James Ewell Brown Stuart

Stiles/Akin

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Apr 1, 2016
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2,149
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Atlanta, Georgia
By Eb Joseph Daniels

“Believe that you can whip the enemy and you have won half the battle.”

On this day in 1833 Confederate general James Ewell Brown “JEB” Stuart was born at Laurel Hill Farm in Patrick County, Virginia.

Stuart came from one of the most respected military families in Virginia. His great grandfather had commanded a regiment during the American Revolutionary War and his father was a veteran of the War of 1812.

From a young age Stuart spent most of his life in the saddle, riding horses around the family plantation near the border Virginia shared with North Carolina. He was also well-educated: tutored at home by his mother until a teenager, he enjoyed the benefit of private lectures and tutorials from various teachers in Wytheville, Virginia until attending Emory and Henry College in 1848.

The youngest son in a family of eleven children, Stuart knew that a military career was his best chance at success. His freshman year, Stuart attempted to enlist in the United States Army but was rejected because he was only fifteen years old. Upon graduation he entered West Point in 1850.

While at West Point, Stuart became famous for his charming personality and for his extreme ugliness; his classmates gave him the ironic nickname “Beauty.” It was said that Stuart’s greatest fault was his extremely weak chin, so he grew out a magnificent and luxurious beard, which he wore for the rest of his life.

Stuart also developed an early reputation as a fop and a clothes-horse; when not in his West Point gray he was seen strutting about in the latest French fashions. He had a particular affinity for outlandish, cavalier-inspired headgear, especially plumed hats.

Shortly after graduating from West Point Stuart was assigned to “Bleeding Kansas,” where he fought against radical abolitionists like John Brown. While stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Stuart met Flora Cooke, the daughter of a base commander. Flora was a rough-and-ready girl and an accomplished horseman in her own right, and she and Stuart were wed after a brief two month courtship.

Their wedding was marred, however, by the death of Stuart’s father. Deeply saddened by the loss, Stuart was nevertheless able to funnel his share of the inheritance into setting up housekeeping. He also inherited one elderly slave who served as a valet from his father, and purchased an additional slave to serve as a maid for Flora. Both slaves were freed in 1859.

In addition to his service in Bleeding Kansas, Stuart also developed a reputation as an Indian fighter. He engaged in numerous combats with the Comanche and Cheyenne in the near Southwest, and had a brush with death on one occasion: while Stuart was charging towards a brave, the Cheyenne drew an old flintlock and prepared to fire at point blank range. Stuart did not waver in his charge and was struck full in the chest, but was spared any harm, as the weapon had been poorly loaded and the ball did not even break the skin.

In 1856 Flora had given birth to a daughter but the young child perished shortly after entering the world. In 1857 the couple tried to have children again, and in the fall of that year Flora gave birth to another little girl, who was named after her mother.

Stuart was able to parlay his experiences in the cavalry into a business venture when in 1859 he developed a fast-acting hook, to which a horseman could easily clip or unclip his saber. The War Department was thoroughly impressed with the design and paid him a considerable sum for the patent, with which Stuart built a home in Kansas.

While in Washington, DC to discuss a promotion, Stuart learned about John Brown’s attack on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. Stuart immediately volunteered to assist in apprehending the radical abolitionist, and under the command of his old West Point teacher Robert E. Lee Stuart set out with a detachment of Marines to aid the local militia in ensuring that John Brown’s body would soon enough be moldering in its grave.

His action at Harper’s Ferry made Stuart an overnight star in the South, especially since the execution of Brown was a fitting capstone to Stuart’s service in Kansas.

In June of 1860 Flora and Stuart had a son, whom they named Philip St. George Cooke Stuart, in honor of Flora’s father.

Stuart continued his service on the front until the early spring of 1861, when he was recalled to Washington because of the growing sectional crisis touched off by the secession of the Deep South states. Stuart had secessionist tendencies but was loath to forsake the Union.

On April 22nd he received word that he been promoted to the rank of captain in the United States Army. A note attached by his commanding officer implied that if Stuart continued to remain loyal to the United States, he could look forward to his own regimental command as a colonel once the Army invaded the rebellious states.

Stuart could not abide the notion that the United States government would actively deploy troops to invade the South; he was further rankled by the implication that his promotion was intended as an incentive and not something that he had earned. On May 3rd he resigned his commission in the United States Army and returned home to Virginia.

Stuart also took it upon himself to recruit others to the Confederate cause, encouraging his brother-in-law and father-in-law to stand with him. Although the brother eventually joined the Southern cause, the father-in-law did not; in a rage, Stuart renamed his son James Ewell Brown Stuart, Jr, effacing his father-in-law’s name entirely.

Thanks to help from his old friend Lee Stuart was assigned a choice command in Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah. Impressed with Stuart’s horsemanship and the love he inspired in his men, Stonewall made Stuart a colonel and gave him full command of all the Army’s cavalry elements. Stuart and Jackson soon became fast friends, although Jackson would often coolly comment upon Stuart’s flamboyant style of dress. Stuart, in turn, liked to send Jackson fancy dress uniforms as a joking way to encourage his friend to dress in a more majestic manner befitting a Confederate hero.

At the Battle of First Manassas Stuart received great credit for helping to turn the tide of the battle at the last moment in the Confederacy’s favor. The strutting cavalier with his elegant uniform and the ubiquitous jet black plume that he wore in his hat struck a romantic figure, and his military prowess and bravery were much remarked upon by the men under his command.

