Good thread, Fish. My GGGrandpa rode with Grierson in the 6th Ill. Cav. He was injured one night during a driving rainstorm as they rode south. Don't know much of the details but apparently it was dark, storming, difficult to see, and they were in a hurry. The riders were following too close to each other in those conditions, trying to keep in sight of those ahead. One horse slipped, fell, and brought about a pile-up collision, in which he was involved. Pension records say when his horse took a tumble GGGWise broke his leg, and some ribs due to falling on his sword scabbard. That's about all I know.
It wasn't perhaps the greatest, most notable, daring ride of the war, but it was pretty awesome in scope, size, duration.
Grierson's raid was launched from my hometown, Grand Junction, TN. Grant's army was camped there and was spread out several miles in each direction, even as far away as the Mississippi border eight miles to the South. In the movie "The Horse Soldiers", Grant, Sherman, and Grierson plan the raid in a railroad car in Lagrange, which is three miles away.
More directly on topic, I'll go with Stuart's ride due to the embarrassement it caused the Union and the morale boost it gave the Confederacy.
Grierson's raid late in the war may be a better choice due to its effectiveness, but I'll go with Stuart's due to the tone it set early in the war about the quality and confidence of both Eastern armies and their cavalry.
Excellent and sensible analysis. Not only that, but continuing on instead of turning back evaded pursuit and prevented the need for a battle to get through the pursuers.A lot of people lose sight of the primary objective of Stuart's raid: his ride around the AoP accurately defined the limits of the territory covered by McClellan's army, and confirmed that his right flank was "in the air". Union troops from the Mannassas area were not moving south to link up with McClellan and extend his flank. This was the confirmation Lee needed to give the go-ahead orders for his Seven Day's offensive. By riding around the AoP, instead of just testing it's right flank, it somewhat camoflauged the purpose of the raid.
Excellent and sensible analysis. Not only that, but continuing on instead of turning back evaded pursuit and prevented the need for a battle to get through the pursuers.