“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Charles City in Charles City County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Stuart's Ride

Coffee at Rowland’s


—1862 Peninsula Campaign —

Stuart's Ride CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 15, 2012
1. Stuart's Ride CWT Marker
Inscription. In May 1862, Union Gen. George B. McClellan led the Army of the Potomac up the Peninsula to the gates of Richmond. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia in June and began planning a counterattack. On June 12, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart led 1,200 cavalrymen on a daring 3-day reconnaissance and discovered that the Union right was unsecured. Stuart’s “Ride around McClellan” gave Lee the vital information he needed to launch the offensive known as the Seven Days’ Battles on June 26.

In the early evening of June 14, 1862, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and a small escort set out for Richmond from six miles east of here to report to Gen. Robert E. Lee at his Dabbs House headquarters. Stuart halted briefly here at Richard S. Rowland’s house for a strong cup of coffee, having left his exhausted cavalrymen at Buckland under the command of Col. Fitzhugh Lee (Gen. Lee’s nephew), and then continued west. Eager to report and to get his story in the newspapers to bolster the Confederate capital’s confidence, Stuart and his small party covered the last 30-mile leg of the ride before daylight, much of it across ground still behind Union lines.

During Stuart’s Ride, the Confederates captured 170 Federal prisoners, 200 wagons, and 300 horses and mules, and also burned two Federal warships. Stuart
Edgewood Plantation (Rowland's) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 15, 2012
2. Edgewood Plantation (Rowland's)
showed that the Federal cavalry, which failed to stop the raid, was unequal to the organization and training of Confederate cavalry at this stage in the war.

In little more than two weeks after Stuart’s visit, 100,000 Union soldiers teemed over the ground from here to Harrison’s Landing. Union Gen. George B. McClellan, who completed his “change of base” to the James River after the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, camped here with his army for the next six weeks.

“One night we heard the cavalry passing on the road up to Richmond. We heard at Mr. Rowland’s next day it was General Stuart’s men who had passed around McClellan’s army. This was a singular situation for the Yankee army to be in. …Stuart’s raid around his [McClellan’s] army should have taught him the danger of his position.” - George Randolph Wood journal Courtesy Mariners’ Museum

Coffee, Richmonders’ preferred beverage, was already becoming scarce by the time Stuart arrived at Rowland’s house in June 1862. Four pounds cost $.50 in 1860 and $20 by 1863. By late in the war, coffee was virtually unobtainable at any price
Erected 2012 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 19.839′ N, 77° 11.205′ W. Marker is near Charles City, Virginia, in Charles City County. Marker can be reached from John Tyler Memorial Highway (Virginia Route 5) 0.2 miles east of Herring Creek Road (Virginia Route 633), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located in the parking lot of Edgewood Plantation. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4800 John Tyler Memorial Hwy, Charles City VA 23030, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First English Thanksgiving in Virginia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Berkeley Plantation or Harrison's Landing (approx. 0.2 miles away); Westover (approx. 0.2 miles away); Herring Creek & Kimages (approx. 0.2 miles away); Berkeley and Harrison's Landing (approx. 0.9 miles away); First Official Thanksgiving (approx. one mile away); Origin of Taps (approx. 1.1 miles away); Benjamin Harrison (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Charles City.
More about this marker. (captions)
Gen. J.E.B. Stuart Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Fitzhugh Lee Courtesy Library of Congress
Richard S. Rowland House (new owner Mamie Drewry renamed it Edgewood in 1899) Courtesy Julian and Dot Boulware
Rowland’s Mill operated through the 1930s - Courtesy Valentine Richmond History Center
Also see . . .
1. Richmond Discoveries - Stuart's Ride. Information and map of the Stuart's Ride Civil War Trail (pdf file). (Submitted on December 16, 2012.) 

2. Edgewood. (Submitted on December 16, 2012.)
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 385 times since then and 114 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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