In the spring of 1862, as Federal general George B. McClellan attempted his march on Richmond during the Peninsula Campaign, Stuart was tasked with diverting the massive Federal army while General Joseph E. Johnston’s forces retreated to a more defensible position.

Probing McClellan’s flanks, Stuart found the right was weak and he launched a raid to harry his enemies. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and was able to pass over 150 miles around the Federal lines, stealing supplies and weapons and generally making a nuisance of himself. The raid succeeded in diverting McClellan’s attention and when Stuart returned to Virginia he was hailed as hero on par with even the great Stonewall Jackson.

Stuart soon made a name for himself with his romantic antics. During a raid against the forces of General John Pope, Stuart lost his famous hat during the fighting. He staged a raid early the next morning to retrieve it. His assault was totally unexpected, causing the entire Federal force, including Pope and his staff, to retreat in total disarray. Stuart found his hat in Pope’s command tent, along with a half-written letter to President Abraham Lincoln, offering the hat as a gift with Pope’s complements. Stuart therefore stole Pope’s dress uniform, which he had left behind, and presented it to President Jefferson Davis.

Thanks to his reputation and his abilities, Stuart was promoted to major general and given command of the Cavalry Division in the Army of Northern Virginia. The cocksure charm which had won his fame, however, could also do great harm. While Stuart was hosting a series of balls in Maryland in the fall of 1862, his men were unable to adequately reconnoiter McClellan’s forces prior to the Battle of Sharpsburg; with better intelligence, the Confederate forces might have been able to carry the day.

Stuart saved face, however, with his Chambersburg Raid, traveling all the way north to central Pennsylvania and crossing over 120 miles in 60 hours. Although the raid was of little military value, the adventures of young Stuart continued to excite the Southern public.

At the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Stuart had the opportunity to serve a more fitting military role, flanking the Federal forces and disrupting their lines for the benefit of the infantry. Following the Federal rout after the massive flanking attack by Jackson at Chancellorsville, Stuart was granted command of the entire Second Corps when he learned of the wounding of Generals Jackson and A.P. Hill. When Stuart learned that Jackson had died on May 10th, he was crushed.

On June 9th in 1863 Stuart and his men were surprised by a superior force of Federal cavalry under the command of Alfred Pleasonton at Brandy Station; this battle retains the honor of being the largest cavalry battle ever fought on American soil. Although Stuart was able to rally his forces and drive away the Federals, the fighting was fierce and not one of the overwhelming victories the public had come to expect from Stuart. Brandy Station thus served as a massive morale boost for the North, as it seemed to indicate that the Federal cavalry was finally coming to grips with the Confederate.

Perhaps still smarting from Brandy Station, Stuart proposed another daring flanking raid, this time against the Federal forces massing near Gettysburg. Lee was reluctant to part with Stuart and his cavalry, and gave Stuart strict orders to return to the main army before the fighting commenced.

Stuart’s raid, however, took him farther north and east than he had anticipated. Meanwhile, the Federal forces under General George Meade were coalescing without Lee’s knowledge. On July 1st Lee found himself fighting the Battle of Gettysburg without any real cavalry support.

When Stuart returned late on the second day of the battle, he was greeted coolly by Lee, who said only “Ah, General, you are here at last.” Although Stuart had brought captured supplies with him, it was information and diversion that Lee required. Sadly, Stuart had arrived too late to provide either. After a number of abortive flanking charges Stuart fell back with the rest of the army and his cavaliers found themselves screening the retreating Confederate army and its massive ambulance caravan of those wounded in the battle.

In 1864 Stuart and his troopers found themselves at a greater and greater disadvantage in the face of Federal numbers and equipment. Most of the Federal cavalry had been equipped with repeating rifles, and their ranks were constantly swelled by new recruits. Stuart, on the other hand, was making due with war-weary horsemen who were poorly equipped. Constant fighting had cost Stuart many of his horses. While the average Federal cavalryman of 1864 had access to three mounts, Stuart and his men were down to one or less, as many men would “trade off” riding in alternating battles.

Nevertheless, Stuart was able to lead a brilliant if costly delaying action at Laurel Hill during the Battle of the Wilderness, preventing General Ulysses S. Grant from landing a death blow against the Army of Northern Virginia.

In the spring of 1864 General Philip Sheridan requested permission to launch a raid against Virginia railroads with the intention of drawing Stuart into a trap. Grant gave his permission, with the special caveat that Stuart was to be taken alive if at all possible. Grant remarked that he “wanted to make an example of that rooster.”

Stuart was visiting his wife and children when he learned that Sheridan’s men had been sighted in the area. He bade farewell to Flora and the children and deployed his men athwart Sheridan’s path near an abandoned inn, called the Yellow Tavern.

The Federal forces, which had not expected to encounter Stuart so early, charged ahead and were routed by a regiment of Virginia cavalry, led personally by Stuart. As the Federal forces were retreating, however, a dismounted Federal trooper, Private John Huff, recognized Stuart by his black plume. Huff drew his revolver and fired at Stuart from thirty feet, gravely wounding the general.

As Stuart was carried off the field by his command staff, he noticed that his forces were breaking around him with fear at having seen their immortal commander laid low. Stuart began to cry out “Go back! Go back and do your duty as I have done mine, and our country will be safe. Go back! Go back! I had rather die than be whipped.” The morale damage had been done, however, and the cavalry retreated in disorder.

