FRAMED PERSONALIZED OVERCOAT BUTTON IDENTIFIED TO MAJOR GENERAL PHILIP KEARNY WITH RELATED ITEMS

$1,950.00

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Item Code: 523-73

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Modern wood frame with a double blue mat divided into two sections.

The right section has a very large overcoat button designed by and made for Major General Philip Kearny. The button face is decorated with a peeled scroll at center with the raised letters “P. K.” on a lined field. Above the scroll is a mailed fist holding a sword upright. The button is in museum quality condition with no scratches or pushed to the face, just a very nice dark mellow patina.

Below the button is a 3.00 piece of worn gold braid which may have come from the general’s overcoat. It certainly looks old and has surface dirt and wear to match its suspected age.

The last piece on the right section of the frame is a medal given for the dedication of the Kearny monument at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 1914. The top of the medal consists of a very nice 1st Division, 6th Corps badge meas. approx. 1.00 inch by 1.oo inch. Suspended by two links is a medallion with General Kearny’s bust in profile surrounded by “UNVEILING OF PHIL KEARNY MONUMENT AT ARLINGTON CEMETERY.”

In the left section of the frame is a white ribbon with crossed full color US flags. Ribbon meas. approx. 2.50 inches across x 6.50 long. The top is decorated with silver cross hatching with a five-pointed star at center. Gold lettering on the badge reads “KEARNY’S FIRST NEW JERSEY BRIGADE.” Attached to the bottom of the ribbon is a celluloid button with a red 1st Division, 6th Corps badge at center. On the cross is “CRAMPTON PASS” while around it is “13TH ANNUAL REUNION NEWARK, SEPT. 14, 1894.” Ribbon is in very nice condition with only light surface dirt from age.

At center of the frame is a matted CDV from life of General Kearny. The image is a bust view and shows the General in left profile. Image is in very good condition with only one small light spot of foxing next to the back of the General’s head. Below this is a matted clipped period ink signature that reads “Philip Kearny.”

Since all items are framed the reverse of each could not be examined but all appear to be excellent.

The frame that houses all these pieces meas. approx.19.25 x 15.25 inches with a nice gold border decorated with scrolls.

As noted below General Kearny was a very wealthy man and having his own personalized button designed and produced is no surprise.

Philip Kearny Jr. was born June 1, 1815 in New York City. Although Kearny was quite wealthy as a result of inheriting money from his grandparents, he chose to join the army and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st Dragoons in 1837.  Shortly after joining the regiment, Kearny traveled to France where he attended the French Cavalry School in Saumur. He then served in Algiers with the French cavalry in 1840.  Returning to the United States, he became the aide-de-camp for Generals Alexander Macomb and Winfield Scott.  He served during the Mexican War where he participated in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco.  During the battle of Churubusco, he received an injury to his left arm which resulted in its amputation.  Kearny continued to serve until the wars end when he resigned from the United States army and moved to France.  While there, he served in the Imperial Guard of Napoleon III and fought in the battles of Magenta and Solferino.

When the Civil War began Kearny returned to the United States and was one of the first to be commissioned a brigadier general and was given command of the First New Jersey Brigade.  On July 4, 1862, he was promoted to major general and was put in command of a division in General Samuel P. Heintzelman’s III Corps.  Kearny was later credited with developing the concept of corps badges, which would go on to be adopted by the entire army.  He led his division at the battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and throughout the Peninsula Campaign.  After the battle of 2nd Bull Run, Kearny led the rearguard of the army and engaged Confederate forces at Chantilly.  While scouting positions near his lines, he inadvertently rode into the Confederate positions, and was killed while attempting to escape.  General Robert E. Lee, who held great respect for General Kearny, forwarded his remains under a flag of truce to Union lines in order to ensure that the general would receive a proper burial.

His body was originally buried in an unmarked vault in Manhattan's Trinity Churchyard until 1912, when an influential member of his old brigade secured his re-burial with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. He rests today under a large equestrian monument.

This item comes from the collection of author and historian William Styple of Belle Grove Publishing.  [ad]

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