General Philip Kearny - Inventory Number: CDV 402 / SOLD
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Kearny, Philip, major-general, was born in New York city, June 2, 1815. He was graduated at Columbia in 1833 and studied law, but in 1837 accepted a commission as 2nd lieutenant in the 1st dragoons, commanded by his uncle, Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny, and served at Jefferson barracks and on the frontier. In 1839 he went to France with two other officers to study military tactics at the Royal cavalry school, at Saumur. After six months of this experience he went to Algiers as honorary aide-de-camp to the Duke of Orleans, and was present in several notable exploits while attached to the First Chasseurs d'Afrique in the campaign against Abdel-Kader, the Arab chief. On returning to the United States in the autumn of 1840 he was made aide-de-camp to Gen. Alexander Macomb, commander-in-chief of the U. S. army, and to his successor, Gen. Winfield Scott, 1840-44. He was at Fort Leavenworth and accompanied the expedition through the South Pass, 1844-46, resigned his commission, April 2, 1846, and at the outbreak of the Mexican war was reinstated. He recruited his company up to the war footing at Springfield, equipped it magnificently and operated at first along the Rio Grande, but later joined Gen. Scott on his march to Mexico, the company acting as body-guard to the general-in-chief. Kearny was promoted captain in Dec., 1846, and distinguished himself at Contreras and Churubusco, and at the close of the latter battle, as the Mexicans were retreating into the capital, Capt. Kearny, at the head of his dragoons, followed them into the city itself. While retreating he was shot in the left arm, which caused that member to be amputated. For this action he was brevetted major, and, on returning to New York, he was presented with a splendid sword by the Union club. After being stationed in New York on recruiting service he was engaged, in 1851, in the campaign against the Rogue river Indians, but resigned in October of that year and took a trip around the world. In 1859 he was again in France, and, joining his old comrades in the 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique, participated in the war in Italy, winning by his gallantry on the field of Solferino the decoration of the cross of the Legion of Honor. Returning to the United States shortly after the beginning of the Civil war, he offered his services to the national government and to his native state, and, no command being conceded him, entered the volunteer service as commander of the 1st N. J. brigade. He was subsequently given by President Lincoln a commission as brigadier-general of volunteers, to date from May 17, 1861, and was assigned to command the 1st N. J. brigade in Gen. William B. Franklin's division, Army of the Potomac. Gen. Kearny was present at the battle of Williamsburg, where, arriving at 2:30 p. m., he reinforced Gen. Hooker's division, recovered the ground lost and turned defeat into victory. He served through the engagements of the Peninsula, then, with the Army of Virginia, from Rapidan to Warrenton. He was given command of a division in May, 1862, and was given a commission as major-general of volunteers to bear the date of July 4, which, however, never reached him. At the second battle of Bull Run he was in command on the right and forced Jackson's corps back against Gen. Longstreet's men. He was killed on the battleground of Chantilly, Va., Sept. 1, 1862. Gen. Kearny had, while reconnoitering, inadvertently penetrated the Confederate lines and was trying to escape when he was shot through the spine and instantly killed. His remains were sent by Lee under flag of truce to Gen. Hooker, and in City Park, Newark, N. J., the citizens of New Jersey erected a statue to his memory. Gen. Scott said of Kearny, "He was the bravest man I ever knew and the most perfect soldier."
Inventory Number: CDV 402 / SOLD