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

Stuart's Ride

Passing through the Line

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

Stuart's Ride Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Dean, April 19, 2022
1. Stuart's Ride Marker
Inscription.  The fortifications here was part of the outer defensive line begun during the Peninsula Campaugn to protect the Confederate capital of Richmond. At 5 A.M. on June 12, 1862, Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and 1,200 cavalrymen, including several who knew the local roads, left their camps on the Mordecai and Young farms just behind you and passed through the line here. The newly appointed Confederate commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee, had ordered Stuart's cavalry to probe the Federal army for weaknesses and to locate the positions of the Union flanks. Riding north on the Brook Turnpike (to your right) the column passed through the outer defenses at this point to begin what became Stuart's famed ride that encircled Union Gen. George B. McClellan's army. It gave Lee the vital information he needed to launch the offensive known as the Seven Days' Battles on June 26.

On June 3, 1862, Lee ordered Confederate engineer Maj. Walter H. Stevens to identify positions for Richmond's fortifications. The next day, Lee ordered division commanders to designate 300—man "working parties" for the task. Confederate soldiers quickly constructed simple trenches
Earthworks image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, May 26, 2012
2. Earthworks
Preserved section of earthworks near the marker.
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and rifle pits here, above swampy Brook Run, a natural defensive position. Soon after, an artillery battery added gun emplacements like this one. By July 1863, other Confederate soldiers built stronger earthworks linking the batteries. The works were largely unoccupied in March 1864, when Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick's cavalrymen captured a few pickets in rifle pits near here.

During the Civil War, Confederate authorities drafted enslaved men to construct, maintain, link, and strengthen fortifications. Typically, Confederate soldiers performed the work when assigned to hold certain positions. Available records suggest that they constructed the first works built here, as well as the artillery positions, but it is probable that unrecorded enslaved laborers strengthened and joined the works that became the miles-long Outer Line. Later, as the opportunity presented itself, many thousands of enslaved workers and their families escaped to Union Vines, virtually emptying the Confederate labor pool.

Stuart's Ride Route
Richmond defenses, June 1862 All images courtesy Library of Congress
Soldiers constructing earthworks, New York Illustrated News, June 22, 1861

Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker
Brook Run at Brook Road bridge. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, February 1, 2009
3. Brook Run at Brook Road bridge.
This stream, located 600 yards north of the fortifications, formed a natural defensive barrier. Brook Road was the main artery approaching Richmond from the north.
is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 12, 1862.
Location. 37° 36.656′ N, 77° 27.502′ W. Marker is near Richmond, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker can be reached from Brook Road (U.S. 1) 0.1 miles north of Brook Run Drive, on the left when traveling north. Located in Brook Run shopping plaza. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond VA 23227, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Fortifications (a few steps from this marker); The Fort Under Attack (within shouting distance of this marker); Gabriel’s Insurrection (within shouting distance of this marker); Richmond Defences (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Brook Road (about 400 feet away); Outer Fortifications (about 400 feet away); Campaign of 1781 (about 400 feet away); Emmanuel Church at Brook Hill Episcopal (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Old Marker At This Location also titled "Stuart's Ride".
Credits. This page was last revised on April 22, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 21, 2022, by James Dean of Chesterfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 106 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on April 19, 2022, by James Dean of Chesterfield, Virginia.   2. submitted on May 27, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on February 8, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 22, 2023