Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Mitchell, Adele H., ed. The Letters of Major General James E.B. Stuart. [S.l.]: Stuart-Mosby Historical Society, 1990.
As one who has studied General Stuart, his life, and his campaigns at length, I can say that it is impossible to know the man (however imperfectly at the remove of nearly a century-and-a-half) without having read and re-read this rare, important, and unique collection of his letters.
From the Introduction by Col. James Ewell Brown Stuart, IV (U.S. Army, Ret.):
“General Stuart was an outstanding military leader who brought the arm of Cavalry to a level that had not before been achieved. He used his position to serve as an inspiration for all of those who served with him, not only subordinates, but also contemporaries. The method he used to inspire his men against formidable odds can be best summarized with a statement he made: ‘The only way we can whip the enemy is through a greater spirit and desire to win—I must strive to inculcate in my men the spirit of the chase.’ General John Sedgwick of the Union Army was quoted as saying: ‘Stuart was the best Cavalry Officer ever foaled in America’.”