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  This webpage reproduces an appendix to Volume III of
R. E. Lee: A Biography

by Douglas Southall Freeman

published by Charles Scribner's Sons,
New York and London, 1934

The text, and illustrations except as noted, are in the public domain.

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

Vol. III
Appendix III-4

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Stuart in Pennsylvania

After his belated crossing of the Potomac at Seneca on the night of June 27‑28, Stuart lost some time breaking a lock gate and waylaying canal boats on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Then he moved on to Rockville, near which place he encountered a Federal wagon train eight miles in length. Chasing some of the rear wagons back toward Washington, he burned those that were broken or overturned and decided to take the remaining 125 with him. He was further encumbered by some 400 prisoners until he paroled them. On the 29th he struck the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, burned the bridge at Sykesville, and tore up the track at Hood's Mill. That afternoon he reached Westminster and on the morning of the 30th he arrived at Hanover. His general direction now was to the Susquehanna, where he reasoned the right column of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Ewell's corps had arrived by this time. After passing Dover he moved on to Carlisle, and there he received Lee's orders to rejoin at Gettysburg. He was greatly slowed down in his march by his determination to retain his booty, and he lost much time in minor excursions when he should have been hastening to the flank of the army, concerning whose position he heard nothing whatever until after he had reached Dover.​1 When Stuart at length arrived and reported to Lee, the commanding general is reported to have said: "Well, General Stuart, you are here at last!"​2 Stuart felt the rebuke and was conscious of the very general criticism his absence evoked. In his report​3 he sought to justify himself by explaining that his operations had kept the enemy's cavalry from troubling Lee's advance. In submitting this document, through Marshall, he argued he would have attracted the Federal cavalry.​4 The balance of historical criticism since the war  p557  has been against this claim. His operations from June 25 to July 1, 1863, have generally been regarded as the least creditable chapter in his career.5

The Author's Notes:

1 See his report, O. R., 27, part 2, pp693‑97.

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2 Thomason, 440.

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3 O. R., 27, part 2, p707 ff.

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4 Marshall, 215 ff.

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5 For Stuart's movements in Pennsylvania and for the reasons that prompted them, see H. B. McClellan, 321 ff.; Fitz Lee in 5 S. H. S. P., 166; G. W. Beale, 110 ff. Alexander, op. cit., 378, pointed out that Stuart made another error in leaving Robertson instead of Hampton in command in Virginia. Robertson, according to General Alexander, did not understand his instructions and remained in Virginia until ordered by Lee to join him, as noted in the text, p62.

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Page updated: 26 Jan 15