Buncha Stuff

31 07 2009

Fibber-McGeeI’m finishing up Volume I of Lincoln’s Collected Works (there are 11 volumes in all, plus an index for the first nine).  Rather than post interesting tidbits as I found them, I’ve decided that after I finish each volume I’ll go back to all my little post-its and put up one article listing them.  So look for a summary post next week.

I haven’t forgotten the post on Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, and the characteristics of the Southern officer class that hindered its ability to lead effectively.  I’m sure the article, when written, will piss some folks off, and maybe that’s why I keep putting it off.  But all the books I’m consulting are still sitting in a stack on my office floor.

I need some info on Hugh Judson Kilpatrick.  Does anyone know how, when, and why he received his nickname, Kill Cavalry?  I’m not looking for opinion or generally accepted legend – in fact, if you give that to me in a comment, I’ll delete it.  I’m looking for documented evidence: when and where did the name first appear, and in what context?

My First Bull Run Field Guide for Civil War Times magazine should be showing up in subscriber’s mailboxes soon.  I’ll post some thoughts on the article once I receive my copy.

Civil War Sallie visited the Manassas National Battlefield Park a couple weekends ago for the anniversary of the battle, and wrote about it in multiple installments here.  Check it out.



2 responses

1 08 2009
Larry Freiheit


In “Kill-Cavalry” by Martin, the first three times he uses that phrase he does not cite anything (pp. 49, 54, 56). The cite on p. 49 is close to a quote from Meyer, “Civil War Experiences Under Bayard, Gregg, Kilpatrick and Custer” but I don’t have access to that book. Looks like Martin may be using “Kill-Cavalry” as a hindsight nom de guerre for Kilpatrick in these instances.

On p. 62, Martin cites “Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman with Custer’s Michigan Cavalry” by James Harvey Kidd p. 165: ” It was not long till every man in the division had seen him and knew him well. In a few days he had fairly earned the soubriquet “Kill Cavalry,” which clung to him till he left for the west. This was not because men were killed while under his command, for that was their business and every trooper knew that death was liable to come soon or late, while he was in the line of duty, but for the reason that so many lives were sacrificed by him for no good purpose whatever.”

This book was published in 1908 so hindsight is likely in play here, too. Contemporary ccounts by troopers or newspapers may be of value when found.



1 08 2009
Mike Peters


Larry Tagg’s in his “The Generals at Gettysburg,” writes “Despite earning his nickname “Kill-Cavalry” at Gettysburg, Kilpatrick showed no signs of learning from Farnsworth’s disaster.” However, there are no footnotes.

Mike Peters


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