After Union General Philip Henry Sheridan claimed he could ‘whip Stuart’ (‘Jeb’ Stuart, the Confederate general), if he were allowed, he was sent by his Commander in Chief, Ulysses S. Grant, to raid Stuarat’s cavalry near Richmond, Virginia. Sheridan’s advance towards Richmond began on 9 May 1864. On the same day, Sheridan damaged the Virginia Central Railroad at Beaver Dam Station, destroyed the Confederate stores, then continued south. On 10 May, Sheridan’s force camped at Ground Squirrel Bridge on the South Anna River. This was followed on 11 May by a rout of Stuart’s cavalry at Yellow Tavern, where Stuart was mortally wounded. On 14 May, Sheridan joined further Federal (Unionist) forces at Haxall’s Landing, then journeyed northwards on 24 May to rejoin the Army of the Potomac. His return was made difficult as he had to rebuild bridges, which he had destroyed on his way down, to head northwards.
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