Civil War General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick War Date LS

kil1kil2A remarkable and detailed glimpse into Kilpatrick’s first engagement with the rebels


Civil War–dated LS boldy signed “Respectfully submitted, J. Kilpatrick, Lt. Col. Commanding,” three pages on two sheets, 7.75 x 10, April 20, 1862. This letter features altogether remarkable content from Kilpatrick’s first engagement with the rebel forces. This report was submitted to the governor of New York and reads in part written in another hand: “I have the honor to report that in the march from Catlett’s Station to Falmouth—a distance of 28 miles—the 2d New York Cavalry (popularly known as the Harris Light Cavalry) had the ‘front,’ and, as you have already learned, no doubt, met the enemy’s cavalry about 3 miles south of the Spotted Tavern, where my advanced guard received the first fire and charge of the Rebels, and where our men proved that they could not only receive, sustain, but return a charge. It was but a rush and a blow, and we saw the backs of our foe from that point to within a mile of Col. Lee’s camp. We skirmished with the enemy, driving him before us. Col. Lee’s whole force had left his camp to give us battle. I ordered Major Davies with his Battalion forward. Although this Battalion had not yet been engaged, they charged at a run and Lee’s cavalry was forced on fences into the woods in all directions to avoid the rush of our men and their biting sabres. We took several prisoners, killed and wounded five, and captured many horses. I regret to state that Lieut. Nelson J. Decker, of Co. D, fell at the head of his men, at the site of the rebel camp—a brave soldier and more gallant gentleman the Army does not furnish.”

In fine condition. This is a fantastic piece of history and would be a welcome addition to any collection.






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