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 Major-General James Ewell Brown Stuart, chief of cavalry of the army of Northern Virginia, was born in Patrick county, Va., February 6, 1833. His ancestry in America began with Archibald Stuart, who sought refuge from religious persecution in western Pennsylvania in 1726, and subsequently removed with his family to Augusta county, Va., about 1738. The next generation was distinguished by the services of Maj. Alexander Stuart, who fell dangerously wounded while commanding his regiment at Guilford Court House. John Alexander, son of the latter, spent part of his life in the West, serving as Federal judge in Illinois and Missouri, and as speaker of the house in the latter State. His son, Archibald Stuart, lawyer, soldier of 1812, representative in Virginia legislatures and conventions, married a descendant of the distinguished Letcher family, and their son became the brilliant Virginia cavalry leader. General Stuart pursued his youthful studies at Emory and Henry college, and then entering the National military academy, was graduated in 1854, and was commissioned second lieutenant in October of that year. He served in Texas against the Apaches with the mounted riflemen until transferred to the new First cavalry in May, 1855, with which he served at Fort Leavenworth. November 14, 1855, he was married at Fort Riley to the daughter of Col. Philip St. George Cooke, and in the following month he was promoted first lieutenant. He remained on the frontier and in Kansas, and was wounded at the Indian battle of Solomon's River in 1857. At Washington, in 1859, he carried secret instructions to Col. R. E. Lee, and accompanied that officer as aide, against the outbreak at Harper's Ferry, where he read the summons to surrender to the leader, theretofore known as ‘Smith,’ but whom he recognized at once as ‘Ossawatomie’ Brown of Kansas. Lieutenant Stuart received a commission as captain from Washington in April, 1861, but he had decided to go with Virginia, and tendered her his services as soon as his resignation was accepted, May 7th. He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of Virginia infantry, May 10, 1861, with orders to report to Jackson at Harper's Ferry, and was promoted colonel July 16th. With about 350 cavalrymen he at once assumed the duties which distinguished his service throughout the war. He became the eye of the army under Jackson and
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