General Jeb Stuart
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General Jeb Stuart


Born:February 6, 1833
Died:May 12, 1864
He is buried Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

Brig. General Jeb Stuart liked to appear in a scarlet-lined cape that he fastened with a yellow sash. His plumed hat, jack boots and guantlets might have been worn by a European commander of the Napoleonic era.

Jeb Stuart was dressed in his U.S. Army uniform when he accepted a Confederate commission. He was still wearing it when opposing forces clashed at Falling Waters, Virginia, in July of 1861.

In May 1861, newly commissioned James Ewell Brown Stuart reported to Col. Thomas J. Jackson at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Jackson ignored Stuart's appointment as a Lt. Col. of Infantry and instead placed the youthful officer in charge of the cavalry forces of his command. Jackson's decision proved to be one he never had cause to regret. By late July, Stuart was a full colonel in command of the 1st Virginia Cavalry.

Colonel Stuart, who had been highly complimented for his part in the first major battle of the war, received a reward for his services on September 24, 1861, when he was commissioned a brigadier general. Shortly thereafter, on October 2, Stuart issued General Orders No. 1, which announced his assumption of the command of the newly organized cavalry brigade and named the first members of his staff ; These officers were Capt. Luke Tiernan Brien, assistant adjutant general and chief of staff; Capt. Roger Williams Steger, assistant quartermaster; and Capt. Dabney Ball, chief of subsistence. From this date until his fall at Yellow Tavern on May 11, 1864, 48 men would serve on Stuart's staff. Over two hundred more would be a part of his headquarters company at various times. Some would remain for months; others would be there only briefly. Stuart knew most of them personally, and almost all were handpicked by him. His gift of insight rarely failed him, and he established the reputation of having one of the finest staffs in the Confederate Army.

On July 25, 1862 Stuart was rewarded with a Major Generalcy for his part in Richmond's redemption. Several members of his staff profited by their association with one of the South's new heros and received appropriate promotions in rank. Stuart's new commission entitled him to a larger staff, and during the first few days of August he added two men : Major William J. Johnson, chief of subsistence and Lt. Richard Channing Price, aide-de-camp. But a loss somewhat offset these gains : After a disagreement with Stuart, Dabney Ball resigned his position as commissary officer on July 15. Thus at the opening of the 2nd Manassas Campaign in August 1862, the staff totaled fifteen. He joined Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson on one of his famous flank marches. along with the "Savior of the Valley," who had something to prove himself after his own lackluster performance during the Seven Days Campaign, Stuart and his command descended upon the Federal supply base at Manassas Junction. The susequent Battle of the 2nd Manassas ended in the total discomfiture of Maj. Gen. John Pope.

As the year drew to a close, time was found for additional raids, the most enterprising of which was Stuart's expedition to Dumfries, Va. Christmas of 1862 would have been a happy time at the cavalry headquarters except for the deaths of Redmond Burke, who was killed by Federal cavalry at Sheperdstown, and of little Flora Stuart, the general's young daughter.

By June 1863, eight officers who had served Stuart for between five and seventeen months had either left or were incapacitated, while six other had joined the staff. March 17 saw the death of the "gallant" Pelham at the Battle of Kelly's Ford.

As of New Year's Day 1864, Stuart's staff numbered sixteen. Before the armies clashed again in the spring, Stuart added the final members to his staff. By February 1864, Dabney Ball had returned to headquarters, this time as chaplain for the Cavalry Corps. Lt. Theodore Stanford Garnett replaced Dabney as aide-de-camp in March. In April the Stuart House Artillery command was given to Maj. Roger Preston Chew, who was handpicked by Stuart. He would hold this command until the war's end.

When the Battle of the Wilderness erupted in early May, 1864, Stuart's staff numbered seventeen : Ball, Boteler, Chew, Cooke, FitzHugh, Fontaine, Frayser, Freaner, Garnett, Grattan, Hagan, Hanger, Johnson, McClellen, Robertson, Ryals, and Venable. On May 11,1864 , Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow tavern. He died the next day.

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart's last words were spoken on May 12, 1864, shortly before he died from a mortal wound received at the Battle of Yellow Tavern the day before. After asking two attending ministers to sing his favorite hymn, "Rock of Ages," Stuart made this statement: "I am going fast now. I am resigned; God's will be done."

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