Biography and History

Philip Kearny, Jr. was the son of Philip Kearny, Sr., a financier and founder of the New York Stock Exchange. Due to his parents' deaths, Kearny was raised by his grandfather and, following the wishes of his grandfather, graduated from Columbia College with a law degree in 1833. After his grandfather's death, Kearny joined the 1st U.S. Dragoons as a second lieutenant of cavalry. In 1839, Kearny was sent to France to study cavalry tactics and served in Algeria with the Chasseurs d'Afrique. Kearny briefly resigned his commission in 1846, but returned to the army with the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, eventually participating in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco as commander of Troop F of the 1st U.S. Dragoons. In 1851, Kearny left the army to travel and, in 1855, settled in present-day Kearny, New Jersey. In 1859, Kearny traveled to France and rejoined the Chasseurs d'Afrique to fight Austrian forces and Italy. Kearny also served with Napoleon III's Imperial Guard at the Battle of Solferino. In 1861, with the outbreak of the Civil War, Kearny returned to the United States and was appointed brigadier general in command of the 1st New Jersey Brigade. Kearny also commanded the 3rd Division of the III Corps and was promoted to major general before his death on September 1, 1862, at the Battle of Chantilly.

Source: From the finding aid for C0616