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Quotes for
Sgt. Buster Kilrain (Character)
from Gettysburg (1993)

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Gettysburg (1993)
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: There's only one aristocracy, and that
[he taps his temple]
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: is right here.

Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: I'm Kilrain, and I damn all gentlemen.

Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Some of them, they load and load, they never fire. They just keep right on loading. Some of them come home with seven, eight bullets rammed up in the barrel, never fired a shot.

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: [quoting Hamlet] "What a piece of work is man, in form and movement how express and admirable. In action how like an angel."
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Well, if he's an angel, all right then. But he damn well must be a killer angel.

Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Colonel, you're a lovely man. I see a great difference between us, yet I admire you. You're an idealist, praise be.

Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: There's many a man alive of no more value than a dead dog.

Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: What I'm fighting for is to prove I'm a better man than the others. There's many a man worse than me, and some better. But I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. And that's why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved.

[Chamberlain is not feeling well and doesn't want to ride the horse]
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Colonel, darlin', could you do us all a favor and get on the damn horse?

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Tell me something, Buster... What do you think of Negroes?
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Well, if you mean the race, I don't really know. This is not a thing to be ashamed of. The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time.
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: You see to me there was never any difference.
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: None at all?
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: None at all. Of course, I haven't known that many freed men... But those I knew in Bangor, Portland... You look in the eye, there was a man. There was a "divine spark," as my mother used to call it. That is all there is to it. Races are men. "What a piece of work is man. How infinite in faculties and form, and movement... How express and admirable. In action how like an angel.
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Well, if he's an angel, all right then... But he damn well must be a killer angel. Colonel, darling, you're a lovely man. I see a vast great difference between us, yet I admire you, lad. You're an idealist, praise be. The truth is, Colonel... There is no "divine spark". There's many a man alive no more of value than a dead dog. Believe me. When you've seen them hang each other the way I have back in the Old Country. Equality? What I'm fighting for is to prove I'm a better man than many of them. Where have you seen this "divine spark" in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? No two things on Earth are equal or have an equal chance. Not a leaf, not a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better... But I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters, Colonel... Is justice. Which is why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain... And I damn all gentlemen. There is only one aristocracy... And that is right here.
[points to his head]
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: And that's why we've got to win this war.


Gods and Generals (2003)
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: [using a dead Union soldier for cover]
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Oh, Patrick... I hope you don't mind. I know you're in heaven, but you've still got plenty of work to do down here in this cold, pitiless world.

Sgt. Buster Kilrain: [the 20th Maine is about to attack the stone wall at Fredericksburg]
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Seems a terrible long distance up that hill.
Sgt. Thomas Chamberlain: It'll be shortened by those in front.
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Beggin' your pardon, sir; the only thing that will be shortened by those in front is their lives.

Union private: [quoting Abraham Lincoln's Letter after the Battle of Fredericksburg] We are thankful that the casualities have been comparitively so small...
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Compared to what? The Scots at Culloden? The English at Bunker Hill? The French at Waterloo?

Sgt. Buster Kilrain: [Kilrain has yanked Tom to the ground as bullets fly past them]
Sgt. Thomas Chamberlain: What'd you do that for?
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: You'll thank me in the morning.

Sgt. Buster Kilrain: [Chamberlain meets Kilrain for the first time]
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Mornin' to ya, sir. Colonel Ames sent me to get ya. Thought you'd be needin' a drop o' this.
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: [offers Chamberlain a mug of coffee]
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Oh, thank you. Uh...
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Kilrain, sir, Sergeant Kilrain. Glad to be of service. You know, Colonel... the boys, well... we've been watchin' you, sir. That we have. You've learned fast. It's becomin' a pleasure to serve under ya.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Yes, well, thank you. Are you a veteran, Sergeant?
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Aye, sir. I suppose you could say that. Did me duty in the regular army for a while. Did the great long walk with General Scott down south of the Rio Grande.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Hmm. Some of the men you fought with in Mexico are on the other side. Almost all of their generals.
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Oh, it gets worse than generals, Colonel. Some o' the lads that I left Ireland with are on the other side as well. Imagine that. We left together to escape a tyranny... and end up shootin' at one another in the Land of the Free.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: I, too, have friends on the other side, Sergeant. And enemies.
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: Yes, sir. No shortage of enemies, that's for sure.

Sgt. Thomas Chamberlain: [deleted scene, Battle of Antietam] It's good to be Sergeant, isn't it? To shoot a sergeant, you have fire through two men first.
Sgt. Buster Kilrain: A sergeant never fires his weapon until the men in front of him are killed. And then, only unless you want to show off.