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Near Ararat in Patrick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“Stuart the Raider”

 
 
"Stuart the Raider" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 21, 2012
1. "Stuart the Raider" Marker
Inscription. "Raiding with General Stuart is poor fun and a hard business. Thunder, lighting, rain, storm, mud, nor darkness can stop him when he is on a warm fresh trail of Yankee game." Horse artilleryman George M. Neese's opinion of Stuart following the Catlett's Station Raid in August 1862 holds many truths to Stuart's success as a raider. Though many times today's perception of Stuart's raids is that of a romp behind enemy lines, defying and fooling a bewildered foe at every turn, the truth is closer to Neese's summary of "poor fun and a hard business." Stuart just made it look easy.

In June 1862 when Stuart launched his reconnaissance-in-force of the right flank of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's army that was poised to capture Richmond no one knew what a remarkable feat the world was about to witness. Robert E. Lee needed information in order to plan the salvation of the Confederacy's capital and Stuart was sent to get it. Once the information was obtained Stuart faced the problem of returning to Lee through what he knew would be a gauntlet of enemy troops waiting to destroy or capture him. The decision Stuart made marked him as one of the greatest cavalrymen of all time. Solid reasoning showed him his route home but it was his daring that allowed him to execute it. He did not turn back the way he came, but rode on, completely around
"Stuart the Raider" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 21, 2012
2. "Stuart the Raider" Marker
McClellan's army. With courage and speed the daring gray cavalry overcame every obstacle it faced along the one hundred-mile ride to safety. When at last Stuart and his gallant cavaliers rode into Richmond they were greeted as heroes. They had accomplished what no other cavalry had ever done in the history of warfare - ride completely around an enemy army. The world sang Stuart's praises, but he was just getting started.

The success Stuart achieved as a raider highlighted a number or his talents as a leader and a commander of cavalry. He planned carefully, making sure he had men with him who the territory he would be passing through, and calculated his route accordingly. He took the best officers and men available to do the job. He moved with clarity and speed toward his target. He faced difficulties with courage and boldness when required and with deception and caution when necessary. He left little to chance but was always aggressive when chance placed him in a difficult situation. His ability to make quick decisions under pressure saved him on more than one occasion. His formula for success allowed for very little "fun" and was indeed a "hard business."

Surprisingly, Stuart spent only twenty-six days of his career raiding. Yet for many students of the war Stuart is known primarily as a raider. His greatest contributions to the army lay in his talent as
"Stuart the Raider" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 21, 2012
3. "Stuart the Raider" Marker
far left marker
a reconnaissance/counter-reconnaissance officer, but had he not had success as a raider, he may not have gained the fame he enjoys today. Stuart and raiding seemed to go together. Nobody did it better.
Robert J. Trout

This sign is a gift of
The Families of Jim "Matt" Wood - 6th Virginia Cavalry and
Charles Alexander Powell - Ringold Artillery

 
Location. 36° 33.777′ N, 80° 33.132′ W. Marker is near Ararat, Virginia, in Patrick County. Marker can be reached from Ararat Highway. Touch for map. Located on the grounds of the Jeb Stuart Birthplace (Laurel Hill). Marker is at or near this postal address: 1091 Ararat Hwy, Ararat VA 24053, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Stuart the Scout" (here, next to this marker); "Stuart the Commander" (here, next to this marker); "Stuart the Leader" (here, next to this marker); The "Lee" Tree (here, next to this marker); "Flora and Jeb" (here, next to this marker); Historic Roadbed (within shouting distance of this marker); House Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Stuart Graveyard (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ararat.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
"Stuart the Raider" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 21, 2012
4. "Stuart the Raider" Marker
far left marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 22, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 185 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 22, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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