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JAMES EWELL BROWN STUART (1833-1864)

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 1047 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JAMES EWELL BROWN STUART (1833-1864), American soldier, was born in Virginia on fhe 6th of February 1833 and entered West Point military academy in 185o. Commissioned in 1854 second lieutenant of cavalry, he saw considerable service in Indian warfare, and took part also in the repression of civil disorder in Kansas. In 1855 he had married a daughter of Colonel Philip St George Cooke, who was regarded as the most capable cavalry officer in the United States service, and gave his son-in-law the benefit of his experience and judgment. In 1859 Stuart, while staying in Washington on official business, was sent to assist Colonel R. E. Lee in the suppression of the John Brown raid on Harper's Ferry. Two years later the Civil War presaged by the Kansas troubles and John Brown's expedition broke out, and when Virginia seceded Stuart resigned his commission in the United States army to share in the defence of his state. He had resigned as a lieutenant--a notification of his promotion to captain had actually crossed his letter of resignation in the post—but trained officers, especially of cavalry, were so scarce that he was at once made a colonel. With very little delay, and with the scantiest of formal training, his regiment was mustered into the Confederate army, and assigned to Joseph Johnston's force in the Shenandoah Valley. His men were mounted on their own horses, knew the country thoroughly, and in his capable hands soon made themselves proficient in outpost duty. In the opening campaign Stuart's command acted as a screen to cover Johnston's movement on Manassas, and at the first battle of Bull Run which followed, Stuart distinguished himself by his personal bravery. During the autumn and winter of 1861 he continued his outpost service and was somewhat severely handled by General Ord's force at the action of Dranesville. He was now promoted brigadier-general and placed in command of the cavalry brigade of the army of Northern Virginia. Just before the Seven Days' Battle (q.v.) he was sent out by Lee to locate the right flank of McClellan's army, and not only successfully achieved his mission, but rode right round McClellan's rear to deliver his report to Lee at Richmond. After the battle of Gaines's Mill on the 27th of June Stuart's cavalry raided McClellan's abandoned line of communication with White House, and his dismounted riflemen, aided by a light howitzer, successfully engaged a Federal gunboat on the Pamunkey. But such romantic and far-ranging raids on this occasion, as on several others, contributed little or nothing to the success of the army as a whole. In the next campaign,
End of Article: JAMES EWELL BROWN STUART (1833-1864)
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