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Confederate Leaders: Stuart

James “Jeb” Ewell Brown Stuart (1833-1864)

Stuart served on the frontier in Indian fighting (seriously wounded) and in Kansas during the border disturbances. While on a leave of absence he was Lee’s volunteer aide during the capture of John Brown at Harpers Ferry (1859). Stuart resigned from the R.A. on 3 May ’61, he determined to follow his state, although his Virginia-born and West Point educated father-in-law, Philip St. George Cooke, stayed with the Union. Stuart was commissioned LTC of Virginia infantry on 10 May ’61 and 14 days later was named CPT of cavalry.

During that summer he was stationed at Harpers Ferry and First Manassas. He was appointed BG, on 24 Sep ’61. At the beginning of the Peninsular campaign Stuart’s cavalry fought at Williamsburg, and in Jun ’62 participated in the “ride around McClellan.” Stuart’s command fought in the Seven Days’ Battles and at Harrison’s Landing, before his promotion to MG (25 Jul ’62). He then took command of all the cavalry in the Army of Northern Virginia. He led his command at Second Manassas (29-30 Aug ’62), and at Antietam (17 Sep ’62) his horse artillery held Lee’s left flank near the Potomac River.

Stuart commanded his cavalry division at Fredericksburg and briefly served as acting commander of the II Corps (3 May ’63) at Chancellorsville after Jackson’s wounding. In the Gettysburg campaign Stuart’s Cavalry Corps fought at Brandy Station (9 Jun ’63) and in a number of cavalry skirmishes before attempting to ride around the Union army. His command became separated from the main army, however, and he did not rejoin Lee’s army until the evening on 2 Jul, at Gettysburg. The following day Stuart’s cavalry fought on the Confederate left, but was held in check by Gregg’s cavalry. In the spring of ’64 Stuart fought in the Wilderness and Spotsylvania campaigns, and at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, where he was mortally wounded (11 May ’64), while attempting to block Sheridan’s raid on Richmond. He died the next day.

Note: Biographical information comes from the U.S. Army Center for Military History Gettysburg Staff Ride book.

Posted in Civil War.

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