Stuart was brought back to Richmond, but there was nothing the doctors could do for him. He died the day after receiving his injury, asking only that he be able to see his wife one more time.

A massive funeral in Richmond was held for Stuart, in whom the South had found the emblem of its chivalry and pride. Flora never remarried and wore black for the rest of her life. She became a teacher to support herself, but also spent a great deal of time speaking at Confederate memorial associations and praising the name of her husband, whose reputation had been tarnished as a scapegoat in later years for the defeat at Gettysburg.

It should be noted that Stuart had once confided in a friend that “He never expected to live through the war, and that if we were conquered, that he did not want to live.” He is buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.

FB_IMG_1549495434219.jpg
 

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Hussar Yeomanry

Sergeant
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
Nice article.

But being picky this is not entirely correct. You wrote:

Thanks to help from his old friend Lee Stuart was assigned a choice command in Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah. Impressed with Stuart’s horsemanship and the love he inspired in his men, Stonewall made Stuart a colonel and gave him full command of all the Army’s cavalry elements. Stuart and Jackson soon became fast friends, although Jackson would often coolly comment upon Stuart’s flamboyant style of dress. Stuart, in turn, liked to send Jackson fancy dress uniforms as a joking way to encourage his friend to dress in a more majestic manner befitting a Confederate hero.

However it wasn't Jackson's Army of the Shenandoah. Jackson merely had the First Brigade, a Brigade to which Stuart was fleetingly assigned. Almost immediately though he and his chronically understrength (12 companies mustering in at c.330 men) regiment is directly reporting to Joe Johnston - the Army Commander... though the brief contact does seem to be enough for them to become at a minimum moderately friendly (Weirdly Stuart is one of the few people Jackson doesn't fall out with).
 

Virginia Dave

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
499
Location
Waynesboro, Virginia
By Eb Joseph Daniels

“Believe that you can whip the enemy and you have won half the battle.”

On this day in 1833 Confederate general James Ewell Brown “JEB” Stuart was born at Laurel Hill Farm in Patrick County, Virginia.

Stuart came from one of the most respected military families in Virginia. His great grandfather had commanded a regiment during the American Revolutionary War and his father was a veteran of the War of 1812.

From a young age Stuart spent most of his life in the saddle, riding horses around the family plantation near the border Virginia shared with North Carolina. He was also well-educated: tutored at home by his mother until a teenager, he enjoyed the benefit of private lectures and tutorials from various teachers in Wytheville, Virginia until attending Emory and Henry College in 1848.

The youngest son in a family of eleven children, Stuart knew that a military career was his best chance at success. His freshman year, Stuart attempted to enlist in the United States Army but was rejected because he was only fifteen years old. Upon graduation he entered West Point in 1850.

While at West Point, Stuart became famous for his charming personality and for his extreme ugliness; his classmates gave him the ironic nickname “Beauty.” It was said that Stuart’s greatest fault was his extremely weak chin, so he grew out a magnificent and luxurious beard, which he wore for the rest of his life.

Stuart also developed an early reputation as a fop and a clothes-horse; when not in his West Point gray he was seen strutting about in the latest French fashions. He had a particular affinity for outlandish, cavalier-inspired headgear, especially plumed hats.

Shortly after graduating from West Point Stuart was assigned to “Bleeding Kansas,” where he fought against radical abolitionists like John Brown. While stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Stuart met Flora Cooke, the daughter of a base commander. Flora was a rough-and-ready girl and an accomplished horseman in her own right, and she and Stuart were wed after a brief two month courtship.

Their wedding was marred, however, by the death of Stuart’s father. Deeply saddened by the loss, Stuart was nevertheless able to funnel his share of the inheritance into setting up housekeeping. He also inherited one elderly slave who served as a valet from his father, and purchased an additional slave to serve as a maid for Flora. Both slaves were freed in 1859.

In addition to his service in Bleeding Kansas, Stuart also developed a reputation as an Indian fighter. He engaged in numerous combats with the Comanche and Cheyenne in the near Southwest, and had a brush with death on one occasion: while Stuart was charging towards a brave, the Cheyenne drew an old flintlock and prepared to fire at point blank range. Stuart did not waver in his charge and was struck full in the chest, but was spared any harm, as the weapon had been poorly loaded and the ball did not even break the skin.

In 1856 Flora had given birth to a daughter but the young child perished shortly after entering the world. In 1857 the couple tried to have children again, and in the fall of that year Flora gave birth to another little girl, who was named after her mother.

Stuart was able to parlay his experiences in the cavalry into a business venture when in 1859 he developed a fast-acting hook, to which a horseman could easily clip or unclip his saber. The War Department was thoroughly impressed with the design and paid him a considerable sum for the patent, with which Stuart built a home in Kansas.

While in Washington, DC to discuss a promotion, Stuart learned about John Brown’s attack on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. Stuart immediately volunteered to assist in apprehending the radical abolitionist, and under the command of his old West Point teacher Robert E. Lee Stuart set out with a detachment of Marines to aid the local militia in ensuring that John Brown’s body would soon enough be moldering in its grave.

His action at Harper’s Ferry made Stuart an overnight star in the South, especially since the execution of Brown was a fitting capstone to Stuart’s service in Kansas.

