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Commander of the Virginia Cavalry, Confederate Brigadier General James Ewell Brown (known as J.E.B.) Stuart went to Capitol Square on Monday afternoon June 16, 1862 to observe a military drill. As he arrived at the Governor's Mansion, members of the military unit and passersby instantly recognized him. According to one witness: "The people, citizens and soldiers were pretty near crazy to see and hear him speak." In response to the ring of deafening cheers General Stuart thanked them for their tribute and talked about the grand struggle of the Southern people and the heroic character of their army.

General Stuart was a hero to the people of Richmond, Virginia and at the young age of 28 was fast becoming a legend. This was mainly due to his accomplishments of the three previous days. Following orders from General Robert E. Lee, General Stuart had accomplished something that most people believed was impossible. He led a force of 1200 cavalrymen in a historic 100 mile ride completely around General George McClellan's Federal Army. The ride accomplished two major goals: It disrupted the Federal Army's communications and supplies and, most importantly, the mission enabled General Lee to gain knowledge of the exact size and detailed positions of the Federal Army.

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