kär´nē, 1814–62, Union general in the American Civil War, b. New York City; nephew of Stephen Watts Kearny. After studying law he joined (1837) the army. One of three officers sent to study the French cavalry service (1839), he served (1840) with the French in Algeria. In the Mexican War, Kearny lost an arm at Churubusco. He resigned from the army in 1851 to travel and in 1859 fought again with the French in the war for Italian liberation. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War he was appointed brigadier general of volunteers and given command of the 1st New Jersey Brigade. Kearny fought in the Peninsular campaign and at the second battle of Bull Run. While reconnoitering at Chantilly, he unknowingly entered the enemy's lines and was killed (Sept., 1862). Kearny was noted for his courage and dash and was idolized by his men. Kearny, N.J., is named for him.
See biography by I. Werstein (1962).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies