Monday, September 1, 2008

Chantilly Battlefield Preservation. . .

Fought in a driving rain storm and in the midst of thunder and lightning, the battle of Chantilly--or Ox Hill--was fought 146 years ago today. . .September 1, 1862. Compared to other battles of the Civil War, Chantilly was a small affair, but it did claim the lives of two of the Union army's more promising commanders: Generals Philip Kearny (whose final moments are depicted above) and Isaac Ingalls Stevens. Stevens's death occasioned the rise of Colonel Benjamin Christ to temporary division command in the Federal Ninth Corps. (Christ, the commander of the 50th Pennsylvania, was a native of Minersville, in my own native Schuylkill County). In addition to the 50th, Schuylkill County's other Ninth Corps regiment, the 48th PA, participated in the battle as well.
For far too long, the fight at Chantilly has remained understudied; indeed, almost entirely overlooked and forgotten. But today, on the battle's anniversary, a portion of the field has been dedicated as a preserved Civil War site. Click here to read more about the battle and the preservation effort.

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