- Town:VA Arlington
Year of creation:1914
- Rider(s):Kearny, Philip
(1815 –1862) was a United States Army officer, notable for his leadership in the Mexican-American War and American Civil War. He was killed in action in the 1862 Battle of Chantilly. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Kearny returned to the United States and was appointed a brigadier general, commanding the First New Jersey Brigade, which he trained efficiently. The Army had been reluctant to restore his commission due to his disability, but the shocking Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run made them realize the importance of seasoned combat officers. His brigade, even after he left to command a division, performed spectacularly, especially at the Battle of Glendale. He received command of the 3rd Division of the III Corps on April 30, 1862. He led the division into action at the Battle of Williamsburg and the Battle of Fair Oaks. At Williamsburg, as he led his troops onto the field, Kearny shouted (in a notable quote), “I’m a one-armed Jersey son-of-a-gun, follow me!” The general led the charge with his sword in hand, reins in his teeth. He is noted for urging his troops forward by declaring, “Don’t worry, men, they’ll all be firing at me!” His performance during the Peninsula Campaign earned him much respect from the army and his superiors. He disliked the commander of the Army of the Potomac, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, whose orders (especially those to fall back) he frequently ignored. Confederate Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill, upon hearing the gunfire, ran up to the body of the illustrious soldier with a lantern and exclaimed, “You’ve killed Phil Kearny, he deserved a better fate than to die in the mud.” General Lee sent his body back to Union forces, with a condolence note. At the time, there were rumors in Washington that President Abraham Lincoln was contemplating replacing George B. McClellan with “Kearny the Magnificent”.
- Sculptor(s):Potter, Edward Clark
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