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Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: February 6, 1833
Died: May 12, 1864
Biography | show moreshow less
James Ewell Brown (J.E.B.) Stuart (1833-1864), called Jeb by his friends and by history, graduated from West Point in 1854, serving on the Western frontier. He participated in the capture of John Brown at Harper's Ferry. He served the Confederacy, first under General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and then as General Robert E. Lee's chief cavalry commander in the Army of Northern Virginia. When he wrote this letter, Stuart was commanding the cavalry brigade under General Joseph Johnston, defending Richmond against Union General George McClellan's large-scale (but timid) drive up the Yorktown Peninsula. In early June, Robert E. Lee took command from the injured Johnston and assumed the offensive, fighting a series of battles over seven days which convinced McClellan to withdraw his forces. During Lee's counter-attack, Stuart made the first of his many daring and generally successful raids behind Union lines, becoming a Confederate hero.  Stuart, known for his audacity, his skill at reconnaissance, and his dashing uniform, fought in all the major battles of the Eastern command up to his death at the Battle of Yellow Tavern (May 11, 1864). During the Confederate victory at Chancellorsville (May 1863), Stuart ably commanded Jackson's infantry corps after its commander was taken from the field mortally wounded. Historians still debate Stuart's role in the Gettysburg campaign (July 1864), when another sweeping raid behind Union lines took him out of contact with Lee's army, depriving the Confederate commander of crucial intelligence. Although something of a scapegoat at Gettysburg, Stuart's overall military skill is undisputed, making him one of the uncontested heroes of the "Lost Cause."

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