In June of 1860 Flora and Stuart had a son, whom they named Philip St. George Cooke Stuart, in honor of Flora’s father.

Stuart continued his service on the front until the early spring of 1861, when he was recalled to Washington because of the growing sectional crisis touched off by the secession of the Deep South states. Stuart had secessionist tendencies but was loath to forsake the Union.

On April 22nd he received word that he been promoted to the rank of captain in the United States Army. A note attached by his commanding officer implied that if Stuart continued to remain loyal to the United States, he could look forward to his own regimental command as a colonel once the Army invaded the rebellious states.

Stuart could not abide the notion that the United States government would actively deploy troops to invade the South; he was further rankled by the implication that his promotion was intended as an incentive and not something that he had earned. On May 3rd he resigned his commission in the United States Army and returned home to Virginia.

Stuart also took it upon himself to recruit others to the Confederate cause, encouraging his brother-in-law and father-in-law to stand with him. Although the brother eventually joined the Southern cause, the father-in-law did not; in a rage, Stuart renamed his son James Ewell Brown Stuart, Jr, effacing his father-in-law’s name entirely.

Thanks to help from his old friend Lee Stuart was assigned a choice command in Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah. Impressed with Stuart’s horsemanship and the love he inspired in his men, Stonewall made Stuart a colonel and gave him full command of all the Army’s cavalry elements. Stuart and Jackson soon became fast friends, although Jackson would often coolly comment upon Stuart’s flamboyant style of dress. Stuart, in turn, liked to send Jackson fancy dress uniforms as a joking way to encourage his friend to dress in a more majestic manner befitting a Confederate hero.

At the Battle of First Manassas Stuart received great credit for helping to turn the tide of the battle at the last moment in the Confederacy’s favor. The strutting cavalier with his elegant uniform and the ubiquitous jet black plume that he wore in his hat struck a romantic figure, and his military prowess and bravery were much remarked upon by the men under his command.

In the spring of 1862, as Federal general George B. McClellan attempted his march on Richmond during the Peninsula Campaign, Stuart was tasked with diverting the massive Federal army while General Joseph E. Johnston’s forces retreated to a more defensible position.

Probing McClellan’s flanks, Stuart found the right was weak and he launched a raid to harry his enemies. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and was able to pass over 150 miles around the Federal lines, stealing supplies and weapons and generally making a nuisance of himself. The raid succeeded in diverting McClellan’s attention and when Stuart returned to Virginia he was hailed as hero on par with even the great Stonewall Jackson.

Stuart soon made a name for himself with his romantic antics. During a raid against the forces of General John Pope, Stuart lost his famous hat during the fighting. He staged a raid early the next morning to retrieve it. His assault was totally unexpected, causing the entire Federal force, including Pope and his staff, to retreat in total disarray. Stuart found his hat in Pope’s command tent, along with a half-written letter to President Abraham Lincoln, offering the hat as a gift with Pope’s complements. Stuart therefore stole Pope’s dress uniform, which he had left behind, and presented it to President Jefferson Davis.

Thanks to his reputation and his abilities, Stuart was promoted to major general and given command of the Cavalry Division in the Army of Northern Virginia. The cocksure charm which had won his fame, however, could also do great harm. While Stuart was hosting a series of balls in Maryland in the fall of 1862, his men were unable to adequately reconnoiter McClellan’s forces prior to the Battle of Sharpsburg; with better intelligence, the Confederate forces might have been able to carry the day.

Stuart saved face, however, with his Chambersburg Raid, traveling all the way north to central Pennsylvania and crossing over 120 miles in 60 hours. Although the raid was of little military value, the adventures of young Stuart continued to excite the Southern public.

At the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Stuart had the opportunity to serve a more fitting military role, flanking the Federal forces and disrupting their lines for the benefit of the infantry. Following the Federal rout after the massive flanking attack by Jackson at Chancellorsville, Stuart was granted command of the entire Second Corps when he learned of the wounding of Generals Jackson and A.P. Hill. When Stuart learned that Jackson had died on May 10th, he was crushed.

On June 9th in 1863 Stuart and his men were surprised by a superior force of Federal cavalry under the command of Alfred Pleasonton at Brandy Station; this battle retains the honor of being the largest cavalry battle ever fought on American soil. Although Stuart was able to rally his forces and drive away the Federals, the fighting was fierce and not one of the overwhelming victories the public had come to expect from Stuart. Brandy Station thus served as a massive morale boost for the North, as it seemed to indicate that the Federal cavalry was finally coming to grips with the Confederate.

Perhaps still smarting from Brandy Station, Stuart proposed another daring flanking raid, this time against the Federal forces massing near Gettysburg. Lee was reluctant to part with Stuart and his cavalry, and gave Stuart strict orders to return to the main army before the fighting commenced.

Stuart’s raid, however, took him farther north and east than he had anticipated. Meanwhile, the Federal forces under General George Meade were coalescing without Lee’s knowledge. On July 1st Lee found himself fighting the Battle of Gettysburg without any real cavalry support.

When Stuart returned late on the second day of the battle, he was greeted coolly by Lee, who said only “Ah, General, you are here at last.” Although Stuart had brought captured supplies with him, it was information and diversion that Lee required. Sadly, Stuart had arrived too late to provide either. After a number of abortive flanking charges Stuart fell back with the rest of the army and his cavaliers found themselves screening the retreating Confederate army and its massive ambulance caravan of those wounded in the battle.

