Aug 11
Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (1836-1881) was born in Wantage Township, New Jersey. He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1856 and graduated 17th out of 45 members of the Class of 1861. Kilpatrick has been described as “short in stature, with red hair.” One acquaintance wrote that he spoke in “a shrill voice and walked in a rolling gate.” Other army officers described him as “a wiry, restless, undersized man with black eyes [and] a lantern jaw.” This image was created circa 1861.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon is our host for a series on members of the West Point Class of 1861 who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. With the coming of the Civil War, the academy had two classes graduating that year because the original class of 1862 petitioned to graduate a year early. So the original class of 1861 graduated in May, 1861. The original class of 1862 graduated in June, 1861. We will refer to them throughout the series as the May and June classes. Christina has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 2008.

In the first West Point Class of 1861 post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon discusses the life of May, 1861 graduate Adelbert Ames who commanded a brigade and a division in the Eleventh Corps. At Gettysburg, Ames’ Brigade had 1337 engaged and suffered 778 casualties (68 killed, 366 wounded, and 344 captured) for a total percentage loss of 58.2%.

In our second West Point Class of 1861 post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon presents the life of Colonel Emory Upton who commanded the 121st New York Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg.

In the third West Point Class of 1861 presentation, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon shows us monuments related to Engineering officer, John Whitney Barlow.

In the fourth West Point Class of 1861 presentation, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon begins to follow Lieutenant Charles Hazlett around the Gettysburg Battlefield.

In the fifth West Point Class of 1861 presentation, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon showed the different possibilities for the placement of Hazlettā€™s Battery on Little Round Top.

In today’s West Point Class of 1861 presentation, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon provides some background on Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, known by some as “Kill Cavalry.”

To email Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon, please click here to reveal her address.

This map shows the location of where our West Point Class of 1861 at Gettysburg videos were produced. Videos #1-#16 were shown in our previous posts. Video #17 was taken at the Third Division Cavalry Corps marker. Video #18 was taken near the Farnsworth’s Brigade marker. Videos #19 and #20 were taken near the Farnsworth’s Cavalry Charge wayside exhibit. This map was created facing north at approximately 1:00 PM on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon is the host for our series on West Point’s Class of 1861. She is standing south of South Confederate Avenue, near the marker to Kilpatrick’s Division of Cavalry. This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2011.

In Video #17 (Videos #1-#16 were shown in our previous Class of 1861 posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon provides information on Judson Kilpatrick before the Gettysburg Campaign. This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2011.

A closer view of the Kilpatrick marker. This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2011.

Judson Kilpatrick received national attention when this image of him during the Chancellorsville Campaign was published in Harper’s Weekly. Colonel Kilpatrick was promoted to Brigadier General Kilpatrick on June 13, 1863. This image was created for the May 30, 1863 edition of Harper’s Weekly.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon is standing by the Farnsworth’s Brigade marker, located south of South Confederate Avenue. On the afternoon of July 3, 1863, the only brigade of Kilpatrick’s division, under his control was Farnsworth’s Brigade. The other brigade in his division, Custer’s Brigade, was in the area of East Cavalry Field, so Merritt’s Reserve Brigade (Buford’s Division) was attached to Kilpatrick’s command. This image was taken facing south at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2011.

In Video #18 Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon summarizes Judson Kilpatrick’s actions during the Gettysburg Campaign. This view was taken facing south to north at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2011.

A closer view of the Farnsworth’s Brigade plaque. This image was taken facing south at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 4, 2011.

Christina Moon is standing by the wayside exhibits north of South Confederate Avenue. One of the buildings of the Slyder Farm is barely visible in the center background. This image was taken facing north at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 4, 2011.

In Video #19 Christina Moon is standing north of South Confederate Avenue. She describes the post-Gettysburg career of Judson Kilpatrick. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2011.

A closer view of the Farnsworth’s Cavalry Charge wayside exhibit. This image was taken facing northeast at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 4, 2011.

Major General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick a couple of months after the Gettysburg Campaign. This image was taken in September, 1863.

Christina Moon is cheerfully presenting the non-descript “pig tight-cow high” fence that she will use as a background for the next video. The William Wells statue is in the right background. This image was taken facing southeast at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 4, 2011.

In Video #20 Christina Moon explains the post-war career of Judson Kilpatrick. She mentioned his descendants, including Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper. Unfortunately, when she mentioned Anderson Cooper, technical difficulties on our part cut out that part of the video. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 6:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2011.
Judson Kilpatrick with his second wife, Luisa Fernandez de Valdivieso, whom he met while stationed in Chile. She was a member of a wealthy family of Spanish origin who had emigrated to South America in the 1600s. This image was taken circa the late 1860s.
For more information on Judson Kilpatrick, see his biography by Samuel Martin.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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