By Cowan Brew An angry gloom hung like dust over the 6,000 Confederate cavalrymen trooping up the York Turnpike in the early dawn of July 3, 1863. After eight long and largely unproductive days in the saddle, the horsemen were setting out on a last-ditch effort to disrupt and disarrange the rear of the Union Army confronting General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at the tiny crossroads town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A blood-red sun—always an evil portent to experienced campaigners—shone directly into the men’s eyes, and the damp summer heat was already soaking through their short, gray uniform jackets. It was clear to everyone that the day would only get hotter, literally and figuratively, before it was over. No one was angrier or gloomier than the troopers’ famous commander, James Ewell Brown Stuart. The day before, the flame-bearded young general had sauntered into Lee’s headquarters tent on Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg, expecting the usual courtly greeting from his old friend and mentor. Instead, an obviously angry Lee, worn and distracted by two days of unparalleled savagery with nothing to show for it but a bloody stalemate, glanced sharply at Stuart with cold, dark eyes. “General Stuart, where have you been?” he asked brusquely. When Stuart attempted to describe his recent whereabouts, Lee cut him off with a withering look. “I have not heard a word from you for days,” he seethed, “and you are the eyes and ears of my army.” Embarra


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