Phil Kearney - Opinions

Jamieva

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
4,060
Location
Midlothian, VA
#61
Super aggressive, which in the AotP at the time meant he stuck out like a sore thumb. Even if he had not rode into the enemy lines to his death at Chantilly, his mouth was bound to get him in trouble in the future. He could not stand Little Mac and didn't hold back his opinion of it.

Part of the reason he is not remembered much is he was killed at a battle that only buffs know about. The average CW reader has no idea about Chantilly
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Specster

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
2,015
Location
Mass.
#64
Super aggressive, which in the AotP at the time meant he stuck out like a sore thumb. Even if he had not rode into the enemy lines to his death at Chantilly, his mouth was bound to get him in trouble in the future. He could not stand Little Mac and didn't hold back his opiniAon of it.

Part of the reason he is not remembered much is he was killed at a battle that only buffs know about. The average CW reader has no idea about Chantilly
He had made the same mistake twice (riding into enmeny lines) within a few months or less. I for one cannot fault him, being a soldier, for being aggressive. He was noted to say he could lead men into hell. He did not fall far short of that claim. Not to be redundant but the AOP under Mac was hyper political and I do think Phil gave a **** about who he insulted - he was warrior thru and thru and if every officer was court martial ed for not following orders there would be no officers left to fight by 1/1/63.
 

67th Tigers

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,330
#69
Super aggressive, which in the AotP at the time meant he stuck out like a sore thumb. Even if he had not rode into the enemy lines to his death at Chantilly, his mouth was bound to get him in trouble in the future. He could not stand Little Mac and didn't hold back his opinion of it.
Kearny's opinion of McClellan was not sourer than his opinion of everyone else. I have a copy of Kearny's letters to his wife and it's an amazing thing to read. What is continually reiterated is his opinion that he is the best commander in the US, and there is a grand conspiracy to keep him down. At one point he even accuses his uncle of conspiring to prevent him have a brevet in 1851 for an action of his company in Oregon which he was in New York during.

The Kearny-McClellan relationship soured more than normal after Johnston abandoned the Centreville-Manassas position. Kearny's brigade was the brigade posted on the observation line that day. On detecting the movement he didn't tell anyone and simply advanced with his brigade towards Fairfax Court House. The next day he pushed through to Centreville, and claimed (wrongly) to have been the first troops there. He latter claimed to his wife to have chased away the whole rebel army with one regiment.

Kearny's lack of communication had delayed the Federal pursuit by a half a day . However, McClellan's cavalry were in Centreville and beyond to Manassas hours before Kearny reached Centreville. Three regiments had passed through - the 2nd New York Cavalry, 3rd and 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry. The 2nd NY Cav took the captured stragglers back to Washington whilst Averell pushed the 3rd and 8th Penn onto Manassas and "kept a sword in the enemies back".

Kearny's feud really began over this - he said he was first into Centreville and claimed the glory. McClellan noted the cavalry was there before him.

Things rapidly got worse. A few days later McClellan attempted to promote Kearny to a division. Kearny objected to the division offered, and Lincoln intervened as to whether Richardson could have the division instead. McClellan simply noted Kearny's refusal and appointed Richardson instead. This was more grist for Kearny's fantasy that the whole army was engaged in a conspiracy to keep him down.

The soured relationship continued to get worse, especially after Williamsburg when McClellan accidently gave Hancock his "the Superb" sobriquet.

For his part, McClellan liked and defended Kearny. In his memoirs McClellan admitted he should have made Kearny a cavalry commander instead - the infantry didn't suit him. Kearny hated McClellan, because in Kearny's eyes McClellan was preventing him being promoted Major-General.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
2,796
Location
Use-ta be: Zinn-zä-nätti o-HI-o The BIG city.
#70
What is continually reiterated is his opinion that he is the best commander in the US, and there is a grand conspiracy to keep him down.
Hmm...This sounds familiar. :smile:

Sorry, I could not resist. Those letters home coming back to bite one in later assessments of someone's character can prove rather troublesome in all too many cases. Maybe George Thomas was right to have had his wife burn his.
 

Jamieva

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
4,060
Location
Midlothian, VA
#71
Kearny's opinion of McClellan was not sourer than his opinion of everyone else. I have a copy of Kearny's letters to his wife and it's an amazing thing to read. What is continually reiterated is his opinion that he is the best commander in the US, and there is a grand conspiracy to keep him down. At one point he even accuses his uncle of conspiring to prevent him have a brevet in 1851 for an action of his company in Oregon which he was in New York during.

