Today in History:

James Ewell Brown Stuart

Photo:  James E. B. Stuart

James E. B. Stuart

James E. B. Stuart
1833-1864, Virginia

After graduating from West Point in 1854, Stuart spent much of his service with the 1st Cavalry in Kansas. Following Virginia's secession, Stuart resigned his commission and became a captain of cavalry in the Confederate Army. He participated in the Battle of First Bull Run in July 1861 and afterward was promoted to brigadier general. In June 1862 he conducted the first of his celebrated cavalry raids, riding completely around McClellan's army on the Virginia peninsula. Stuart was promoted to major general in July and given command of all cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia. After another bold and successful raid in August, this time to John Pope's rear, Stuart covered the last stage of Stonewall Jackson's flanking movement before the Battle of Second Bull Run, 30-31 August. He was actively engaged in the subsequent Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Antietam on 17 September. After the latter battle, Stuart again rode around the Union army, ranging as far as southern Pennsylvania and capturing over a thousand horses. He participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg in December and, at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, provided security for Jackson's flank attack. When Jackson was wounded, Stuart took temporary command of Jackson's corps. In June 1863 Stuart's command fought in the largest cavalry battle of the war at Brandy Station, where he was surprised by Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton. The approach of Confederate infantry forced Pleasonton's cavalry to withdraw across the Rappahannock. In the Gettysburg Campaign, Stuart was absent until the evening of 2 July, after having ridden too far east of Lee's army. Without Stuart to provide him with information, Lee did not learn soon enough of the Union concentration north of the Potomac, which resulted in the Battle of Gettysburg. In the spring of 1864 Stuart's command, now decreased in size and deficient in equipment, engaged a force of Union cavalry at the Battle of Yellow Tavern on 11 May. During the engagement Stuart was mortally wounded and died the following day.

Content From:
The U.S. Army Center of Military History