In 1864 Stuart and his troopers found themselves at a greater and greater disadvantage in the face of Federal numbers and equipment. Most of the Federal cavalry had been equipped with repeating rifles, and their ranks were constantly swelled by new recruits. Stuart, on the other hand, was making due with war-weary horsemen who were poorly equipped. Constant fighting had cost Stuart many of his horses. While the average Federal cavalryman of 1864 had access to three mounts, Stuart and his men were down to one or less, as many men would “trade off” riding in alternating battles.

Nevertheless, Stuart was able to lead a brilliant if costly delaying action at Laurel Hill during the Battle of the Wilderness, preventing General Ulysses S. Grant from landing a death blow against the Army of Northern Virginia.

In the spring of 1864 General Philip Sheridan requested permission to launch a raid against Virginia railroads with the intention of drawing Stuart into a trap. Grant gave his permission, with the special caveat that Stuart was to be taken alive if at all possible. Grant remarked that he “wanted to make an example of that rooster.”

Stuart was visiting his wife and children when he learned that Sheridan’s men had been sighted in the area. He bade farewell to Flora and the children and deployed his men athwart Sheridan’s path near an abandoned inn, called the Yellow Tavern.

The Federal forces, which had not expected to encounter Stuart so early, charged ahead and were routed by a regiment of Virginia cavalry, led personally by Stuart. As the Federal forces were retreating, however, a dismounted Federal trooper, Private John Huff, recognized Stuart by his black plume. Huff drew his revolver and fired at Stuart from thirty feet, gravely wounding the general.

As Stuart was carried off the field by his command staff, he noticed that his forces were breaking around him with fear at having seen their immortal commander laid low. Stuart began to cry out “Go back! Go back and do your duty as I have done mine, and our country will be safe. Go back! Go back! I had rather die than be whipped.” The morale damage had been done, however, and the cavalry retreated in disorder.

Stuart was brought back to Richmond, but there was nothing the doctors could do for him. He died the day after receiving his injury, asking only that he be able to see his wife one more time.

A massive funeral in Richmond was held for Stuart, in whom the South had found the emblem of its chivalry and pride. Flora never remarried and wore black for the rest of her life. She became a teacher to support herself, but also spent a great deal of time speaking at Confederate memorial associations and praising the name of her husband, whose reputation had been tarnished as a scapegoat in later years for the defeat at Gettysburg.

It should be noted that Stuart had once confided in a friend that “He never expected to live through the war, and that if we were conquered, that he did not want to live.” He is buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.

View attachment 273683
Found recently that JEB is my 10th cousin 6 times removed.
 

Virginia Dave

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
499
Location
Waynesboro, Virginia
You're going to run into General Lee pretty quick, Dave! :D He and Stuart were 5th cousins. Think it came from the Washington side of his tree - Martha Washington's sister Dorothy Dandridge.
I haven't found that yet, but I am fairly new at the research. Thank you I will continue to explore.:Ghost:
 

Virginia Dave

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
499
Location
Waynesboro, Virginia
I haven't found that yet, but I am fairly new at the research. Thank you I will continue to explore.:Ghost:
You're going to run into General Lee pretty quick, Dave! :D He and Stuart were 5th cousins. Think it came from the Washington side of his tree - Martha Washington's sister Dorothy Dandridge.
You were right.

Robert E. Lee is my 9th cousins 6 times removed
Robert E. Lee and David Shockley are both descendants of John Weston.
1. Robert E. is the son of Anne Hill (Carter) Lee
2. Anne is the daughter of Charles Hill Carter
3. Charles is the son of Elizabeth (Hill) Carter
4. Elizabeth is the daughter of Edward Hill III
5. Edward is the son of Edward Hill II
6. Edward is the son of Elizabeth Mary (Boyle) Hill
7. Elizabeth is the daughter of Catherine (Fenton) Boyle
8. Catherine is the daughter of Alice (Weston) Fenton
9. Alice is the daughter of Robert Weston
10. Robert is the son of John Weston

This makes John the eighth great grandfather of Robert E..
1. David is the son of Merlin Shockley jr.
2. Merlin is the son of Merlin Sherman Shockley Sr.
3. Merlin is the son of John Lee Shockley
4. John is the son of John Washington Sylvester Shockley
5. John is the son of Manoah Shockley 6. Manoah is the son of John Floyd Shockley Sr.
7. John is the son of Meredith Shockley
8. Meredith is the son of Elizabeth Meredith (Adkins) Shockley
9. Elizabeth is the daughter of Lydia Lunsford (Owens) Adkins
10. Liddie is the daughter of William Owen I
11. William is the son of Bartholomew Owen
12. Bartholomew is the son of Joane White
13. Joane is the daughter of John White
14. John is the son of Isabel (Bawle) White
15. Isabel is the daughter of Alice (Weston) Bawle
16. Alice is the daughter of John Weston This makes John the 14th great grandfather of David.


 

Florida Rebel

Private
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
70
I love Jeb Stuart and all he stood for! Not only was he brave, fearless and a heck of a soldier, he had an amazing eye for talent. Besides being so natural at leadership and leading men, he was also terrific at mentoring other men and helping them be as good as they could be. I also find it cool that even though he was not related to Lee, he might as well have been. Lee always considered Stuart to be "son like" to him. I have been told he almost married one of Lee's daughters.
 

