General J.E.B. StuartThe Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1189, p.192.
February 21, 1863
The accompanying Portrait of the dashing cavalry officer, General Stuart--the Murat of the Confederates; their Prince Rupert, with more than that Prince's success--cannot fail to be of interest to our readers. It is from a Sketch by our Special Artist in the Confederate camp, Northern Virginia, to which General Stuart is attached. Appended are some remarks respecting the General by the Richmond correspondent of the Times:--"While in the Shenandoah Valley the achievements of General Jackson have aroused towards him a generous feeling of gratitude for danger averted and prosperity preserved it is doubtful whether east of the Blue Ridge the twenty-nine years of General Stuart, added to that indefatigable energy which teaches him, after he has ridden fifty miles during the day, to regard it as his highest happiness to ride a dozen more miles at night 'to tread but one measure' in a Virginian country-house, do not incline the scale, especially if the balance be adjusted by fair hands, in favour of the younger General. There have been many English officers, particularly in the East Indian service, whose endurance in the saddle has been regarded as unequalled; but I doubt whether any Englishman ever exhibited such superiority to bodily fatigue as is almost nightly evinced by the gay cavalier who knows every hospitable roof within a dozen miles of his head-quarters (and what roof is not hospitable?), and, accompanied by his banjo-player, visits them by turns night after night, returning usually to his hard-earned rest long after the midnight hour has flown. With the earliest dawn of morning the first voice calling gaily for breakfast is that of the midnight merrymaker, who rises the picture of health, goodhumour, and strength. It may be noticed en passant that to the circumstance that he has never touched tobacco in any form, or any wine or other liquor, General Stuart attributes much of his health and vigour. Certainly so jovial a company as is assembled at General Stuart's head-quarters it has never been my fortune to see parallelled in either the Federal or the Confederate camps."
In the Times of Tuesday appeared a letter from its special correspondent at the head-quarters of General Stuart, near Fredericksburg, Virginia, dated Jan. 1, containing an account of another of Stuart's raids of which some particulars had previously reached us:--"The return this evening of General Stuart and his staff has shed a glow of cheerfulness throughout the camp, and has afforded much merriment by reason of the incidents which accompanied this expedition, and of which every one is talking. It appears that General Stuart started upon Christmas Eve with a considerable force of cavalry in the direction of Dumfries, distant about thirty miles from these head-quarters. Thence he proceeded towards Occoquan Creek, where, as well as at Dumfries, he had skirmishes with the enemy, during which he took about 200 prisoners, and inflicted some loss upon them, himself sustaining the loss of only one man, Captain Bullock (a very gallant officer), who, it is feared, was mortally wounded. After crossing Occoquan Creek, General Stuart struck the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and at Burke's station burst into the room where the telegraph operator was at work, and commanded him, upon pain of instant death if he misinterpreted, to read off the messages which the click of the instrument pronounced to be at that moment passing along the wires. In this manner General Stuart learnt the movements which General Heintzelman and other Federal Generals were concerting with a view to intercept his retreat, and altered his course so as to baffle their preparations. The luckless telegraph operator and his fellow-prisoners--all of them dismounted cavalry soldiers--were started off on foot to walk forty-five miles to Culpepper station, in order that they might learn by practical experience what a long and weary travel was requisite to carry them to that Richmond which they have been so long in reaching. The submarine telegraph clock found at Burke's station is now a valuable acquisition at General Stuart's head-quarters, and will probably be the guide by which many a future reveillée and tattoo will be sounded. After leaving Burke's station General Stuart proceeded towards Alexandria, within eight miles of which town he turned towards the north-west, and returned hither by a circuit which brought him through Warrenton--which town was occupied by a large body of Yankee cavalry a few hours after General Stuart had passed through it--and Culpepper, thus concluding an expedition less important, but not less successful, than its predecessors."