Stuart, Jeb

Stuart, (James Ewell Brown) Jeb

(1833–64) soldier; born in Patrick County, Va. An 1854 West Point graduate, he fought against Indians on the frontier and was Robert E. Lee's aide in the assault against John Brown and his men at Harpers Ferry. He began his career as the Confederacy's best-known cavalry commander with a well-timed charge that stopped a federal assault at First Bull Run (1861). In June 1862 he led 1,200 troopers in a famous ride around McClellan's army; as often turned out to be the case with Stuart, the raid was more spectacular than productive. He led his cavalry in most of the other famous campaigns in northern Virginia, but received much criticism for losing contact with Lee, who called him "the eyes of the army," for a critical week during the Gettysburg campaign (June 1863). A dramatic figure in his gaudy uniforms and famous plumed hat (he was called "Beauty" by fellow officers), he was mortally wounded in a clash with Sheridan's troopers at Yellow Tavern on May 11, 1864.