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Stuart's ride around McClellan. by W. T. Robins, Colonel, C. S. A. Trooper of the Virginia cavalry, 1861. The battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, had been fought with no result. The temporary success of the Confederates early in the engagement had been more than counterbalanced by the reverses they sustained on the second day, and the two armies lay passively watching each other in front of Richmond. At this time the cavalry of Lee's army was commanded by General J. E. B. Stuart, and this restless officer conceived the idea of flanking the right wing of the Federal army near Ashland, and moving around to the rear, to cross the Chickahominy River at a place called Sycamore Ford, in New Kent County, march over to the James River, and return to the Confederate lines near Deep Bottom, in Henrico County. In carrying out this plan, Stuart would completely encircle the army of General McClellan. At the time of this movement the writer was adjutant of the 9th Virginia cavalry