The Romantic Outlook

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It had led them, for instance, beyond the point at which war could be won by cut-and-thrust cavalrymen pounding along in the grand manner. Stuart’s own romantic concept tripped him at Gettysburg, where he saw the glamour of a bold cavalry raid so much more clearly than he saw what he was supposed to do to help Lee. In the end, it is possible to argue that roughhewn Bedford Forrest, who would not have recognized a romantic notion if it had hit him in the eye, had a better understanding of what mounted troops ought to be doing than Stuart had. The Stuart story is colorful and inspirational, but at bottom it is the tragic story of a man who came on the scene in the wrong era. That tragedy he shared with his entire generation.