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P of decorum est"" probably best describes the brilliant, flamboyant career of the officer described in this very readable biography. Born into a rich New York family, he was himself a millionaire while still a young man, but phil Kearny chose to stay in the Army. As an observer he fought with the French ""Chasseurs D'Afrique"" In Algeria, his gallantry arning him the soubriquet ""Le Magnifique"". In the Mexican War of 1846 he further distinguished himself at the San Antonio Gate near Mexico City, where in a dashing cavalary charge he beat the enemy back--and lost an army because of it. Fighting against is 1851, then again with the French against the Austrians, his renown spread through not only America but Europe. Then came the Civil War and final glory. Taking the green First New Jersey Brigade, this strict disciplinarian and fighter soon whipped them into one of the best units to join the Army of the Potomac. After Manasaas he was made a Major General and contributed to the victory at Williamsburg. How he was shot in the by Confederates at Chantilly, and how his funeral became a major event in New Jersey, are told with great descriptive ability by this present biographer. All the book, in fact, is written with a conciseness, combined with agreat compassion and interest in the subject, which make of it a short but admirable job. A very valuable contribution to Americans, and to Civil War literature.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1962
Publisher: John Day