Philip Kearny was one of the most competent and aggressive of the
Union officers in the early years of the Civil war. He served initially
in northern Virginia before taking over a division on the Peninsula late
in the operations against Yorktown.
Following the Federal defeat at the Battle of 2nd
Bull Run, Kearny commanded his division during the rear guard action at
Chantilly in a driving rainstorm. Here a rifle volley from the 55th Virginia Regiment killed him after he mistakenly rode into their lines and then attempted to avoid capture.