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Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart

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Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is the first major biography in decades of the famous Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart. Based on research in manuscript collections, personal memoirs and reminiscences, and regimental histories, this comprehensive volume reflects outstanding Civil War scholarship. James Ewell Brown Stuart was the premier cavalry commander of the Confederacy Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is the first major biography in decades of the famous Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart. Based on research in manuscript collections, personal memoirs and reminiscences, and regimental histories, this comprehensive volume reflects outstanding Civil War scholarship. James Ewell Brown Stuart was the premier cavalry commander of the Confederacy. He gained a reputation for daring early in the war when he rode around the Union army in the Peninsula Campaign, providing valuable intelligence to General Robert E. Lee at the expense of Union commander George B. McClellan. Stuart has long been controversial because of his performance in the critical Gettysburg Campaign, where he was out of touch with Lee for several days; this left Lee uncertain about the size and movement of the Union army, information that would prove decisive when the battle began. In an engagement with the cavalry of Union general Philip Sheridan in spring 1864, Stuart was killed. He was only thirty-one. Jeffry D. Wert provides new details about Stuart's childhood and youth, and he draws on letters between Stuart and his wife, Flora, to show us the man as he was: eager for glory, daring sometimes to the point of recklessness, but a devoted and loving husband and father. Stuart has long been regarded as the finest Confederate cavalryman and one of the best this country has ever produced. Wert shows how Stuart's friendship with Stonewall Jackson and his relationship with Lee were crucial; at the same time Stuart's relationships with his subordinates were complicated and sometimes troubled. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is a riveting biography of a towering figure of the Civil War, a fascinating and colorful work by one of our finest Civil War historians.


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Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is the first major biography in decades of the famous Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart. Based on research in manuscript collections, personal memoirs and reminiscences, and regimental histories, this comprehensive volume reflects outstanding Civil War scholarship. James Ewell Brown Stuart was the premier cavalry commander of the Confederacy Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is the first major biography in decades of the famous Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart. Based on research in manuscript collections, personal memoirs and reminiscences, and regimental histories, this comprehensive volume reflects outstanding Civil War scholarship. James Ewell Brown Stuart was the premier cavalry commander of the Confederacy. He gained a reputation for daring early in the war when he rode around the Union army in the Peninsula Campaign, providing valuable intelligence to General Robert E. Lee at the expense of Union commander George B. McClellan. Stuart has long been controversial because of his performance in the critical Gettysburg Campaign, where he was out of touch with Lee for several days; this left Lee uncertain about the size and movement of the Union army, information that would prove decisive when the battle began. In an engagement with the cavalry of Union general Philip Sheridan in spring 1864, Stuart was killed. He was only thirty-one. Jeffry D. Wert provides new details about Stuart's childhood and youth, and he draws on letters between Stuart and his wife, Flora, to show us the man as he was: eager for glory, daring sometimes to the point of recklessness, but a devoted and loving husband and father. Stuart has long been regarded as the finest Confederate cavalryman and one of the best this country has ever produced. Wert shows how Stuart's friendship with Stonewall Jackson and his relationship with Lee were crucial; at the same time Stuart's relationships with his subordinates were complicated and sometimes troubled. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is a riveting biography of a towering figure of the Civil War, a fascinating and colorful work by one of our finest Civil War historians.

