The wounding and death of General J. E. B. Stuart-several errors corrected.
The following comes from a source entitled to the very highest consideration, and will be read with mournful interest by all who feel-and who does not?--an interest in the minutest details concerning the career and death of our “Flower of cavaliers” :
In the last number of the Historical Papers--that for February, 1879--I find an article entitled The death of Major-General J. E. B. Stuart.
In the main it is true, yet there are several errors that should be corrected ere it becomes a part of history.
In speaking of the dispatch sent to his wife these words occur: “Some thoughtless but unauthorized person, thinking probably to spare his wife pain, altered the dispatch to ‘slightly wounded,’ and it was thus she received it, and did not make that haste which she otherwise would have done to reach his side.”
This is entirely a mistake.
The circumstances were these: as soon as possible after General Stuart reached Richmond, the evening of the 11th May, a telegram was written by Major H. von Borcke, and sent, as he supposed, to Mrs. Stuart, who was at Colonel Edmund Fontaine's, near Beaver Dam station.
It was found to be impossible to send it direct, as all communication had been cut off, both by way of what was then the Central railroad and telegraph line and by the Fredericksburg railroad.
Some delay was thus occasioned, and the dispatch was not actually on its way until the next morning; then it was sent by way of Lynchburg and Gordonsville, and some difficulty attended its transmission by that line.
Colonel Fontaine, with several members of his family, and Mrs. Stuart were that morning (the 12th) at the depot doing all in their power to relieve the many wounded and dying who had been started to Richmond by General Lee, but captured by the Yankees while on their way and left by them at Beaver Dam, two days before.
While there, at about twelve o'clock, Colonel Fontaine received the dispatch, which read as follows: “General Stuart has been seriously wounded; come at once.”
Colonel Fontaine hurried the party home, but did not tell Mrs. Stuart of it; after she reached her own room, the sad news was lovingly broken to her by his gentle and compassionate wife.
Colonel Fontaine had made some arrangement for an engine and car to carry Mrs. Stuart and little children to Ashland, that road not having been destroyed between those points, and at a few minutes after one o'clock they started — there not having been one moment's delay.
The Rev. Dr. Woodbridge, who had been visiting his son, a member of General Stuart's command, reached Beaver Dam that