By Mark Pearson
Originally Published on November 19th, 2018.
The next street as you travel north on 10th avenue is Kearney street. This street is named after Major General Philip Kearny who was born on June 2, 1815, in New York City. He joined the army and served under, of all people, Jefferson Davis who would later become president of the Confederate States of America.
General Philip was raised by his wealthy grandparents who resided in New Jersey and after their passing, he inherited millions. He also earned a law degree from Colombia College but never practiced law. He volunteered for the US cavalry and served in several positions across the country including a stint of service under General Winfield Scott. (Another General who has a Port Huron street named after him). He left the army at that time because he didn’t think there was enough action.
He re-enlisted in the army and went on to fight in the Mexican American war where he lost his left arm in one of the battles that he was involved in. Oh, by the way, did I mention that Jeff Davis was his uncle? In 1839, Kearny went to France where he studied cavalry tactics at a military school and then went and fought in Algeria before returning to the US.
When the Civil War started, he offered his services to the union but was rejected because of his handicap. After the disaster that took place at Manassas, Virginia otherwise known as the Battle of Bull Run, the union needed experienced officers. As you may remember from my first installment, businessmen or politicians didn’t always make good military leaders.
Kearny was given command of the third division which participated in the battle of Malvern Hill. After a union victory, overall commanding general McClellan ordered him to retreat. This did not sit well with General Kearny who accused him of treason. He was still able to hang onto his command in spite of his accusations.
At the second battle of Manassas, General Kearney was killed while the 3rd division was acting as the rear guard after another Confederate victory. General Lee had his body shipped back to Washington along with all his personal effects showing respect for such a gallant soldier. He is now buried in Arlington national cemetery and a statue of him representing New Jersey is among the other fifty statues in Statuary Hall in the nation’s capital. As many veterans know, the 3rd division has gone on to win fame in every major war since then.
Mark E. Pearson was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. In 1970 he moved to Michigan where he met and married the girl of his dreams, Mary Lou Davis, together they have two sons. He attended Briercrest Bible Institute in Saskatchewan, Canada, and later received his associates degree in business from St. Clair Community College. He was a bookkeeper and worked in retail sales for 30 years and has spent the last fifteen years as a Jeweler at Coughlin’s Jewelers in St Clair, MI. He is a voracious reader of history and as a result of being an avid reader he began to write short stories and articles for editorial columns and magazines on current events and comparing and relating past events to current happenings.
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