Stuart, J. E. B. (James Ewell Brown) (1833–1864), a United States and Confederate army officer. The commander of the Confederate cavalry in the Civil War and responsible for scouting missions, he was highly valued by General Robert E. Lee as the “eyes of the army.” Both in dress and in deed, Jeb, as he was known, had a taste for the highly dramatic. He gained fame for making a spectacular reconnaissance completely around the Union army of McClellan prior to the Seven Days' Battles near Richmond in 1862.
Stuart fought at both battles of Bull Run, and at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Much controversy arose over Stuart's absence on an independent campaign just before the Battle of Gettysburg. His critics argue that his absence deprived Lee of information on Union troop movements and thus contributed to Lee's defeat; his defenders note that his orders had been vague and that Lee had other cavalry units available for scouting.
Stuart was born in Patrick County, Virginia. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1854, he served in Texas and Kansas. In 1861 he joined the Confederate cavalry and was commissioned a captain. By late 1862, at 29 years of age, Stuart had risen to the rank of major general. He was killed at Yellow Tavern while defending Richmond.