Kilpatrick’s Deficiency in Judgment

Judson Kilpatrick

Theodore Lyman, Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade’s aide-de-camp, offered an interesting observation about part of the Federal cavalry on this date in 1863. The Army of the Potomac was cautiously advancing out of its protected position in Centreville, Virginia, where Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had chased it during the Bristoe Campaign. Federal cavalry under Judson Kilpatrick screened the advance.

“This afternoon,” Lyman wrote, “Kilpatrick ran into a horses’ nest of cavalry, near Buckland Mills in the front, and came near getting used up, but escaped with a loss of 100 or 200 men. He is a brave, vigorous man, but apparently deficient in judgment, a fault in which his two Brigadiers, Davies & Custer do not much help him.”

Lyman’s diary, by the way—Meade’s Army: The Private Notebooks of Lt. Col. Theodore Lyman, edited by David Lowe—makes excellent reading.

2 Responses to Kilpatrick’s Deficiency in Judgment

  1. Chris, thanks for the article. I didn’t anybody else cared about this except maybe for Rob. The action is call the Buckland Races. I affectionately called it the Warrenton Races. What a great story how Jeb got one over on Kilpatrick! The reason Davis and Custer were no help to Kilpatrick cause they tried telling him it was a set up but he wouldn’t listen. This also was considered the last action of the Gettysburg Campaign. Love ECW. Keep up the good work and congrats on the milestones and successes. I know you asked the question but from the my perspective at the Manassas and Bristoe Battlefields and after the 150th, the Civil war is alive and well.

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