The Kearny-McClellan relationship soured more than normal after Johnston abandoned the Centreville-Manassas position. Kearny's brigade was the brigade posted on the observation line that day. On detecting the movement he didn't tell anyone and simply advanced with his brigade towards Fairfax Court House. The next day he pushed through to Centreville, and claimed (wrongly) to have been the first troops there. He latter claimed to his wife to have chased away the whole rebel army with one regiment.

Kearny's lack of communication had delayed the Federal pursuit by a half a day . However, McClellan's cavalry were in Centreville and beyond to Manassas hours before Kearny reached Centreville. Three regiments had passed through - the 2nd New York Cavalry, 3rd and 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry. The 2nd NY Cav took the captured stragglers back to Washington whilst Averell pushed the 3rd and 8th Penn onto Manassas and "kept a sword in the enemies back".

Kearny's feud really began over this - he said he was first into Centreville and claimed the glory. McClellan noted the cavalry was there before him.

Things rapidly got worse. A few days later McClellan attempted to promote Kearny to a division. Kearny objected to the division offered, and Lincoln intervened as to whether Richardson could have the division instead. McClellan simply noted Kearny's refusal and appointed Richardson instead. This was more grist for Kearny's fantasy that the whole army was engaged in a conspiracy to keep him down.

The soured relationship continued to get worse, especially after Williamsburg when McClellan accidently gave Hancock his "the Superb" sobriquet.

For his part, McClellan liked and defended Kearny. In his memoirs McClellan admitted he should have made Kearny a cavalry commander instead - the infantry didn't suit him. Kearny hated McClellan, because in Kearny's eyes McClellan was preventing him being promoted Major-General.
From what I recall, Kearney didn't want the division offered because it did not include the New Jersey brigade which had been his since it was formed
 

Specster

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
2,015
Location
Mass.
#72
I dont think Heitzleman was a poor commander. He was getting a little old by the start of the war perhaps but he was an independent thinker and I dont thnk he made monumental mistakes like Sumner. He opposed the Urbanna Plan and I believe devised an alternative

That alternative was called The Occoquan Plan which Lincoln advocated in favor Urbanna
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
670
Location
Heaven
#74
General Howard voiced his opinion of Kearney in a letter to his wife on March 16, 1862:

"Genl Sumner returned last night. He has an army Corps. Genl Kearney has this division. I am sorry... I do wish the lot had fallen on some other man than Kearney, because he has been & I feel is still a very corrupt man, profane, a high liver, hard drinker, licentious. These are hard things to say & I feel sorry to say them, for if he was a good man I would be perfectly satisfied."
 

Dom71

Sergeant
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
607
Location
Long Island, NY
#75
The next day, as Howard was awaiting evacuation to White House Landing, General Kearny came to visit him. Kearny had lost his left arm in the Mexican American war. He tried to give Howard comfort by telling him: "General, I am so sorry for you; but you must not mind it; the ladies will not think less of you! " Howard laughed as he looked at Kearny's right hand, and noticed it was the same size as his own left hand. "There is one thing we can do general, we can buy our gloves together."

excerpt from: The Battle of Fair Oaks: Turning Point of McClellan's Peninsula Campaign
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,710
#76
General Howard voiced his opinion of Kearney in a letter to his wife on March 16, 1862:

"Genl Sumner returned last night. He has an army Corps. Genl Kearney has this division. I am sorry... I do wish the lot had fallen on some other man than Kearney, because he has been & I feel is still a very corrupt man, profane, a high liver, hard drinker, licentious. These are hard things to say & I feel sorry to say them, for if he was a good man I would be perfectly satisfied."
The source is General Howard. Enough said....
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
10,653
#78
***Posted as Moderator***
The topic is opinions on Phil Kearney, a General who served and died in the American Civil War. Please limit posts to discussing that person's service.
Posts that do not will be edited or deleted.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,710
#79
General Howard voiced his opinion of Kearney in a letter to his wife on March 16, 1862:

"Genl Sumner returned last night. He has an army Corps. Genl Kearney has this division. I am sorry... I do wish the lot had fallen on some other man than Kearney, because he has been & I feel is still a very corrupt man, profane, a high liver, hard drinker, licentious. These are hard things to say & I feel sorry to say them, for if he was a good man I would be perfectly satisfied."
Oh, he was a hard liver and a hard driver, to be sure. He was also scion of one of the wealthiest families in America before the War.

To call him, "corrupt," is absurd. Philip Kearney inherited more money than most people can count.

Lining his pockets during the war was the least of his concern.
 

Similar threads




(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top