Battle of Yellow Tavern

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Illustration of a cavalry charge at the Battle of Yellow Tavern

The Battle of Yellow Tavern was part of the Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. It was fought on May 11, 1864 in Henrico County, Virginia. Major General Philip Sheridan, who commanded the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, wanted to launch a raid behind the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. He thought he could keep supplies from reaching the Confederates and defeat the Confederate cavalry, commanded by Major General J.E.B. Stuart.

Battle[change | change source]

Sheridan started his raid on May 9. Stuart started after him right away. On May 11, they fought on May 11 at Yellow Tavern, six miles north of Richmond. The Confederates defeated several Union attacks. But in the afternoon, General George A. Custer's Michigan Brigade broke through the Confederate center. Near the end of the battle Stuart was mortally wounded by one of Custer's men and died the next day.[1] The Confederates then retreated from the battlefield. The battle, except for Stuart's death, was not of much note.[2] There were a total of about 800 casualties.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Paul D. Walker, The Cavalry Battle that Saved the Union: Custer Vs. Stuart at Gettysburg (Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Co., 2002), p. 144
  2. 2.0 2.1 John S. Salmon, The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001), p. 255