Tragedy and triumph

In late 1862 and early 1863, Stuart and his cavalry suffered a number of serious setbacks. First, in November 1862, Stuart learned that one of his young daughters had died of a fever.

Then, in the first months of 1863, several of his most trusted lieutenants were killed in battle. Finally, the improved performance of Union cavalry forces around this time made scouting missions much more dangerous for Stuart and his men.

Nonetheless, Stuart's cavalry forces continued to serve the South with great effectiveness. At the end of 1862, for instance, Stuart led a successful raid deep into Northern territory. And in May 1863, the magnificent performance of Stuart and his cavalry helped the Confederacy win the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. First, Stuart's cavalry tricked a large Union army into stopping in a poor defensive position. Then, Stuart took command of a corps of Confederate infantrymen after their leader, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863; see entry), was wounded in battle. The actions of Stuart and his men helped Lee defeat a much bigger army and secure his greatest victory of the entire war.

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