Saturday, September 12, 2009

Current Reading: Riding with Stuart

Garnett, Theodore Stanford, and Robert J. Trout. Riding with Stuart: Reminiscences of an Aide-de-Camp. Shippensburg, Pa.: White Mane Pub. Co., 1994.

Garnett (d. 1915) was an aide-de-camp to Confederate cavalryman Gen. Jeb Stuart, and this slim volume provides his reminiscences of the period October 1863-May 1864. Very ably edited by Robert J. Trout, who perhaps knows Stuart’s military household as well as anyone, its centerpiece is Garnett’s “Continuation of War Sketches,” covering Auburn, the Mine Run campaign, and the Overland campaign through Yellow Tavern and Stuart’s death.

Garnett’s recollection of Stuart’s mortal wounding at Yellow Tavern is perhaps the most expansive we have and is quite valuable in its own right.

The book also includes a biographical sketch of Garnett by editor Trout and the text of Garnett’s address delivered at the unveiling of Stuart’s equestrian monument in Richmond, Va., in 1907.

Garnett was a perceptive young man, and his reminiscences, though written many decades after the events they describe, provide a glimpse of a period little discussed in other memoirs of Stuart’s headquarters.

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