(1836-81) Born near Deckertown, N.J., he graduated in the West Point class of May 1861. He had the distinction of being the first Regular officer to be wounded in action during the Civil War, this coming in June 1861, at the battle of Big Bethel, Va. In September 1861, he became the lieutenant colonel, and in December, colonel of the 2nd New York Cavalry. He successively commanded his regiment, a brigade, and later a division of cavalry in the Army of the Potomac, playing a creditable role in virtually every important cavalry action in the eastern theater of war, including Beverly Ford, Stoneman's raid, and Gettysburg. He was promoted to brigadier general, June 14, 1863. In Feb. 1864, he commanded the celebrated Richmond raid which was to free the Union prisoners there, but instead resulted in a fiasco and the death of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren. Sent south by General U.S. Grant, he was wounded in the early part of the Atlanta campaign, at Resaca, Ga. He returned to duty in late July 1864 to finish that campaign which included several raids and skirmishes against his old classmate, General Joseph Wheeler. He then took part in Sherman's March to the Sea, and the 1865 Carolina's campaign. General William T. Sherman was quoted as saying, I want just that sort of man to command my cavalry in this expedition!
Antique portrait engraving of Kilpatrick in uniform with rank of major general. Engraved by O'Neill, N.Y. Published by C.B. Richardson. Printed facsimile autograph with rank below his portrait, J. Kilpatrick, Bt. Major Genl. Vol. 5 1/2 x 9.