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river between the Union army and Washington, riding up into Pennsylvania to the west of Meade's army. It proved an ill-advised movement. Stuart was forced to make a wide detour and did not reach the battlefield at Gettysburg until the evening of the second day's fight. Thus Lee was deprived of his cavalry at an important crisis in his career and lost all the advantage which he might have obtained from Stuart's presence. All the latter was able to do was to take part in the closing struggle and to cover the rear of Lee's retreating army.
In the months that followed Stuart had many encounters with the Federal cavalry, the most striking being during Lee's movement towards Washington in October, when in one of his movements he found himself hemmed in between two Federal corps and in a very perilous position. His first. impulse was to abandon his guns and wagons and attempt a speedy flight under cover of the darkness, but he finally decided upon another plan.
Hiding his men in one of those dense thickets of small pine saplings which cover old fields in Virginia, he sent out three men dressed in Federal uniforms, who, by mingling with the Union columns, managed to escape and reach Lee, whom they told of Stuart's plight. Help was at once sent, and under cover of the confusion caused by a cannonade of the Union lines the bold cavalry leader managed to break through and escape.
Stuart met his Waterloo in 1864, when he first encountered Sheridan, the most famous cavalry leader on the Union side. When Grant emerged from the Wilderness after his desperate fight in its depths, he sent out Sheridan with a large cavalry force to raid in Lee's rear and cut his communications. Crossing the Po, the Ta, and the North Anna, and destroying miles of railroad and large quantities of stores, he rode on, still destroying and hotly pursued by Stuart, until Yellow Tavern, a few miles north of Richmond, was reached.
Here Stuart, who had swiftly ridden to his front, had concentrated his forces, and at this point the two greatest cavalry leaders of the war met. Sheridan at once attacked and a fiercely contested fight began, in the heat of which the gallant Stuart fell from his horse with a mortal wound. He was taken to Richmond but died the next day, May 12, 1864.
Thus died in harness the most brilliant Confederate cavalry leader of the war, a daring, skilled, and capable soldier, who on horseback was of almost as much service to Lee as Jackson on foot. The two died in battle and the fall of each was a serious loss to the Confederate cause, since men like them it was next to impossible to replace.
WILLIAM S. ROSECRANS, THE VICTOR
OF STONE RIVER
WILLIAM STARK ROSECRANS, the son of a soldier of the War of 1812, was born at Kingston, Ohio, on the 6th of December, 1819, and when of proper age was entered by his father at West Point to learn the military art. Here he graduated in 1842, entered the engineer corps, and for some years was assistant professor of engineering in the Military Academy. In 1847 he was put in charge of the repairs at Fort Adams, near Newport, R. I., and in 1854 resigned, becoming a civil engineer at Cincinnati and engaging in coal mining and in the manufacture of kerosene. An explosion of this material injured him so severely that for eighteen months he was confined to his bed. Thus passed forty-one years of his life.
When Lincoln's call for volunteers to put down secession was issued in April, 1861, Rosecrans was among the first to offer his services to the Government, as a volunteer aide to General McClellan. In June he was appointed chief engineer of the State of Ohio and immediately afterwards took command of the twentythird Ohio volunteers. His field services began in July under McClellan in Western Virginia, where, on July II, he fought and won the battle of Rich Mountain.
Colonel John Pegram, of the Confederate army, with about fifteen hundred men, was strongly intrenched in Rich Mountain Gap, of the Laurel Hill Range, about four miles from Beverly. His forces commanded the road over the mountains to Staunton, the chief highway of southern Virginia, and he boasted that his position could not be turned, his flanks being protected by precipitous hills. He boasted too loudly, as it proved, he being quickly driven out by a force of three Indiana and one Ohio regiments, with a troop of cavalry, sent against him under Colonel Rosecrans.
In light marching order, and guided by a young man named Hart, son of the owner of the mountain farm where Pegram lay encamped, the expedition started at three o'clock in the morning, making its way through a heavy rain-storm along a rough, slippery and pathless route for a distance of about eight miles. A wide detour was made, and at noon they reached a point a mile in Pegram's rear and on the summit of a ridge high above the camp.
Here, to their surprise and dismay, they were suddenly met with a heavy volley of cannon and musket shots and found themselves in face of a well-manned breastwork of earth and logs. Pegram had captured one of McClellan's couriers and learned of the expedition, for which he had quickly prepared. Rosecrans had no cannon, but his men were eager to fight, and the Indianians were ordered to lie down on the grass while the Ohio men advanced as skirmishers. After a considerable waste of ammunition fired over the heads of the lying men, Pegram's men leaped from their works and charged with yells across the road. In an instant the Indianians were on their feet and met them with the bayonet, charging so furiously that the Confederates quickly broke and fled down the mountain slopes to Pegram's camp.
This minor affair, in which Rosecrans commanded, was one of the earliest engagements of the war. He had about eighteen hundred men, double the force of the ambushed enemy, and met with a loss of about fifty, while Pegram lost in killed, wounded and prisoners more than four hundred.
Yet the position of Rosecrans was perilous, separated from the main body as he was. Fortunately McClellan, who had heard the cannonading, advanced to Pegram's front and planted his cannon for an assault on the camp. That night Pegram fled. He was pursued and cut off from assistance and in the end, finding no way of escape and being for two days without food, he surrendered with what remained of his force.
This engagement, while of no great moment in itself, is presented here as the opening event in the career of Rosecrans as a leader of men. It was considered of sufficient importance to bring him the commission of brigadier-general in the United States volunteer service. He continued with McClellan until the latter was called to the general command of the army after the battle of Bull Run, when Rosecrans was left in command in Western Virginia.
He was soon faced by a notable opponent, General Lee being put in command of the scattered forces in that quarter. General Floyd, recently secretary of war under President Buchanan, who had now taken up arms for the Confederacy, was also in the field, in a strong position on the Gauley River. Lee and Floyd proposed to drive the Federal troops from the mountain region and perhaps follow up their victory by the capture of Wheeling and the invasion of western Pennsylvania. This plan, as the event showed, did not work.
Rosecrans had now gathered a force of nearly ten thousand men, and early in September marched against