With so many of the battles fought in the South leaving the farms and countryside devastated, General Robert E. Lee proposed that they take the War to the North with hopes in getting a negotiated peace. He tried this once before and was stopped by General McClellan at a small town called Sharpsburg on Antietam Creek. That battle resulted in the single most bloody day in American history. This time he hoped to swing further north, live off the fat of the northern farms and threaten such cities as Harrisburg and Washington City.
General J.E.B. Stuart was given charge in screening the Army of Northern Virginia from the Federal scouts to allow them time to cross the Potomac River without the Federal Army responding in time to stop them. In doing so he found himself East of the Federal Army and decided to swing around the Northern Army and show off his daring and strategic prowess.
On June 28th, 1863, his cavalry jumped a supply wagon train of over one hundred brand new wagons, just outside Rockville, Maryland, and captured the lot of them. He then proceeded to ride a round the Army of the Potomac spreading fear to the northern citizens and causing a great deal consternation in Washington.
By the time Stuart’s cavalry rejoined the Army of the Northern Virginia the battle of Gettysburg had already begun.
Welcome to the world of Don Jolley, historical artist.