Major-General J.E.B. Stuart (1833-1864) was one of the Confederacy’s greatest horsemen, soldiers, and heroes. As early as First Manassas (Bull Run) he contributed significantly to the Confederate victory, he subsequently displayed his daring and brilliance in the battles of Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Brandy Station—the most significant cavalry battle of the war, and Stuart’s finest moment. General Lee depended on Stuart for knowledge of the enemy for, as he said, Stuart never brought him a piece of false information. But Stuart was mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern in May, 1864. Not since the death of Stonewall Jackson had the South sustained so great a personal loss, his rollicking, infectious gaiety and hard fighting were sorely missed in the grim last days of Lee’s army.
By all accounts, I Rode with Jeb Stuart is the most reliable and persuasive portrait of Stuart offered by a contemporary, and is indispensable for any thorough knowledge of the great Confederate cavalryman.
“This book, which is both biography and memoir, is the richest source on the Civil War career of the plumed knight of the Army of Northern Virginia, Major-General James Ewell Brown Stuart. Though it has been out of print for generations, it is still read, and has fairly won its way onto the shelf of ‘classics’ of the war....It is by all odds the most reliable account of Stuart and his horsemen left by Stuart’s intimates....A reader who rides with Stuart through the Gettysburg campaign, until the Confederate infantry is safely south of the swollen Potomac, is not likely to forget the experience. In the light of McClellan’s narrative the ancient, wearying Confederate controversies over Gettysburg seem to lose a great deal of their importance.”—Burke Davis, Introduction, I Rode with Jeb Stuart