STUART, James E. B. (1833-1864), General, C. S. A. Autograph letter signed (''J. E. B. Stuart'') TO JEFFERSON DAVIS, Camp ''Qui Vive'' 6 November 1861. 3 pp., 4to, inlaid WITH SIX-LINE AUTOGRAPH ENDORSEMENT OF JEFFERSON DAVIS ON VERSO.
STUART, James E. B. (1833-1864), General, C. S. A. Autograph letter signed ("J. E. B. Stuart") TO JEFFERSON DAVIS, Camp "Qui Vive" 6 November 1861. 3 pp., 4to, inlaid WITH SIX-LINE AUTOGRAPH ENDORSEMENT OF JEFFERSON DAVIS ON VERSO.
"MY PREFERENCE IS CAVALRY": JEB STUART LOBBIES PRESIDENT DAVIS FOR HIS OVERDUE COMMISSION IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY
"About the 1st of May," Stuart writes, "I tendered my resignation in the U.S. Service and came immediately to the border of Va. (then the most threatened point of the South) and have been next to the enemy without a day's intermission ever since." He had reported to the Adjutant General's office in Montgomery, "taking it for granted that I would receive a grade in the C. S. A. at least equal to the one I had resigned in the Federal Army (Captain of Cavalry); but for some reason inexplicable to me no attention was paid to my letter." After waiting several more months he received a commission as a 1st Lieutenant of Cavalry. Stuart returned the commission, assuming the Richmond authorities had simply erred. He then received a letter noting that his name had been dropped from the roll of possible officers since he had resigned his commission. Now he was no longer willing to see this as a mere clerical oversight. He smelled a political rat: "I came to the conclusion that it was due to my relationship to A. H. H. Stuart, whose politics I have been taught to abhor from my childhood." Stuart had kept on fighting through all this as no less than a Brigadier General in the Provisional Army of the C. S.A., but he wanted an appointment in the regular army: "I was 1st Lt. 20th Dec. 55, Capt. 25th Apr. 61. My preference is Cavalry but I wish that preference sacrificed if necessary to rank."
In his note, Jefferson Davis denies any political spitefulness: "Ack[nowledged]. The officers for the Regt. of Cavalry have been arranged on a list conforming strictly to the rule observed in Regts. that of their former commissions and the nominations are before Congress. Your high rank in the provisional was won by service and if it proves that I had no reluctance to recognize your merit, it is equally true that it was not the result of favoritism." Stuart ultimately won a commission as Major General in Lee's Army, in charge of all cavalry. Stuart's cousin, Alexander H. H. Stuart (1807-1891), was certainly no favorite of the rebel president. A Whig, Stuart opposed secession in 1861. During Reconstruction he was instrumental in lobbying Washington authorities to restore home rule to his state.