The Civil War at 150 - Jeb Stuart's Famous Ride
by Walter Coffey on 06/30/12
On the Virginia
Peninsula near Richmond, George McClellan spent most of June
1862 trying to determine the size and position of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army.
While President Lincoln repeatedly urged McClellan to attack, Lee prepared for
an attack of his own. After renaming his new force the Army of Northern
Virginia, Lee dispatched his cavalry commander, General Jeb Stuart, to
reconnoiter McClellan’s lines.
Stuart’s expedition became a
famous four-day ride around the entire Army of the Potomac
while McClellan did little to oppose it. This became a daring and sensational
morale booster for the Confederacy. More importantly, the ride provided Lee
vital information that he used to prepare for his upcoming offensive to drive
the Federals off the Peninsula.