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Sherman quote 'I know Kilpatrick is a hell of a damn fool' - Other Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sat Aug 7th, 2010 05:44 am
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JohnMeeks
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I'm looking for the source were General Sherman is quoted in November 1864 saying.

"I know Kilpatrick is a hell of a damn fool but that is just the type of man I want for this expedition."

It's not in his memoirs. I searched the official records online but couldn't find it. I'm still guesing it's in the official records somewhere and for some reason I couldn't find it.

 



 Posted: Mon Aug 9th, 2010 02:29 pm
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Old North State
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Lloyd Lewis uses this quotation in his biography of W.T. Sherman.  He seems to cite James Moore's biography of Kilpatrick as the source, but the citation may not be specific to the quotation.  I have not looked at Moore, so can't verify that he provided a source.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 10th, 2010 02:15 am
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CleburneFan
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The key would be exactly to whom Sherman was speaking when he stated his opinion of Kilpatrick. Was he speaking to one of his staff or to another general or did he write it in a communication with Grant or Halleck?

If he was speaking to one of his staff or another general, that person may have written it in his own memoirs or in a letter to his family or his wife. So to narrow down the source of this quote, find out to whom the statement was made, and then trace how the quote was recorded...in a letter, diary or memoir or was it passed on by word of mouth from one person to another? 

One of the best books on Sherman in Georgia that I have read is Albert E. Castel's "Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign." I'm almost certain that quote is in that book. Castel was very thorough in his research, so you might find a source for the quote there in the back of the book. I have the book, but it is hard to dig it out of my disorganized collection of Civil War books.  

 



 Posted: Tue Aug 10th, 2010 03:14 am
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Texas Defender
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  According to this source:

Judson Kilpatrick – June 1998 Civil War Times Feature » HistoryNet

  Sherman spoke the quotation in question to General James H. Wilson.

 

 

 



 Posted: Tue Aug 10th, 2010 01:52 pm
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CleburneFan
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 I spent the morning researching this question. It was not in Castel's book but I found an exact reference in the excellent book "War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta" by Russell S. Bonds.

On page 456 of Bond's book in the "Notes" section, he refers to this reference...James H Wilson, Under the Old Flag: Recollections of Military Operations in the War for the Union, The Spanish War, The Boxer Rebellion, Etc. (New York: D. Appleton& Co., 1912, vol , page 13.)

One thing I found out in the search of my books that I believed might lead to the exact source of  Sherman's quote was that many authors refer to this saying but do not reference the source. I began to wonder if Sherman ever actually said it or was just famously rumored to have said it. But now we see that cavalry man and topographical engineer Wilson claims to have heard it and wrote of it in his lengthy memoirs.

By the way, in my research, I discovered that Sherman had other unflattering things to say about "Kill-Cavalry." One was about his proclivity to kill men and horses. 

My favorite quote about Kilpatrick was from an officer whose name I have never been able to find that called the cavalry man a "frothy braggart." Gotta love it.:D

Last edited on Tue Aug 10th, 2010 01:56 pm by CleburneFan



 Posted: Wed Aug 11th, 2010 02:41 pm
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Old North State
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Yes, as usual, Bonds is accurate as to the source.  However, the quotation is reported by James H. Wilson, as having been heard by him, in Volume I, page 372 of "Under the Old Flag."(1912 edition) I don't find any mention of Kilpatrick on p. 13, so perhaps this is a typo.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 11th, 2010 03:21 pm
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Texas Defender
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Cleburne Fan-

  I do not know the name of the staff officer who called Judson Kilpatrick a: "Frothy braggart." However, the footnote from this source relating to that quote might supply the answer.

http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/inside.asp?ID=655&subjectID=2

  The answer MIGHT be in Edward G. Longacre's book: "MOUNTED RAIDS OF THE CIVIL WAR", pp.227-228.

http://www.amazon.com/Edward-G.-Longacre/e/B000ARBGZQ

 

Mounted Raids of the Civil War : Edward G. Longacre (Paperback, 1994) - eBay (item 341671173600 end time Aug-02-35 18:40:37 PDT)



 Posted: Wed Aug 11th, 2010 03:22 pm
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Texas Defender
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  (Removed because the previous posting double posted)

Last edited on Wed Aug 11th, 2010 03:24 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Wed Aug 11th, 2010 04:39 pm
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CleburneFan
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Thank you for those Longacre references. I believe I have narrowed down the person who called Kill-Cavalry a "frothy braggart." It probably was none other than Major General Pleasonton, the Army of the Potomac cavalry corps commander.

With all my stacks of Civil War books I have only one by Longacre and it is a pity. I would like to add the one you cite to my collection. It was never my intention to spend a lot of time reading about Kilpatrick, but over the years he has become one of my favorite Civil War scoundrels--one of those I love to hate.

Wherever there is trouble his name just seems to pop up. Because he served both in the Eastern theater and the Western theater of operations and was part many of the most significant campaigns and battles, he really did have some impact for better or worse. However he was far overshadowed by fellow Union cavalryman George Armstrong Custer, at least in the name recognition category.



 Posted: Sat Aug 14th, 2010 02:22 am
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CleburneFan
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Just curious to know if the OP was satisfied with the answers we provided here or if he found our answers to his question lacking.



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