Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is the first major biography in decades of the famous Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart. Based on research in manuscript collections, personal memoirs and reminiscences, and regimental histories, this comprehensive volume reflects outstanding Civil War scholarship.
James Ewell Brown Stuart was the premier cavalry commander of the Confederacy. He gained a reputation for daring early in the war when he rode around the Union army in the Peninsula Campaign, providing valuable intelligence to General Robert E. Lee at the expense of Union commander George B. McClellan. Stuart has long been controversial because of his performance in the critical Gettysburg Campaign, where he was out of touch with Lee for several days; this left Lee uncertain about the size and movement of the Union army, information that would prove decisive when the battle began. In an engagement with the cavalry of Union general Philip Sheridan in spring 1864, Stuart was killed. He was only thirty-one.
Jeffry D. Wert provides new details about Stuart's childhood and youth, and he draws on letters between Stuart and his wife, Flora, to show us the man as he was: eager for glory, daring sometimes to the point of recklessness, but a devoted and loving husband and father. Stuart has long been regarded as the finest Confederate cavalryman and one of the best this country has ever produced. Wert shows how Stuart's friendship with Stonewall Jackson and his relationship with Lee were crucial; at the same time Stuart's relationships with his subordinates were complicated and sometimes troubled.
Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is a riveting biography of a towering figure of the Civil War, a fascinating and colorful work by one of our finest Civil War historians.
Jeffry D. Wert is the author of eight previous books on Civil War topics, most recently Cavalryman of the Lost Cause and The Sword of Lincoln. His articles and essays on the Civil War have appeared in many publications, including Civil War Times Illustrated, American History Illustrated, and Blue and Gray. A former history teacher at Penns Valley High School, he lives in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, slightly more than one hour from the battlefield at Gettysburg.
"One of those rare, too often overlooked figures in the Civil War pantheon, Jeb Stuart was as irresistible as he was colorful, as contentious as he was fascinating. In this endlessly absorbing biography, Jeffry Wert does him justice and then some. This richly detailed study belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff, right next to the dog-eared volumes on Lincoln, Lee, Jackson, and Grant. Bravo!" -- Jay Winik, author of April 1865: The Month That Saved America and The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800
"Jeffry D. Wert adds to his considerable reputation as a military historian of the Civil War with this engaging biography of the Confederacy's best and most famous cavalry officer. Jeb Stuart figured prominently in most of the Army of Northern Virginia's storied operations, and Wert does full justice to his striking successes while also exploring with a critical eye his controversial conduct during the Gettysburg Campaign. This book is the obvious place to begin any exploration of Stuart's life and career." -- Gary W. Gallagher, Nau Professor of History, University of Virginia, and author of Lee and His Army in Confederate History
"This fresh look at the Confederacy's premier cavalryman offers a fast-paced and sure-footed narrative of Stuart's campaigns combined with fascinating information about the man and his family. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is now the Jeb Stuart biography." -- George C. Rable, Charles Summersell Chair in Southern History, University of Alabama, and author of Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!, winner of the Lincoln Prize
"One of the Civil War's most popular historians has tackled one of its most memorable figures. Scrupulously avoiding the pitfalls of either blind worship or reckless iconoclasm, Jeffry Wert recounts the successes and failures of this remarkable soldier in a masterful study that combines diligent research and fresh analysis with the prose of a gripping novel. A must for any bookshelf -- Blue or Gray." -- Joseph Pierro, editor of The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Ezra A. Carman's Definitive Study of the Union and Confederate Armies at Antietam