Pelham, ‘the great cannoneer’ Randall's poem was such a tribute as few young soldiers have ever received, and this is true also of General ‘Jeb’ Stuart's order of March 20, 1863, after Pelham's death: ‘The major-general commanding approaches with reluctance the painful duty of announcing to the division its irreparable loss in the death of Major John Pelham, commanding the Horse Artillery. He fell mortally wounded in the battle of Kellysville, March 17, with the battle-cry on his lips and the light of victory beaming from his eye. To you, his comrades, it is needless to dwell upon what you have so often witnessed, his prowess in action, already proverbial. . . . His eye had glanced over every battle-field of this army from the First Manassas to the moment of his death, and he was, with a single exception, a brilliant actor in all. The memory of “the gallant Pelham,” his many manly virtues, his noble nature and purity of character, are enshrined as a sacred legacy in the hearts of all who knew him. His record has been bright and spotless, his career brilliant and successful. He fell the noblest of sacrifices on the altar of his country, to whose glorious service he had dedicated his life from the beginning of the war.’ To this General Lee added an unusual endorsement: ‘Respectfully forwarded for the information of the department. I feel deeply the loss of the noble dead, and heartily concur in the commendation of the living. R. E. Lee, General.’ All Virginia concurred in these sentiments.
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