- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: McFarland (May 31, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786470852
- ISBN-13: 978-0786470853
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.9 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chasing Jeb Stuart and John Mosby: The Union Cavalry in Northern Virginia from Second Manassas to Gettysburg
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"highly recommended...excellent"--Civil War Books and Authors; "O'Neill excels in accurately describing not only the men who raised and/or commanded the combat units, but the military formations themselves. Meticulously researched...well written in a crisp, clear and straightforward manner... definitive...for those interested in Civil War cavalry operations this study is a must-have"--Blue & Gray Magazine.
From the Inside Flap
This book is an operational and tactical study of cavalry operations in Northern Virginia from September 1862 to July 1863. It examines in detail John Mosby's first six months as a partisan, within the context of the larger threat to the Union capital posed by Jeb Stuart. Previous studies of Mosby's career are largely based on postwar memoirs. This narrative balances those accounts with previously unpublished official contemporary records left by the Union soldiers assigned to the defense of Washington, D.C. The formation of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade is fully documented, along with the exploits of the brigade in the months before George Custer took command. Largely forgotten events, such as Jeb Stuart's Christmas Raid, the fight at Fairfax Station during Stuart's ride to Gettysburg, as well as the vital role played by Union general Julius Stahel's cavalry division in the critical month of June 1863, are examined at length.
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Most of the war in the East during this central period was of course being fought in Virginia--and much of it by Virginians.. And, it was Mosby's parochial (?) idea to launch a behind-the-scenes command that would take advantage of Confederate home-front contacts to gather intelligence, and then wage intelligently-planned operations against Northern invaders. But even though the Gray Ghost conceived the command concept, it took the insightful leadership acumen of Jeb Stuart to anoint the plan, and to help task its worthy mission.
But on the other side, the smarting (and smart) Federals saw (and experienced) this painful, dagger-in-the-heart for what it was, and their aggressively terrific response to this Partisan threat nicely sums up the larger purpose of this meritoriously successful work.
I would also stress a point Mr. O'Neill eloquently offers in his "Preface:" Bob hopes his book will uncover the "trail of the men who pursued (Mosby) and who, unfortunately, have been forgotten." To his everlasting credit, Bob has accomplished that noble goal in this fine book. They all now ride again, Yankee and Rebel horsemen!
So, if you care about Civil War Cavalry and Partisan operations, this is a book for you. Highly recommended!
O'Neill's text is a blend of previously unpublished records and a variety of other sources. The author relied upon the National Archives, a source often not used by other historians. This is why his study excells. O'Neill"s accounts are engrossing and insightful. O"Neill skillfully displays a first hand knowledge of the areas of Virginia about which he writes so well. His description of terrain and his over ten maps makes his book very compelling. Although Eric Wittenburg's Union Cavalry Comes of Age (2003)covers the six month period between Hartwood Church and Brandy Station, however O'Neill explores a longer time frame from Pope at Second Manassas to Gettysburg in greater detail.
O'Neill's book is a fine companion to Robert Trout's recent publication on the Union cavalry in After Gettysburg. Chasing Jeb Stuart and John Mosby will long remain the definitve study of the Army of the Potomas cavalry from the fall of 1862 to July 1863. In great detail O'Neill chronicles the myriad of clashes between the Union and Confederate horsemen along with an overview of notable leaders of the mounted arm.
O'Neill, a retired law enforcement officer, previously published The Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville (1993) in the HE Howard series. Chasing Jeb Stuart and John Mosby is a must read for all interested in Civil War history. O'Neill provides a penetrating perspective into a part of history often ignored. it will long be the best treatment of this subject.