Major General Philip Kearny

A Soldier and His Time in the American Civil War


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About the Book

Union General Philip Kearny began his career as a lieutenant with the 1st U.S. Dragoons. He studied cavalry tactics in France and fought with the Chasseurs d’Afrique in Algeria, where his fearlessness earned him the nickname “Kearny le Magnifique.” Returning to America, he wrote a cavalry manual for the U.S. Army and later raised a troop of dragoons—using his own money to buy 120 matching dapple-gray mounts for his men—and led them during the Mexican War, where he lost an arm.
This biography chronicles the military life of one of the most talented field officers in the Army of the Potomac at the outbreak of the Civil War, who famously led a charge at the Battle of Williamsburg with his reins in his teeth, and sometimes disobeyed General George McClellan, once protesting an order to retreat as “prompted by cowardice or treason.” Kearny was on the verge of higher command when he was killed at the 1862 Battle of Chantilly.

About the Author(s)

U.S. Army veteran and retired Department of Defense Intelligence analyst, Robert R. Laven lives in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Robert R. Laven
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 210
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8028-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3902-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
I. Beginnings 5
II. Influences 10
III. A Soldierly Figure 17
IV. Valley of the Sun 32
V. Camp Seminary 46
VI. Williamsburg 56
VII. Seven Pines 67
VIII. Pivot at Gaines’ Mill 77
IX. Glendale 86
X. Malvern Hill 97
XI. A Long Roll of Thunder 104
XII. Manassas, August 29: Pope Engages 113
XIII. Manassas, August 30: Longstreet Attacks 129
XIV. Requiem 138
Epilogue 155
Appendix A: Lost Letter of Lt. Philip Kearny 161
Appendix B: Extracts from Official Reports—Mexican War 163
Appendix C: Documents, Reports, etc.—American Civil War 169
Appendix D: Kearny Testimonials 173
Appendix E: Kearny and First New Jersey Regiment 181
Appendix F: Kearny Assigned to III Corps, 3rd Division 183
Appendix G: Union and Confederate Order of Battle (Selected Units) 185
Chapter Notes 189
Bibliography 195
Index 199