Killed at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, Virginia, in May 1864, by troopers of General Phil Sheridan's cavalry
(1833-1864) Born at Laurel Hill Farm, a plantation in Patrick County, Virginia, as James Ewell Brown Stuart. His father, Archibald Stuart, was a War of 1812 veteran, attorney, and Democratic politician who represented Patrick County in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, and also served in the United States Congress. His great-grandfather, Major Alexander Stuart, fought in the Revolutionary War. He graduated #13 in the West Point class of 1854, when Colonel Robert E. Lee was superintendent of the academy, and Stuart became a friend of the family, seeing them socially on frequent occasions. Lee's nephew, future Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee, was a favorite classmate. In Stuart's final year, in addition to achieving the cadet rank of second captain of the corps, he was one of eight cadets designated as honorary "cavalry officers" for his skills in horsemanship. Stuart was commissioned a second lieutenant, and assigned to the U.S. Regiment of Mounted Riflemen in Texas. In 1855, he met and married Flora Cooke, the daughter of 2nd U.S. Dragoon Regiment's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, who would become a Union general and his adversary during the Civil War. Stuart's leadership capabilities were soon recognized, and he fought in the frontier conflicts with Native American Indians, and in the antebellum violence of Bleeding Kansas. He was wounded on July 29, 1857, while fighting at Solomon River, Kansas, against the Cheyenne. Colonel Edwin V. Sumner ordered a charge with drawn sabers against a wave of Native American arrows. Scattering the Indian warriors, Stuart and three other lieutenants chased one down, whom Stuart wounded in the thigh with his pistol. The Cheyenne turned and fired at Stuart with an old-fashioned pistol, striking him in the chest with a bullet wound. He was the aide-de-camp of Colonel Robert E. Lee during John Brown's raid of Harpers Ferry. It was Stuart who delivered Lee's written surrender ultimatum to the leader of the group, John Brown, "Old Osawatomie Brown" who Stuart recognized from his days serving in Kansas. Following the secession of Virginia from the Union he joined the Confederacy. During the War Between The States he became one of the most daring and legendary cavalry commanders of the war, serving with General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, fighting in the Battles of 1st Manassas, the 1862 Virginia Peninsular campaign, 2nd Manassas, the 7 Days Battles, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, the 1864 Virginia Overland campaign, and he met his ultimate fate at Yellow Tavern, Va., 6 miles north of Richmond, after intercepting Union General Phil Sheridan's cavalry raid. Stuart's troopers resisted from the low ridge line bordering the road to Richmond, fighting for over three hours. After receiving a scouting report from "Texas Jack," Stuart led a counter charge and pushed the advancing Union troopers back from the hilltop. General Stuart, on horseback, shouted encouragement from in front of the 1st Virginia Cavalry while firing his revolver at the Union soldiers. As the 5th Michigan Cavalry streamed in retreat past Stuart, a dismounted Union private, 44-year-old John A. Huff, turned and shot Stuart with his .44-caliber revolver. The large caliber round cut through Stuart's abdomen and exited an inch to the right of his spine. Stuart fell into the arms of Company K's commander Gus W. Dorsey. Dorsey caught him and took him from his horse. Stuart told him: "Dorsey....save your men." Dorsey refused to leave him and brought Stuart to the rear. General Stuart suffered great pain as an ambulance took him to Richmond to await his wife's arrival at the home of Dr. Charles Brewer, his brother-in-law. As he was being driven from the field in an ambulance wagon, Stuart noticed disorganized ranks of retreating men and called out to them. His last words on the battlefield were "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." Stuart ordered his aide Major McClellan to give his sword, and spurs to his son. As McClellan left his side, Confederate President Jefferson Davis came in, took General Stuart's hand, and asked, "General, how do you feel?" Stuart answered "Easy, but willing to die, if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty." His last whispered words were, "I am resigned; God's will be done." He died at 7:38 p.m. on May 12, 1864, before his wife Flora Stuart reached his side. He was 31 years old. General J.E.B. Stuart was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Va. Upon learning of Stuart's death, General Lee is reported to have said that he could hardly keep from weeping at the mere mention of Stuart's name and that Stuart had never given him a bad piece of information. John Huff, the Yankee private who had fatally wounded Stuart, was killed in action just a few weeks later at the Battle of Haw's Shop, Virginia. Stuart's death was one of the severest blows to befall the Confederacy during the war! Flora Stuart wore the black of mourning for the remainder of her life, and never remarried. She lived in Saltville, Virginia, for 15 years after the war, where she opened and taught school in a log cabin. General J.E.B. Stuart was a legendary figure and is considered one of the greatest cavalry commanders in American history. His old friend from his U.S. Army days, Union General John Sedgwick, also killed during the war, said that Stuart was "the greatest cavalry officer ever foaled in America."
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Handsome bust view portrait Of General Stuart in Confederate uniform. No back mark. Very nice condition. Always an extremely popular Confederate general to collect any material on.