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Where Pelham first ‘dazzled the land with deeds’ The Henry house on the Bull Run battlefield, the site of John Pelham's first effort. At that time he was only twenty, having been born in Calhoun County, Alabama, about 1841. At the outbreak of the war he had left West Point to enter the Southern army. Of his conduct near the ruins above, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson reported: ‘Nobly did the artillery maintain its position for hours against the enemy's advancing thousands.’ Soon he won the command of a battery of horse artillery, to serve with General ‘Jeb’ Stuart's cavalry. Stuart officially reported of the battle of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862: ‘I ordered the horse artillery at once into action; but before the order could be given, Pelham's battery was speaking to the enemy in thunder-tones of defiance, its maiden effort on the field, thus filling its function of unexpected arrival with instantaneous execution and sustaining in gallant style the fortunes of the day, keeping up a destructive fire upon the enemy until our infantry, having re-formed, rushed onward, masking the pieces. I directed Captain Pelham then to take a position farther to the left and open a cross-fire on the Telegraph Road, which he did as long as the presence of the enemy warranted the expenditure of ammunition.’ At Antietam, Stuart again reports: ‘The gallant Pelham displayed all those noble qualities which have made him immortal. He had under his command batteries from every portion of General Jackson's command. The batteries of Poague, Pegram, and Carrington (the only ones which now recur to me) did splendid service, as also did the Stuart horse artillery, all under Pelham. The hill held on the extreme left so long and so gallantly by artillery alone, was essential to the maintenance of our position.’ It is surprising to remember that these reports are not of a war-grimed veteran but of a youth of twenty.


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