“Our Southern ideals of patriotism provided us with the concepts of chivalry. I tried to excel in these virtues, but others provided a truer interpretation of gallant conduct. A devoted champion of the South was one who possessed a heart intrepid, a spirit invincible, a patriotism too lofty to admit a selfish thought and a conscience that scorned to do a mean act. His legacy would be to leave a shining example of heroism and patriotism to those who survive.”
– Jeb Stuart, December 3, 1862, in a letter to R.H. Chilton
On this day, May 11th, 1864, Confederate General Jeb Stuart was killed at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, VA.
What happened at the Battle of Yellow Tavern?
As the battle between Grant and Lee raged at Spotsylvania Court House, the Union cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan embarked on a cavalry raid against Richmond. After disrupting Lee’s road and rail communications, Sheridan’s cavalry expedition climaxed with the battle of Yellow Tavern on May 11. The outnumbered Confederate cavalry was defeated, and Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded. Sheridan continued south to threaten the Richmond defenses before joining Butler’s command at Bermuda Hundred. After refitting, Sheridan rejoined the Army of the Potomac on May 25 for the march to the southeast and the crossing of the Pamunkey.
Source: National Park Service
For further reading:
J.E.B. Stuart’s Revenge
[Civil War Times Magazine]
A stolen hat and wounded pride spurred Southern cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart into action. His vengeance would be swift, daring, and–unexpectedly–funny.
J.E.B. Stuart: Battle of Gettysburg Scapegoat
[America’s Civil War Magazine]
Following the Confederate debacle at Gettysburg, many blamed Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart for leaving General Robert E. Lee in the dark. But was Stuart really to blame for the defeat? And if so, was he the only one at fault?
Major General J.E.B. Stuart: Last Stand of the Last Knight
[Civil War Times]
Major General J.E.B. Stuart posted his horsemen at Yellow Tavern — between Union attackers and Richmond — and waited for the collision. It would come with a deadliness he could never have imagined.