Monday, May 11, 2009
The High Point of Union Cavalry
As the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House continued, Union Cavalry under Major General Philip H Sheridan took on a raid against Richmond, Virginia. On May 9th 1864 Sheridan left with 32 guns and more than 10,000 mounted troops, setting off at a walk, four abreast the column stretched out 13 miles. After hitting Lee’s supply road and rail communications, the Union men met the outnumbered Confederate Cavalry being lead by Major General JEB Stuart at Yellow Tavern on May 11th 1864. Yellow Tavern was an abandoned Inn about 6 miles north of Richmond. After a 3 hour fight the Federal horsemen defeated their largely outnumbered Rebel counterparts and General Stuart was mortally wounded. Stuart had stopped on his way to Yellow Tavern at nearby a plantation where his wife and children were visiting, he kissed his wife hello and goodbye without ever dismounting. He would die the day after the fight.
Sheridan would continue south and threaten Richmond, before re-joining Union General Benjamin F Butler at Bermuda Hundred.