30 review for Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Alkire

    Ok biography. The bits about Stuart himself were interesting. The rest of the biography detailing the battles and his interactions with Lee and Jackson much less so. The book suffers from the slows, too much battle analysis especially since Stuart’s horse artillery seemed to play a more important role in the battles than the horse Calvary. They only seemed useful for scouting, raiding and screening, facts which became repetitive in the book. The writing didn’t help the cause, it was rather dull Ok biography. The bits about Stuart himself were interesting. The rest of the biography detailing the battles and his interactions with Lee and Jackson much less so. The book suffers from the slows, too much battle analysis especially since Stuart’s horse artillery seemed to play a more important role in the battles than the horse Calvary. They only seemed useful for scouting, raiding and screening, facts which became repetitive in the book. The writing didn’t help the cause, it was rather dull and detailed. Thus, this biggest problem with this book in content. For every sentence showing an aspect of Stuart’s life, there are four or five about a battle, campaign or his relationship with Jackson or Lee. This would have been ok if I hadn’t already read essentially the same thing in a Jackson or Lee biography or general work about the war. It just got old fast. Much better in the pre-war chapters. So, I ended up a bit disappointed with this biography. So, I give this a 3. It’s interesting when focused on Stuart, dull in every other respect, which, unfortunately, is a good chunk of the book. If you’re familiar with the battles and the other generals, might be best to skim those parts.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Williams

    The Custer of the Confederacy J.E.B. Stuart was a brilliant and hardworking cavalry general. Wert does a great job showing Stuart's humanity, his leadership and his flaws. The greatest of which was his vainglory. That was perhaps the saddest part of Wert's very fine biography, to see such a great soldier let his desire for acclaim get in the way of making good decisions at important moments - most certainly a lesson in leadership and something to be cognizant of in assessing leadership both milit The Custer of the Confederacy J.E.B. Stuart was a brilliant and hardworking cavalry general. Wert does a great job showing Stuart's humanity, his leadership and his flaws. The greatest of which was his vainglory. That was perhaps the saddest part of Wert's very fine biography, to see such a great soldier let his desire for acclaim get in the way of making good decisions at important moments - most certainly a lesson in leadership and something to be cognizant of in assessing leadership both military and civilian. Wert does a great job characterizing Stuart, both in his relationships with his peers and his family, in a nicely crafted narrative biography. A commendable and balanced work.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    A great biography of Jeb Stuart, this book is more about Stuart and not so much about the civil war battles although you can't really separate the two. I really enjoyed the book and its nice to be reading some non fiction especially since I'm so interested in the Civil War. I cried when Jeb was shot even though he's been dead for 146 years! Next book I'll read will be on Robert E. Lee.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim Doyle

    Very good and thorough content within the book. Excellent biography on JEB. Lacking in graphic representations of the battles described within it's pages. Wert outlines important and complicated battles with well organized prose, but without the visual depiction of a map or battle sketch it is extremely difficult to follow. If he had included maps depicting the battles he describes in great detail, this biography could have been among the best

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Engel

    Good expansion of the general information about Stuart. Story was well told and held my interest.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Stuart was audacious but overrated. Forrest and several Union cavalry leaders were better. Well researched and written. Publishers Weekly Review: Wert (The Sword of Lincoln) adds to his status as a top-ranking Civil War scholar in this excellent biography of the Confederacy's best-known cavalry general. Jeb Stuart's reputation has faded somewhat in recent years, particularly for his alleged failures during the Gettysburg campaign. Wert integrates comprehensive archival and printed sources to descr Stuart was audacious but overrated. Forrest and several Union cavalry leaders were better. Well researched and written. Publishers Weekly Review: Wert (The Sword of Lincoln) adds to his status as a top-ranking Civil War scholar in this excellent biography of the Confederacy's best-known cavalry general. Jeb Stuart's reputation has faded somewhat in recent years, particularly for his alleged failures during the Gettysburg campaign. Wert integrates comprehensive archival and printed sources to describe a man shaped by a zest for life, religious faith and devotion to duty, who from his youth sought achievement and recognition. Soldiering promised both. The initial dominance of Confederate cavalry in the east during the Civil War was a product of Stuart's skills as leader and organizer, trainer and tactician. Above all he was a master at reconnaissance and screening. His decision at Gettysburg to ride around the Union army instead of rejoining Robert E. Lee was a mistake. But its serious consequences were in good part due to Lee's dependence on his now-absent source of reconnaissance, and the Union cavalry's ability to learn from repeated defeat at Stuart's hands. Wert's biography goes far in restoring Stuart's claim to be the greatest cavalry officer ever foaled in America.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Cavalryman of the Lost Cause by Jeffry Wert covers the life of J.E.B. Stuart the great cavalry general of the Confederacy. If Stonewall Jackson was the right arm of Lee then Stuart was the left and Wert takes great care and detail to show us why in this biography. Stuart was the undisputed master of cavalry tactics for the early part of the war and eventually the Union was able to train up their cavalry to meet his but for the early part of the war he simply dominated the battle field. His flaws Cavalryman of the Lost Cause by Jeffry Wert covers the life of J.E.B. Stuart the great cavalry general of the Confederacy. If Stonewall Jackson was the right arm of Lee then Stuart was the left and Wert takes great care and detail to show us why in this biography. Stuart was the undisputed master of cavalry tactics for the early part of the war and eventually the Union was able to train up their cavalry to meet his but for the early part of the war he simply dominated the battle field. His flaws and vanity are shown throughout the book and he does a great job of showing why Stuart made the decisions he did. Overall among the better biographies on Stuart and well worth the time from one of the great Civil War historians.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Good read on the life of Confederate general James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart. He led cavalry operations in some of the battles that were fought in the Civil War. Both General Lee and Jackson utilized Jeb Stuart's cavalry. This also tells of what life was like for a cavalry soldier in the Confederate Army. An Interesting side note, Stuart was working on developing a saber hook or a method to improve attaching a saber to belts. He was later shot and died of his wounds during the Battle at Yellow Ta Good read on the life of Confederate general James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart. He led cavalry operations in some of the battles that were fought in the Civil War. Both General Lee and Jackson utilized Jeb Stuart's cavalry. This also tells of what life was like for a cavalry soldier in the Confederate Army. An Interesting side note, Stuart was working on developing a saber hook or a method to improve attaching a saber to belts. He was later shot and died of his wounds during the Battle at Yellow Tavern by a trooper from Custer's Michigan cavalry division.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I really enjoyed this book. It has been a LONG time since I have read a biography for pleasure. It was recommended by a friend on another forum so I decided to try it. I do like the civil war and I like to read about it, especially the southern generals. It was a good read that kept me entertained and also taught me a few things about General Stuart.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeremey M

    Really enjoyable look into the life of one of the great heroes of the 1800's. If I had any real criticism of the book it would be the lack of maps, and the placement of them within the book. The maps provided are often lacking and can break immersion within the reading. Other than this it was very nicely written.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    A Virginian Hero The book is so real and intense you feel you are at the General's side the whole time. It demonstrates great depth into the, man that was the confederate knight. By living in Virginia in the areas fought and died in. History was made alive for the places written of.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Interesting biography of J.E.B. Stuart from his early years to his death. His marriage, realtionships to Jackson and Robert E. Lee and his rivalries all paint an all too human portrait of a man who I previously never knew.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Belcher

    I have always known the basics of Jeb Stuart, but this book gave extensive insight to the man. Not only aspects of the war that I hadn't quite known, but of the man. Good must read for anyone interested in the Civil War.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I love all things about the civil war, but I tried & tried and just couldn't get into this book. I love all things about the civil war, but I tried & tried and just couldn't get into this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dan Paget

    Good overall biography Good overall biography of JEB Stuart for those who want to learn about this General. It's a good read and it is easy to follow

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Excellent!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Avis Black

    If you like a junior-high-level biography written by an author who thinks it's dangerous to trust his readers with too much knowledge or let them think for themselves, go ahead.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    This handsome soldier was another waste of life in a war that had to be. He was an interesting soul and had a lot in common with Stonewall Jackson. Interesting book, great time line info.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bill Patten

  20. 4 out of 5

    L.A. EATON

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joe Zillmer

  22. 5 out of 5

    G Wheeler

  23. 5 out of 5

    Randy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan M List

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim Doppel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Gibson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Richard Kevin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Art

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric Walters

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