J. E. B. STUART. Autograph Letter Signed, two and one-quarter pages, octavo, H[ea]d Q[uarte]rs Cavalry Division A[rmy] of N[orth] V[irginia], Orange C[ourt] H[ouse], May 11, 1863. As Major General, to My Dear Cousin.”
“Let me share with you the deep grief for the fate of your dear boy, whose loss to me is scarcely less than to you- Let me share with you the fond recollection of his many noble qualities, and the sincere prayer that this sad affliction may be sanctified to our eternal welfare. The dear boy fell at my side displaying the same devotion to duty, and abnegation of self which signalized his whole career.
“As an Adjt General, he had no superior, and his reputation as an able and efficient staff officer had already spread through the Army. Many have been the expressions of regret and sympathy from officers of all grades even the highest. He was known most favorably to Gen Lee, who knew and appreciated his worth. His career though brief was so spotless and successful that it is well to consider whether, amid the mutations of human events, it is not better to have a career ended nobly, as his was than to risk the fluctuations of fortune in an uncertain future. At all events let such considerations help us to bow in submission to the decree of an all-wise God-and say in our humble supplications Thy will be done.
“Channing was so reserved that it is hard to tell what his religious impressions were, but his bible & prayer book were often objects of his attention and his conduct while with me was as exemplary as a Christian’s could have been. He was an universal favorite, and was cheerful and happy in his occupation. I have no hesitancy in saying no one about me could have been less spared, and I miss him hourly now. His ready pen and fine perception saved me much labor, and contributed amazingly to the success of operations under my control-
We all deeply regret that his remains did not reach you in time for interment, but hope that Thomas has furnished you with the circumstances of his death. The Division staff will wear mourning for 30 days-every member feeling that in our hearts Channing’s place can never be filled. Give my love to all the family, with assurances of lasting esteem.”
As heartfelt a letter as was ever written from the battlefield. Young Richard Channing Price was not only a relative of the legendary Civil War General J. E. B. Stuart, he was also his highly valued aide-de-camp. He had the unique ability of almost complete auditory memorization (which he learned working with his blind father). Stuart would dictate and Price would listen without asking him to repeat a single thing or taking a single note. When the letters were ready for the General’s signature, it was rare that a change was made to them.
Price’s letters to his mother paint a detailed picture of life at camp; a few centering on J. E. B. Stuart’s raids are among the most quoted of his staff officers. Major Price was mortally wounded on May 1, 1863 during the battle of Chancellorsville. He was twenty-one years old.
A year and a day later, J E B Stuart, who had never been touched by a bullet or a saber in all his combats, was shot at close range by a dismounted federal cavalryman during the Battle of Yellow Tavern north of Richmond. He was thirty-one years old. It was a great loss for the Confederacy as Stuart’s mastery of reconnaissance and the use of cavalry in support of offensive operations were without equal. As the trusted eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee’s army, he inspired Southern morale.
Framed (with an engraving) dimensions: 31 inches wide by 18 inches high.
This item is associated with the following category in our inventory:
- Civil War