Sunday, May 11, 2014

150 Years Ago -- reaching the tipping point

Already by May 11, 1864, those of us looking back in hindsight can see the fortunes of war tipping inexorably toward Union arms. General Grant, undaunted by the body blows inflicted on him by Robert E. Lee in the Wilderness, was nearly a week into the unremitting slaughter of Spotsylvania. On this one day, 150 years ago, Grant assured his superiors in Washington that he intended "to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer" (take a look at Grant's May 11 letter at Brooks Simpson's Crossroads blog) and the vaunted Confederate Cavalry chief J.E.B. Stuart was killed by Union cavalry with Richmond at his back.

Photo above:  The J.E.B. Stuart monument at Yellow Tavern. From the NPS driving tour: "Confederate artillery near this location goaded Custer into a second attack at 4 p.m. The Federal charge broke through Lomax's line (behind you, as you face the monument), but was turned back by Company K of the First Virginia Cavalry. The action drew J.E.B. Stuart into the fighting, where he received his fatal wound. The monument marks the approximate spot where Stuart was shot. It is now under the care and protection of the United Daughters of the Confederacy." 

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