The famous General “Jeb
was, perhaps, the most picturesque figure moving on the great arena of the late civil war. Young, gay, gallant; wearing a uniform brilliant with gold braid, golden spurs, and a hat looped up with a golden star and decorated with a black plume; going on marches at the head of his column with his banjo-player gayly thrumming behind him; leading his troops to battle with a camp song on his lips; here to-day and away to-morrow, raiding, fighting, laughing, dancing, and as famous for his gallantry toward women as for his reckless courage.
was in every particular a singular and striking human being, drawing to himself the strongest public interest both as a man and a soldier.
Of his military ability as a cavalry leader, General Sedgwick
probably summed up the general opinion when he said: “Stuart
is the best cavalryman ever foaled in North America
Of his courage, devotion, and many lovable traits, General Lee
bore his testimony on his death, when he retired to his tent with the words: “I can scarcely think of him without weeping.”
thus made a very strong impression both on the people at large and on the eminent soldiers with whom he was associated, and a sketch of him ought to interest, if faithfully drawn.
The writer of this paper believes it is in his power to present such a sketch, having enjoyed his personal friendship, and observed him during a large part of his career; and the aim will be to make the likeness presented as accurate as possible to the original.
Up to the outbreak of the war Stuart
's life was scarcely marked by any incident of interest.
He was a native of Patrick county