General J.E.B. Stuart at Chancellorsville: Account of the Battle from The Life and Campaigns of Major-General JEB Stuart (Illustrated)by H.B. McClellan
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James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart (February 6, 1833 – May 12, 1864) was the most famous cavalry officer of the Civil War, fighting for the Confederacy in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia until his death at the Battle of Yellow Tavern in May 1864. Although he was well known for his dashing ways, Stuart was also brilliant in the role due to his mastery of reconnaissance and the use of cavalry in support of offensive operations.
While he cultivated a cavalier image (red-lined gray cape, yellow sash, hat cocked to the side with a ostrich plume, red flower in his lapel, often sporting cologne), his serious work made him the trusted eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee's army and inspired Southern morale.
Stuart established a reputation as an audacious cavalry commander and on two occasions (during the Peninsula Campaign and the Maryland Campaign) rode around the Army of the Potomac in its rear, bringing fame to himself and embarrassment to the Union generals, especially General George McClellan. At the Battle of Chancellorsville, he distinguished himself as a temporary commander of the wounded Stonewall Jackson's infantry corps.
However, Stuart’s role at Gettysburg was far more controversial. Given great discretion in his cavalry operations before the battle, Stuart’s cavalry was too far removed from the Army of Northern Virginia to warn Lee of the Army of the Potomac’s movements. Lee’s army inadvertently stumbled into the Union army at Gettysburg, walking blindly into what became the largest battle of the war. Stuart has been heavily criticized ever since, and it is said Lee took him to task when he arrived on the second day, leading Stuart to offer his resignation. Lee didn’t accept it, but he would later note in his after battle report that the cavalry had not updated him as to the Army of the Potomac’s movements.
JEB Stuart at Chancellorsville is an excerpt about the famous battle of Chancellorsville and Stuart’s role in it from The Life and Campaigns of Major-General JEB Stuart, which was written by H. B. McClellan, Late Major, Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff of the Cavalry Corps, Army Of Northern Virginia. After Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded following his famous flank march, Stuart ably commanded Jackson’s Corps for the rest of the battle, which resulted in one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s greatest victories.
This edition includes images of Stuart and maps of the battle.
- Charles River Editors
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