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[648]

Major-General John Pegram

Major-General John Pegram was born in Virginia, January 24, 1832. He was appointed a cadet from Virginia in the United States military academy, and was graduated in 1854, with promotion to brevet second lieutenant of dragoons. He served on frontier duty, first at Fort Tejou, Cal., and afterward at Fort Riley, Kan., where he was commissioned second lieutenant of dragoons, and at Forts Lookout and Randall, Dak. His duties in the west were relieved for a time in 1857, by assignment as assistant instructor of cavalry. Promoted first lieutenant of the Second dragoons, he became adjutant of that regiment, and resumed his frontier service until 1858, when he was given leave of absence for two years for a tour of Europe. On his return he continued in the United States army until May 10, 1861, when he resigned. He was commissioned captain, corps of cavalry, C. S. A., and was promoted rapidly to higher grades. As lieutenant-colonel he participated in the operations of General Garnett's command about Beverly, W. Va., in the summer of 1861, and when confronted by the Federal forces in overwhelming numbers under McClellan and Rosecrans, Pegram was intrusted by Garnett with the command of one of the two bodies in which he divided his forces. A rear attack by Rosecrans compelled him to withdraw after a gallant fight, from Rich mountain, and two days later he was compelled to surrender with half his command. After his return to the army he was assigned to the staff of General Bragg at Tupelo, Miss., as chief of engineers, July, 1862, and later became chief of staff of Gen. E. Kirby Smith, in command in east Tennessee. In that capacity he participated in the Kentucky campaign and the battle of Richmond, where his services were gratefully recognized in the report of the general commanding. In November he was promoted brigadier-general and assigned to the command of a cavalry brigade of Tennesseeans in Smith's army. With his brigade he participated in the battle of Murfreesboro, and subsequently was upon outpost duty and various active operations until the battle of Chickamauga, where he commanded a division of Forrest's cavalry corps. Subsequently he was transferred to the army of Northern Virginia and the infantry service, being given command of a brigade in Early's division of the Second corps, composed of the Thirteenth, Thirty-first, Forty-ninth, Fiftysecond

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