Major General Isaac Stevens was a rising star in the Union Army in 1862. He was born in North Andover, Massachusetts, on March 25, 1818. He graduated 1st in the West Point class of 1842 and then served in Mexico, where he was brevetted twice. In 1853 he was appointed territorial governor of Washington, and the territorial delegate to Congress in 1856.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Stevens was appointed colonel of the 79th New York (Highlanders). In the fall of 1861 he served in South Carolina and then his division was incorporated as part of the 9th Corps. His division was engaged at Second Bull Run and then at Chantilly on September 1, 1861. During the battle, Confederate fire stopped the advance of the 79th New York. 5 color bearers went down in a row. Seeing the last one fall to the ground, Stevens ran to the front and grabbed the flag. The wounded color-bearer pleaded with him, "For God's sake General! Don't take the colors; they'll shoot you if you do."
Stevens paid no attention to the color bearer. Taking the colors and yelling "Highlanders! My Highlanders! Follow your general!” he led the 79th forward. As the men moved forward, his son Hazard fell wounded. "I can't attend to you now, Hazard," Stevens said, and he continued on.
A few steps later, Stevens was struck in head, the bullet penetrating his brain. He was dead before he hit the ground. He fell with his body wrapped in the 79th's flag. When his body was recovered, his hands still grasped the flagstaff, and the cloth was stained with his blood.
Tempest at Ox Hill (The best modern account of Chantilly)
The Life of Isaac Stevens