Florida Rebel

Private
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
70
As I look back on Stuart's life, I often wonder why he didn't get one of Lee's new corps commands after Jackson died. Did Stuart want that? Maybe.... As great as he was in leading the cavalry, I think he would have been potentially as good as Jackson if Lee had made that move. Besides, to replace Stuart as head of the cavalry, Lee had two great options with his nephew, Fitzhugh Lee or in selecting Wade Hampton. To me, it's one of the great "maybe's" of the war.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
3,980
Stuart's fame is such that hi
By Eb Joseph Daniels

“Believe that you can whip the enemy and you have won half the battle.”

On this day in 1833 Confederate general James Ewell Brown “JEB” Stuart was born at Laurel Hill Farm in Patrick County, Virginia.

Stuart came from one of the most respected military families in Virginia. His great grandfather had commanded a regiment during the American Revolutionary War and his father was a veteran of the War of 1812.

From a young age Stuart spent most of his life in the saddle, riding horses around the family plantation near the border Virginia shared with North Carolina. He was also well-educated: tutored at home by his mother until a teenager, he enjoyed the benefit of private lectures and tutorials from various teachers in Wytheville, Virginia until attending Emory and Henry College in 1848.

The youngest son in a family of eleven children, Stuart knew that a military career was his best chance at success. His freshman year, Stuart attempted to enlist in the United States Army but was rejected because he was only fifteen years old. Upon graduation he entered West Point in 1850.

While at West Point, Stuart became famous for his charming personality and for his extreme ugliness; his classmates gave him the ironic nickname “Beauty.” It was said that Stuart’s greatest fault was his extremely weak chin, so he grew out a magnificent and luxurious beard, which he wore for the rest of his life.

Stuart also developed an early reputation as a fop and a clothes-horse; when not in his West Point gray he was seen strutting about in the latest French fashions. He had a particular affinity for outlandish, cavalier-inspired headgear, especially plumed hats.

Shortly after graduating from West Point Stuart was assigned to “Bleeding Kansas,” where he fought against radical abolitionists like John Brown. While stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Stuart met Flora Cooke, the daughter of a base commander. Flora was a rough-and-ready girl and an accomplished horseman in her own right, and she and Stuart were wed after a brief two month courtship.

Their wedding was marred, however, by the death of Stuart’s father. Deeply saddened by the loss, Stuart was nevertheless able to funnel his share of the inheritance into setting up housekeeping. He also inherited one elderly slave who served as a valet from his father, and purchased an additional slave to serve as a maid for Flora. Both slaves were freed in 1859.

In addition to his service in Bleeding Kansas, Stuart also developed a reputation as an Indian fighter. He engaged in numerous combats with the Comanche and Cheyenne in the near Southwest, and had a brush with death on one occasion: while Stuart was charging towards a brave, the Cheyenne drew an old flintlock and prepared to fire at point blank range. Stuart did not waver in his charge and was struck full in the chest, but was spared any harm, as the weapon had been poorly loaded and the ball did not even break the skin.

In 1856 Flora had given birth to a daughter but the young child perished shortly after entering the world. In 1857 the couple tried to have children again, and in the fall of that year Flora gave birth to another little girl, who was named after her mother.

Stuart was able to parlay his experiences in the cavalry into a business venture when in 1859 he developed a fast-acting hook, to which a horseman could easily clip or unclip his saber. The War Department was thoroughly impressed with the design and paid him a considerable sum for the patent, with which Stuart built a home in Kansas.

While in Washington, DC to discuss a promotion, Stuart learned about John Brown’s attack on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. Stuart immediately volunteered to assist in apprehending the radical abolitionist, and under the command of his old West Point teacher Robert E. Lee Stuart set out with a detachment of Marines to aid the local militia in ensuring that John Brown’s body would soon enough be moldering in its grave.

His action at Harper’s Ferry made Stuart an overnight star in the South, especially since the execution of Brown was a fitting capstone to Stuart’s service in Kansas.

In June of 1860 Flora and Stuart had a son, whom they named Philip St. George Cooke Stuart, in honor of Flora’s father.

Stuart continued his service on the front until the early spring of 1861, when he was recalled to Washington because of the growing sectional crisis touched off by the secession of the Deep South states. Stuart had secessionist tendencies but was loath to forsake the Union.

On April 22nd he received word that he been promoted to the rank of captain in the United States Army. A note attached by his commanding officer implied that if Stuart continued to remain loyal to the United States, he could look forward to his own regimental command as a colonel once the Army invaded the rebellious states.

Stuart could not abide the notion that the United States government would actively deploy troops to invade the South; he was further rankled by the implication that his promotion was intended as an incentive and not something that he had earned. On May 3rd he resigned his commission in the United States Army and returned home to Virginia.

Stuart also took it upon himself to recruit others to the Confederate cause, encouraging his brother-in-law and father-in-law to stand with him. Although the brother eventually joined the Southern cause, the father-in-law did not; in a rage, Stuart renamed his son James Ewell Brown Stuart, Jr, effacing his father-in-law’s name entirely.

Thanks to help from his old friend Lee Stuart was assigned a choice command in Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah. Impressed with Stuart’s horsemanship and the love he inspired in his men, Stonewall made Stuart a colonel and gave him full command of all the Army’s cavalry elements. Stuart and Jackson soon became fast friends, although Jackson would often coolly comment upon Stuart’s flamboyant style of dress. Stuart, in turn, liked to send Jackson fancy dress uniforms as a joking way to encourage his friend to dress in a more majestic manner befitting a Confederate hero.

