Jeb Stuart Secedes Against “Lincoln’s diabolical government”

Jeb Stuart Secedes Against “Lincoln’s diabolical government”

Jeb Stuart by Don Troiani

We will continue to honor the memory of Confederate cavalry General Jeb Stuart by printing anecdotes and excerpts from his letters during February. When Stuart resigned his U.S. Army commission on May 3, 1861 to join Virginia forces he hoped that his father-in-law, Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, would do the same. Cooke was a native of Leesburg, Virginia and had been an officer in the U.S. Army since he graduated from West Point in 1827. Cooke was considered the army’s expert on cavalry tactics. The below excerpts from two letters Stuart wrote to his wife Flora reflect his position.

Letter by J.E.B. Stuart to My Darling Wife from  Harpers Ferry, Virginia, May 19th 1861

“How I hope your Pa will resign. If he could only see things in their true and real light – which it is difficult to do so far off – he would resign instanter. He is wanted here very much. He is highly complimented everywhere and would soon take a foremost stand in the State defense. Why doesn’t he come?

Letter by J.E.B. Stuart to My Darling Wife from Harpers Ferry, Virginia, May 21st, 1861

“I am extremely anxious about your Pa and John R. Cooke [son]. I do hope both will resign at once. How can they serve Lincoln’s diabolical government? Your Pa would be made a Brigadier General and he would be on the same side with his children if he would resign. Principle, interest and affection demand his immediate resignation and return to his native State.
[both letters from The Letters of General J.E.B. Stuart, edited by Adele Mitchell, Stuart-Mosby Historical society, 1990]


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