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Opportunities Gained And Lost: J. E. B. Stuart’s Cavalry Operations In The Seven Days Campaign

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Length: 108 pages2 hours

Summary

This study evaluates Confederate cavalry operations 12 June to 3 July 1862, as a prelude to and as a part of the “Seven Days Campaign.” General Robert E. Lee’s Seven Days Campaign succeeded in defeating a Union offensive aimed at Richmond, Virginia and served as an important turning point in the American Civil War. The thesis seeks to determine the substantive contributions General J. E. B. Stuart’s cavalry brigade made to this Confederate victory, as well as to assess the strengths and shortcomings of his particular style of mounted employment
Stuart launched an armed reconnaissance 12-15 June 1862 known thereafter as the “Chickahominy Raid” that provided intelligence vital to General Lee’s success in the campaign and helped to bolster sagging Confederate morale. This was the first of the Confederate cavalry leader’s renowned “raids,” a style of operation that would be adopted by other Confederate mounted units and the Union cavalry as well. Stuart also attempted to strike out independently during the Seven Days Campaign itself, but his activities in this regard were not well synchronized with the rest of Lee’s army. As a result, Stuart missed opportunities to play a more decisive role in the battles outside Richmond.

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