At the Battle of First Manassas Stuart received great credit for helping to turn the tide of the battle at the last moment in the Confederacy’s favor. The strutting cavalier with his elegant uniform and the ubiquitous jet black plume that he wore in his hat struck a romantic figure, and his military prowess and bravery were much remarked upon by the men under his command.

In the spring of 1862, as Federal general George B. McClellan attempted his march on Richmond during the Peninsula Campaign, Stuart was tasked with diverting the massive Federal army while General Joseph E. Johnston’s forces retreated to a more defensible position.

Probing McClellan’s flanks, Stuart found the right was weak and he launched a raid to harry his enemies. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and was able to pass over 150 miles around the Federal lines, stealing supplies and weapons and generally making a nuisance of himself. The raid succeeded in diverting McClellan’s attention and when Stuart returned to Virginia he was hailed as hero on par with even the great Stonewall Jackson.

Stuart soon made a name for himself with his romantic antics. During a raid against the forces of General John Pope, Stuart lost his famous hat during the fighting. He staged a raid early the next morning to retrieve it. His assault was totally unexpected, causing the entire Federal force, including Pope and his staff, to retreat in total disarray. Stuart found his hat in Pope’s command tent, along with a half-written letter to President Abraham Lincoln, offering the hat as a gift with Pope’s complements. Stuart therefore stole Pope’s dress uniform, which he had left behind, and presented it to President Jefferson Davis.

Thanks to his reputation and his abilities, Stuart was promoted to major general and given command of the Cavalry Division in the Army of Northern Virginia. The cocksure charm which had won his fame, however, could also do great harm. While Stuart was hosting a series of balls in Maryland in the fall of 1862, his men were unable to adequately reconnoiter McClellan’s forces prior to the Battle of Sharpsburg; with better intelligence, the Confederate forces might have been able to carry the day.

Stuart saved face, however, with his Chambersburg Raid, traveling all the way north to central Pennsylvania and crossing over 120 miles in 60 hours. Although the raid was of little military value, the adventures of young Stuart continued to excite the Southern public.

At the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Stuart had the opportunity to serve a more fitting military role, flanking the Federal forces and disrupting their lines for the benefit of the infantry. Following the Federal rout after the massive flanking attack by Jackson at Chancellorsville, Stuart was granted command of the entire Second Corps when he learned of the wounding of Generals Jackson and A.P. Hill. When Stuart learned that Jackson had died on May 10th, he was crushed.

On June 9th in 1863 Stuart and his men were surprised by a superior force of Federal cavalry under the command of Alfred Pleasonton at Brandy Station; this battle retains the honor of being the largest cavalry battle ever fought on American soil. Although Stuart was able to rally his forces and drive away the Federals, the fighting was fierce and not one of the overwhelming victories the public had come to expect from Stuart. Brandy Station thus served as a massive morale boost for the North, as it seemed to indicate that the Federal cavalry was finally coming to grips with the Confederate.

Perhaps still smarting from Brandy Station, Stuart proposed another daring flanking raid, this time against the Federal forces massing near Gettysburg. Lee was reluctant to part with Stuart and his cavalry, and gave Stuart strict orders to return to the main army before the fighting commenced.

Stuart’s raid, however, took him farther north and east than he had anticipated. Meanwhile, the Federal forces under General George Meade were coalescing without Lee’s knowledge. On July 1st Lee found himself fighting the Battle of Gettysburg without any real cavalry support.

When Stuart returned late on the second day of the battle, he was greeted coolly by Lee, who said only “Ah, General, you are here at last.” Although Stuart had brought captured supplies with him, it was information and diversion that Lee required. Sadly, Stuart had arrived too late to provide either. After a number of abortive flanking charges Stuart fell back with the rest of the army and his cavaliers found themselves screening the retreating Confederate army and its massive ambulance caravan of those wounded in the battle.

In 1864 Stuart and his troopers found themselves at a greater and greater disadvantage in the face of Federal numbers and equipment. Most of the Federal cavalry had been equipped with repeating rifles, and their ranks were constantly swelled by new recruits. Stuart, on the other hand, was making due with war-weary horsemen who were poorly equipped. Constant fighting had cost Stuart many of his horses. While the average Federal cavalryman of 1864 had access to three mounts, Stuart and his men were down to one or less, as many men would “trade off” riding in alternating battles.

Nevertheless, Stuart was able to lead a brilliant if costly delaying action at Laurel Hill during the Battle of the Wilderness, preventing General Ulysses S. Grant from landing a death blow against the Army of Northern Virginia.

In the spring of 1864 General Philip Sheridan requested permission to launch a raid against Virginia railroads with the intention of drawing Stuart into a trap. Grant gave his permission, with the special caveat that Stuart was to be taken alive if at all possible. Grant remarked that he “wanted to make an example of that rooster.”

Stuart was visiting his wife and children when he learned that Sheridan’s men had been sighted in the area. He bade farewell to Flora and the children and deployed his men athwart Sheridan’s path near an abandoned inn, called the Yellow Tavern.

