieved, and whored his way through the Civil War, yet managed to attain the stars of a major general. But despite his faults -- or perhaps because of them -- he is a fascinating character"--Jacket.

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