The Civil War, Day by Day

Stuart's Ride

Stuart’s Ride Around McClellan

Lee was not surprised by Stuart’s methods. Stuart had attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when Lee was its superintendent, so Lee was well acquainted with Stuart’s unconventional behavior. Since Stuart had proven himself to be an outstanding brigadier, Lee allowed him his grand march - but cautioned Stuart not to “attempt what your judgement may not approve.”

With great anticipation, Stuart roused his group of 1,200 troopers before dawn on June 12, and they rode northward from Richmond. Lee waited anxiously for three days before receiving any word from Stuart. Finally, Stuart returned to Lee’s headquarters. He had lost only one man in the skirmish, seized hundreds of prisoners from the Union ranks, and successfully verified McClellan’s whereabouts.

Thanks to Stuart’s march, the Confederate forces in Virginia appeared more massive and intimidating to the Union than they actually were. The South regained its morale after a series of setbacks. . . and adopted a new hero.

July's Archived Features:

Thursday July 1, 2021
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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.