The Federal forces, which had not expected to encounter Stuart so early, charged ahead and were routed by a regiment of Virginia cavalry, led personally by Stuart. As the Federal forces were retreating, however, a dismounted Federal trooper, Private John Huff, recognized Stuart by his black plume. Huff drew his revolver and fired at Stuart from thirty feet, gravely wounding the general.

As Stuart was carried off the field by his command staff, he noticed that his forces were breaking around him with fear at having seen their immortal commander laid low. Stuart began to cry out “Go back! Go back and do your duty as I have done mine, and our country will be safe. Go back! Go back! I had rather die than be whipped.” The morale damage had been done, however, and the cavalry retreated in disorder.

Stuart was brought back to Richmond, but there was nothing the doctors could do for him. He died the day after receiving his injury, asking only that he be able to see his wife one more time.

A massive funeral in Richmond was held for Stuart, in whom the South had found the emblem of its chivalry and pride. Flora never remarried and wore black for the rest of her life. She became a teacher to support herself, but also spent a great deal of time speaking at Confederate memorial associations and praising the name of her husband, whose reputation had been tarnished as a scapegoat in later years for the defeat at Gettysburg.

It should be noted that Stuart had once confided in a friend that “He never expected to live through the war, and that if we were conquered, that he did not want to live.” He is buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.

View attachment 273683
Stuart's was too young and immature as a military leader. Hard to imagine today, but he was just 31 years old when killed in action in 1864.

Stuart's was perhaps a good example of how Lee's prejudice for Virginians from "good families" actually harmed the Confederate war effort....
 

BillO

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Stuart's fame is such that hi


Stuart's was too young and immature as a military leader. Hard to imagine today, but he was just 31 years old when killed in action in 1864.

Stuart's was perhaps a good example of how Lee's prejudice for Virginians from "good families" actually harmed the Confederate war effort....
Interesting. As Stuart was one of a very select few excellent cavalry leaders produced in the ACW I'm wondering how this adversely effected the ANV.
 

Florida Rebel

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Love Stuart! He never asked anyone to do something he himself wouldn't do. He was such a natural and charismatic leader! Was he vain? YES. Did he think highly of himself? YES. But show me a good leader who didn't have confidence in his own abilities. Where did he rank in the ANV? My opinion; of course below Lee and third just behind Jackson. Because of his strong ability to get along with people and impress Jackson, which was truly amazing in my opinion, he was also above Longstreet who had this tendency to always "be right" even when he was wrong. And Stuart was way above both AP Hill and Ewell. If anyone would have been just like Jackson and always on the lookout for an offensive opportunity, it would be JEB. If he had commanded a corp at Gettysburg, it may have changed the battle's outcome. It's no wonder Lee wept in private when he was killed.
 

diane

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I think you like Jeb, Florida Rebel! :laugh: I'm the same way about Forrest. Stuart was great at his job, and much more dangerous than legend would like him to be. He and Forrest had a lot in common. A fault Lee had that might be excused was relying on Jeb a little too much - he never got bad information and the two were like-minded. Stuart was likely the best real-time intelligence gatherer on either side, and Lee was able to analyze it extremely well. Stuart took over for Jackson after the general was shot - dead, as it turned out - and did surprisingly well. Actually - I don't know why anyone was surprised. He was a talented and well trained soldier who made sure his troops were among the best trained in Lee's army. Really excellent commander. Like Forrest, Stuart had men who hated his guts - but who wouldn't fight under anybody else.
 

Nathanb1

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Well, @Florida Rebel check out any of @Eric Wittenberg's threads on Stuart--and two books in particular, Plenty of Blame to Go Around and One Continuous Fight. They'll keep you on the edge of your seat and show you exactly why "Meanwhile, the Federal forces under General George Meade were coalescing without Lee’s knowledge. On July 1st Lee found himself fighting the Battle of Gettysburg without any real cavalry support" is not exactly correct.
 

Florida Rebel

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Thanks to Diane and Nathan both! One thing I will say about Lee; a man I honestly believe he walked on water, he did have cavalry with him just before Gettysburg. But he didn't have Stuart and he is the one soldier Lee absolutely trusted and as it turned out - NEEDED.

Forrest was outstanding! It's sad to me how he is treated by people today. So many schools which had been named for him, have had their name changed, all because we must all be PC on the war and judge everyone by today's standards. This PC climate is the main reason I dig my heels in the ground and continue to pay homage to those brave and wonderful people of another era.
 

dixie1861

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Love Stuart! He never asked anyone to do something he himself wouldn't do. He was such a natural and charismatic leader! Was he vain? YES. Did he think highly of himself? YES. But show me a good leader who didn't have confidence in his own abilities. Where did he rank in the ANV? My opinion; of course below Lee and third just behind Jackson. Because of his strong ability to get along with people and impress Jackson, which was truly amazing in my opinion, he was also above Longstreet who had this tendency to always "be right" even when he was wrong. And Stuart was way above both AP Hill and Ewell. If anyone would have been just like Jackson and always on the lookout for an offensive opportunity, it would be JEB. If he had commanded a corp at Gettysburg, it may have changed the battle's outcome. It's no wonder Lee wept in private when he was killed.
I'm glad someone else appreciates Jeb. I'm a huge fan. It's got to be between him and Forrest. :wink:
 

Cavalier

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My hearts on the other side but, in my opinion, Stuart is everything a cavalry commander should be. Napoleon had LaSalle, Lee had Stuart. (This from a guy who never even sat on a horse.)
 


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