Summary

Conflict Period:
Civil War (Union) 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Major General 1
Birth:
New York City, NY 1
Death:
01 Sep 1862 1
Chantilly, VA 1
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Personal Details

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Also known as:
Philip Kearny Jr 1
Full Name:
Philip Kearny 1
Birth:
New York City, NY 1
Male 1
Birth:
02 Jun 1815 1
Death:
01 Sep 1862 1
Chantilly, VA 1
Cause: Killed in the Battle of Chantilly. 1
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA 1
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Birth:
Mother: Susan Watts 1
Father: Philip Kearny, Sr 1
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Civil War (Union) 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Major General 1
Service Start Date:
1861 1
Service End Date:
1862 1
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Occupation:
Civil War Cavalry General 1

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Stories

Philip Kearny

By the outbreak of the Civil War, Philip Kearny had already established an interesting military record.  Although Kearny was quite wealthy as a result of inheriting money from his grandparents, he chose to join the military and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st Dragoons, his uncle’s regiment, in 1837.  Shortly after joining the unit, Kearny traveled to France where he attended the French Cavalry School in Saumur, and participated in battles with the French cavalry in the Algiers in 1840.  He returned to the United States, and became the aide-de-camp for Generals Alexander Macomb and Winfield Scott.  He served during the Mexican-American War, first in an escort company for General Scott, but he then participated in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco.  During the battle of Churubusco, Kearny received an injury to his left arm which resulted in its amputation.  Nevertheless, Kearny continued to serve until after the war.  After his service was completed, Kearny resigned from the United States army and moved to France.  While there, he served in the Imperial Guard of Napoleon III and fought in the battles of Magenta and Solferino. 

Once the American Civil War broke out, Kearny returned home and was among some of the first to be commissioned a brigadier general.  Although some questioned how well he could lead with his injury, the need for experienced commanders was far more important.  He was placed in charge of the First New Jersey Brigade.  On July 4, 1862, he was promoted to major general and was put in command of a division in General Samuel P. Heintzelman’s III Corps.  While in command of the corps, Kearny was credited with developing the concept of corps badges, which would go on to be adopted by the entire army.  He led the division at the battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and throughout the Peninsula Campaign.  After the Union defeat at the battle of Second Manassas, Kearny led his men during the retreat and engaged Confederate forces at the battle of Chantilly.  While scouting positions near his men, Kearny inadvertently rode near Confederate forces, and was killed while attempting to escape.  General Robert E. Lee, who held great respect for General Kearny along with many other Confederate officers and men, forwarded his remains under a flag of truce to Union lines in order to ensure that the general received a proper burial.

The New York Times, 4 Sep 1862, Thu, Page 4

The New York Times, 29 Oct 1876, Sun, Page 9

The New York Times, 3 Sep 1862, Wed, Page 1

Harrisburg Telegraph, 31 Oct 1876, Tue, Page 2

Kearny Monument at the Chantilly (Ox Hill) Battlefield

Kearny and Stevens memorial

The memorial to Generals Kearny and Stevens are two granite monuments, surrounded by an iron rail with granite posts.[2] Each monument has the general's name carved on one side, and a tributary plaque attached to the other. The monuments are not gravestones but are cenotaphs, as the two generals are buried elsewhere. Neither general died on the exact spot; Stevens was killed nearby and Kearny died about 150 yards (140 m) southwest of the park. The plot of land containing the memorial is not officially part of the park as it is still owned by its trustees, but the park almost certainly would not exist today without them.[9] The plaques read:

StevensKearny

Here Fell
Major General
Isaac Ingalls Stevens
With the Flag of the Republic
In His Dying Grasp
September 1, 1862

Major General
Philip Kearny
Killed on this spot
September 1, 1862
The tributes of Kearny's
First New Jersey Brigade and friends

 

Battle of Chantilly - Ox Hill

Inscription. On September 1, 1862, Confederate forces under the command of Major General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson moved across and to the southwestern edge of this site to engage Union forces determined to prevent a glancing movement on demoralized Union troops fleeing the field at Second Manassas.

The ensuing battle raged on for a little less than three hours terminating in ferocious hand-to-hand combat in a violent late afternoon thunderstorm.

Tactically the battle ended in a stalemate leaving approximately 610 dead or wounded Union and 501 Confederate troops on the field. Union forces, however, suffered the greater loss when Major General Issac I. Stevens was shot and fatally wounded while leading the 79th New York against Hay's Louisiana and Thomas' 49th Georgia Brigades. Major General Philip Kearny, in an attempt to fill a suspected void in Stevens' line, moved out in front of the 21st Massachusetts Brigade and into the eastern edge of a cornfield where he encountered troops, presumably the 49th Georgia, who took issue with his presence within their line and killed Kearny as he attempted to escape. 

The battle ended the hostilities of Second Manassas and set into motion General Robert E. Lee's excursion into Maryland and the bloody Battle of Antietam.

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