The Civil War, Day by Day

Battle for the Shenandoah (detail)

Battle of Brandy Station

The day before, Stuart had been in his glory as his 10,000 mounted troops were reviewed by army commander General Robert E. Lee. The confidence of the review’s grand show quickly faded as Stuart desperately sought to recover.

The Union troops had been sent by General Joseph Hooker for the purpose of penetrating Stuart’s positions and obtaining information as to Lee’s strategy and the whereabouts of his army. Stubborn defense on the part of the individual units halted the Union assaults and Pleasonton withdrew. Although the battle was a draw, the Federal forces came away with important information and renewed confidence. They had taken on Stuart’s legendary cavalry and shown that Union men were also good horseback fighters.

General Stuart, the Southern hero, suffered a reverse in his popularity after Brandy Station. He was chastised for being surprised by the Union attack and was indirectly lambasted in the Richmond Examiner which commented, “if the war was a tournament, invented and supported for the pleasure of a few vain and weak-headed officers, these disasters might be dismissed with compassion.”

Mort Künstler painted this dramatic battle scene, a detail from Battle for the Shenandoah, which typifies the fighting which took place at the Battle of Brandy Station.

July's Archived Features:

Friday July 1, 2022



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.