One-tank trips: Hollywood Cemetery – Part 4
Civil War author and blogger Scott L. Mingus, Sr., stands by the gravestone of famed Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, whose cavalry rode through hilly York County, Pa., on June 30 – July 1, 1863 (the subject of an article published in the Gettysburg Magazine issue #38 back in January 2008).
A Union trooper named John Huff shot and mortally wounded the 31-year-old General Stuart at Yellow Tavern, Va., less than a year after the Virginia cavalier and his saddle soldiers caused so much consternation to the civilians of south-central Pennsylvania. Many in the South mourned the loss of the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia’s cavalry corps.
Stuart is one of 22 Confederate generals buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. One of his closest subordinates, Fitzhugh Lee, is also buried in the same cemetery, as are some of Stuart’s cavaliers.
Stuart has received considerable criticism from modern historians for his failure to connect with the infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia until July 2, well after the Battle of Gettysburg had started. Some historians have cited his absence as a defining factor in why Robert E. Lee lost the battle.
However, Lee had other cavalry with his column, although his generals may have misused the cavalry (the horsemen spent more time raiding Pennsylvania and Maryland farmers for supplies, horses, and personal items than they did scouting the state line for any advancing Union forces).
Stuart was in York County, Pa., the same day as Jubal Early’s infantry, but missed connecting with Early by several hours. Those hours had been lost from a combination of a captured Union wagon train slowing the column and two battles — one at Westminster, Md. and another at Hanover, Pa.
Perhaps General Early bears some blame as well as Stuart, as authors Eric J. Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi suggested in their book Plenty of Blame to Go Around: J.E.B. Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg. Early failed to send out any of his own cavalry scouts to look for Stuart, and eyewitnesses here in York County have reported that Early clearly heard the sounds of the Battle of Hanover directly south of his lunchtime campsite at the village of Davidsburg, Pa. He off-handedly remarked to Brig. Gen. Harry T. Hays (commander of the famed Louisiana Tigers) “I suppose a battle has started.” Yet he did not turn his column south to the sound of the guns.
To get there:
Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery (412 S. Cherry Street) is an easy drive from Interstate 95. Take Exit 76B toward US-1/Belvidere St/US-301 for about 0.1 mile. Turn left on W. Leigh Street and then right onto US-1 South/US-301. Drive about a mile and turn right on Spring Street. In 0.2 miles, turn right onto S. Cherry Street. The entrance to Hollywood Cemetery will be on your left.
Stop at the main building and purchase a tour map.
To read the rest of this series on Confederate graves at Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery: