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GENERAL STEPHEN W. KEARNY.
TEPHEN Watts KEARNY was born at Newark, New Jersey, and educated at Princeton college, where he was a student at the age of eighteen, when the war of 1812 commenced. Having determined to go into the army, he was appointed first lieutenant in the
13th regiment of infantry, and attached to the company of the then Captain John E. Wool. He was engaged in the desperate fight of Scott at Queenstown, and was surrendered a prisoner at the end of it. After he was exchanged he served with honour through the war, and acquired such distinction as to retain his rank as captain during the army reductions of 1815 and 1821. Afterwards he was stationed at Jefferson Barracks, near
St. Louis. While there, he acquired as wide spread a reputation for his tactics and severe discipline, as he had previously borne for coolness and composure under all circumstances. An anecdote related by Fayette Robinson, Esq., in his extremely valuable new work on the Army of the United States, illustrates these qualities in the best manner. It is as follows :-“ While stationed at Jefferson Barracks, General Kearny was drilling a brigade on one of the open fields near the post. The maneuver was the simple exercise of marching in line to the front. An admirable horseman, he sat with his face towards the troops, while the horse he rode, perfectly trained, was backed in the same direction, along which the command was marched. At once the animal fell, fastening the rider to the ground by his whole weight. His brigade had been drilled to such a state of insensibility, that not one of them came to his assistance, nor was it necessary. The line advanced to within about ten feet of him, when, in a loud distinct voice, calmly as if he had been in the saddle under no unusual circumstance, General Kearny gave the command, *Fourth company obstacle—march. The fourth company which was immediately in front of him was flanked by its captain in the rear of the other half of the grand division. The line passed on, and when he was thus left in rear of his men, he gave the command, “Fourth company into line-march.” He was not seriously injured, extricated himself from his horse, mounted again, passed to the front of the regiment, and executed the next maneuver in the series he had marked out for the day's drill."
He was soon afterwards (1833) made lieutenant.
Wounded at San Pasqual.
colonel of dragoons, and had to perform the onerous duty of forming a new arm of the service. The efficiency of his training is exhibited in the bearing of the dragoon regiments and the mounted rifles in the Mexican war. General Gaines has said that the first dragoons drilled by General Kearny were the best troops he ever saw. He served many years in the north-west, continually acquiring valuable information for the government by his expeditions, which at the same time impressed the Indians with a respect for the United States government. In June, 1846, he received the rank of brigadier-general, and was sent out from Fort Leavenworth on the expedition to New Mexico and California, the particulars of which we have before given. He exposed himself very much at the battle of San Pasqual, as he always does when there is danger near. He was severely wounded with a lance, and would have been killed had not Lieutenant Emory of the topographical corps, rode up in time to shoot the enemy as he was about to make a second thrust.
A dispute as to rank and authority occurred between himself and Commodore Stockton in California, by which the interests of the country in some hands might have been compromised. As it was, however, private disagreements produced no public wrongs, and the question of rank is to be settled by the trial of Lieutenant-Colonel Fremont by a court martial, he having preferred to obey the commands of Commodore Stockton rather than those of General Kearny.