Jeb Stuart in the Gettysburg Campaign: The Ride, the Battle, the Retreat, the Controversy

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Wednesday, August 1 (7:30PM) to Saturday, August 4, 2012  (5:00pm)
Led by Ed Bearss, Horace Mewborn and Bob O’Neill
Based in Leesburg, VA
Tour Registration Fee: $495.00

Ever since the Gettysburg campaign ended, participants, historians and Civil War enthusiasts have debated the results of Jeb Stuart’s ride to Gettysburg, placing blame, on one hand, or exonerating the “Bold Dragoon” on the other hand, for his decisions. Some have said Stuart’s delay in reaching the Confederate army in Pennsylvania may have cost General Robert E. Lee the battle. Others contend Stuart’s absence made little difference in the military scheme of things. Our “Jeb Stuart in the Gettysburg Campaign” tour will try to sort out these issues by retracing the steps the Gray Cavalier took once he left his commander on June 24, 1863. We will cover Stuart’s ride, his contribution to the battle itself, his part in Lee’s retreat and the ongoing controversy surrounding his performance. Our analysis will include the facts, the geography, the myths and the unanswered questions about Stuart’s decisions.

We think this tour is unique in that it will start Stuart’s ride to Gettysburg at its very beginning, in Loudoun County, Virginia. Our first day will concentrate Stuart’s ride south of the Potomac which will give you the uncommon experience of seeing just how far Stuart rode to get around the Union army. Even by motor coach you’ll see it was a truly circuitous route. Our first stop will be the Caleb Rector House where Stuart and Col. John S. Mosby met to discuss how the Confederate cavalry would circumvent the Army of the Potomac. Then we’ll go to Salem (present-day Marshall) where the Confederate cavalry assembled. You will see the controversial Glasscock’s Gap which Stuart’s troopers rode thru, perhaps on Mosby’s recommendation. We’ll pass near Buckland Mills and Brentsville on our way to Wolf Run Shoals where Stuart’s horsemen splashed across the Occoquan River. We’ll stop in Fairfax Station where Confederate troopers had a sharp skirmish with the 11th New York Cavalry. We’ll end our day at Rowser’s Ford on the Potomac River, the crossing which put Stuart in Maryland.

On our second day we’ll pick up Stuart’s route at Violet’s Lock on the north side of the Potomac, continuing to Rockville, Maryland where he captured the infamous wagon train which encumbered his march for the remainder of his ride. We’ll follow Stuart’s route thru Maryland, stopping at Westminster where units of the 1st Delaware cavalry made a valiant but vain attempt to stop the Confederate brigades. We’ll drive thru Union Mills where Stuart camped on the night of June 29. We’ll stop in Hanover, Pennsylvania where Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s Third Cavalry Division’s street fighting which forced the Confederate commander to detour to the northeast, losing more time in getting back to Lee. We’ll also stop in Carlisle, parts of which were shelled by Stuart’s Horse Artillery on July 1. We will spend the afternoon walking the East Cavalry battlefield near Gettysburg, made famous by the saber-to-saber charges of Stuart’s cavalrymen and Union Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s Michigan Brigade.

On our third day we will return to Gettysburg to begin Lee’s retreat, where Stuart’s 125 captured wagons proved a godsend for thousands of Southern wounded. Stuart’s cavalry was just as active during Lee’s retreat as it was prior to the battle. We’ll follow the retreat route covering both the major and minor engagements such as Fairfield, Monterey Pass, Smithsburg, Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Funkstown, and Falling Waters. Most of these actions pitted Brig. Gen. John Buford’s and Kilpatrick’s cavalry divisions against Stuart’s weary troopers as they continued a steadfast resistance until Lee’s depleted ranks re-crossed the Potomac.

Registration Fee: $495.00

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of three experienced tour guides/historians. Our headquarters hotel will provide a complimentary hot breakfast buffet each morning. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotel, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Dinner is on your own. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Hotel: We have arranged with the headquarters hotel for a group rate of $99.00 per night plus tax. Please call the Hampton Inn and Suites, 117 Fort Evans Rd NE, Leesburg, VA 20176 at 703-669-8640 and ask for the America’s History group rate. This rate will be guaranteed until July 11, 2012, so please make your reservations early.

About our Tour Guides/Historians:

Ed Bearss, one of America’s best known history tour leaders and speakers, was Chief Historian of the National Park Service. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg: The Campaigns That Changed the Civil War. He also serves as a consultant to Gettysburg magazine. Ed has led hundreds of Gettysburg tours over the years. The Washington Post described his style as “Homeric monologues” and the Wall Street Journal wrote that he evokes “almost hallucinatory sensations.”

Horace Mewborn is an experienced tour leader, lecturer and co-author of the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry: Mosby’s Command. He compiled and edited From Mosby’s Command: Newspaper Letters & Articles by and about John S. Mosby and his Rangers, and has written several feature issues for Blue & Gray magazine including “Stuart’s Ride Around McClelland” and three articles on Mosby’s Confederacy. He is currently writing a regimental history of White’s 35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry and a history of the North Carolina cavalry brigade.

Robert F. O’Neill is an author, cavalry historian, and experienced battlefield guide. Bob has written articles for Blue & Gray and Civil War magazines. His study of the cavalry fighting in Loudoun County entitled The Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville: Small But Important Riots June 10-27, 1863 is considered the definitive book on these battles. His soon to be published book on the Union cavalry in northern Virginia from Second Manassas to Gettysburg is tentatively entitled Chasing Stuart and Mosby.

Bruce M. Venter, president of America’s History is an experienced tour leader and lecturer whose special interest is Union cavalry and General Judson Kilpatrick.

Register Online (Pay in Full only. Please use the phone registration option to make other payment arrangements.):

Register By Phone:

Phone: 1-855-OUR-HISTORY (687-4478)

Register by e-mail:

Register by Postal Mail:

America’s History LLC, P. O. Box 1076, Goochland, VA 23063

Leave a Reply

Customized by 2 Smart Chix LLC
%d bloggers like this: