J.E.B. Stuart

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James Ewell Brown Stuart

Major General, CSA

Born February 6, 1833
Died May 12, 1864

James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart was a cavalry officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. He was referred to by General Robert E. Lee as the "eyes and ears of the army." He served in many battles during the American Civil War and was mortally wounded at the battle of Yellow Tavern on May 11, 1864. Also a devout Christian and often gave the credit to his military victories to God.

U.S. Military Career

He served in the U.S. cavalry from 1854 to 1861, when the civil war broke out. After his graduation from West Point he served primarily in the wars against the Native Americans. He was stationed in Fort Leavenworth when Kansas broke out in what is known as "bleeding Kansas." He was uninjured despite his involvement in the fights. Here he met for the first time John Brown, an abolitionist for blacks. Later on in 1859, under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee, he participated in the battle of Harper's Ferry. He was able to signal the attack which led in John Brown's capture. When Virginia withdrew itself from the Union he resigned from the Union Army.

C.S. Military Career

He entered the cavalry of the Confederacy and was assigned to assist Colonel Thomas J. Jackson at Harper's Ferry. Stuart served at the first battle of Manassas and played an important role in defeating the Federal Army there. During the next months made massive raids on General John Pope's army and supplies. He participated in the raid on Chambersburg and the battle of Fredericksburg. His service was crucial to the Confederate victory of 3.1 Chancellorsville and led the Second Corps to victory after General Jackson was wounded.

During the Gettysburg campaign, Lee instructed Stuart to screen the Army of Northern Virginia's movements and disrupt Union supplies, but gave Stuart very discretionary orders on how to do this. Stuart would not reunite with the army until July 2, the second day of the battle, leaving the army relatively uninformed about Union movements preceding the battle. On the third day of the battle, Stuart was instructed to disrupt Union supplies and reinforcements during Pickett's charge; however, his cavalry charge was repulsed by General George Custer. Stuart's conduct during the campaign came under great scrutiny after the war, especially by former Confederates who saw him as letting down Lee at a crucial moment.

During the Overland Campaign, Union General Philip Sheridan asked received permission from General U.S. Grant to conduct raids behind the Confederate Lines with the express purpose of defeating Stuart. At the battle of Yellow Tavern, Stuart was shot, dying the next day on May 12 at the age of 31.[1]


  1. The Life of J.E.B. Stuart, by Mary L. Williamson, Christian Liberty Press, 1997.