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J. L. M. Curry (search for this): chapter 1.35
n the Rappahannock, March 17th, 1863. He had gone to visit some ladies in Culpeper county, when he heard the cannonading and hurried to the scene. His artillery had not come up, but he galloped to a regiment that was wavering and shouted: Forward, boys! Forward to victory and glory! and at that moment was struck by the fragment of a shell that penetrated the brain and he died shortly after midnight. He died as he had wished—amid the roar of battle. General Stuart telegraphed to Hon. J. L. M. Curry, at present trustee of the great Peabody fund and well known in Louisville, who then represented Pelham's Alabama district in the Confederate Congress: The noble, the chivalric, the gallant Pelham is no more. He was killed in action yesterday. His remains will be sent to you today. How much he was beloved, appreciated and admired, let the tears of agony we shed and the gloom of mourning throughout my command bear witness. His loss is irreparable. His remains were taken to R
with the handsome young soldier, and they were together much. By and by he gained her confidence sufficiently to disclose his identity without fear of betrayal, and informed her of his purpose to go South and join the Confederate army. She was a true Northern girl, and endeavored to prevail upon him to stand by the old flag, but he was firm. Love has been known to be stronger than patriotism in hearts colder than that of a sympathetic maiden. It was true in her case, and Cupid overthrew Mars in her heart. Finding her entreaties of no avail, she volunteered to ferry him across the river. Consequently they took a skiff the following day for a pleasure row on the Ohio, but they never came back; that is, he did not, for they landed on the old Kentucky shore, where he bade his fair benefactor a last farewell and she returned to Jeffersonville by way of the ferryboat. From the time he set foot upon Kentucky soil Pelham's brilliant career began. However, he did not remain in Louis
Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 1.35
the only gun on the Confederate left firing, drawing the attention of a whole Federal battery, until Stuart said to Stonewall Jackson: General, all your artillery on the left is idle; nobody is firing except Pelham. After the battle the warm pressure of Jackson's hand told Pelham how well he had demeaned himself. That is history. Shortly after this Pelham drove a gunboat from the White House with one gun. He again received the thanks of old Stonewall at Second Manassas, where he thrust his guns forward almost into the enemy's columns and used them with bloody effect. During this fight Jackson said to Stuart, pointing to the young artillerist: General, if you have another Pelham give him to me. He was then twenty-three years oltern wood. The Federal army had crossed the Rappahannock and was forming line of battle under cover of the river bank. Jackson, Stuart and Lee rode down the Confederate lines to the extreme right, followed by waves of cheers, where the Stuart hors
ham. [from the Mobile, Ala., register, May 20, 1894.] Jeb Stuart's boy artillerist from Alabama. How John Pelham, by his skill and courage, wrote his name high on the temple of fame. John Pelham. (by James R. Randall.) Just as the Spring came laughing throa the strife, With all her gorgeous cheer— In the glad April of historic life— Fell the great cannoneer. The wondrous lulling of a hero's breath His bleeding country weeps; Hushed—in th' alabaster arms of Death— Our young Marcellus sleeps! Grander and nobler than the child of Rome, Curbing his chariot steeds, The knightly scion of a Southern home Dazzled the world—with deeds! Gentlest and bravest in the battle's brunt— The champion of the Truth— He bore his banner to the very front Of our immortal youth. A clang of sabres 'mid Virginia's snow, The fiery pang of shells— And there's a voice of immemorial woe In Alabama dells. The pennon droops, that led the sacred band Along the crimson field; The meteor
ipt.— T. C. D. No one can be accused justly of raking amid the ashes of the past to rekindle the fires of sectional prejudice when he undertakes to briefly sketch one of the many brilliant careers during the late war that illustrate the valor of the American soldier on a hundred battlefields, especially when that career is all too little known, says the Louisville Courier-Journal. In Alabama, in the vale of Alexandria, September 7, in the year 1838, there was born a babe destined to be Bellona's bridegroom, and write John Pelham across the sky in flaming letters of battle. His was a superb career, but for some reason or other it is scarcely known outside of his native State, and even in that State but for being commingled with fiction the daring deeds and brilliant bravery of Jeb Stuart's boy artillerist would be almost mere tradition when the last Confederate shall have passed away. Indeed, while writers almost innumerable—both historical and penny-a-liners—have, in song and <
William McGregor (search for this): chapter 1.35
attery. All that long day of Manassas he fought with superb courage. So well did he handle his guns that he attracted the attention of that Prince Rupert of American calvarymen, General J. E. B. Stuart. General Stuart saw what was in the boy, and intrusted him with the orgarnization of a battery of six pieces of horse artillery. Some of these men were from Virginia and Maryland, but most of them were from Alabama. From Talladega, Ala., near Pelham's home, went forty men under Lieutenant William McGregor, a gallant officer now living in Texas. One gun was manned by French Creoles from Mobile, Ala., who were called by Pelham the Napoleon Detachment. They were gallant fellows, and invariably in battle the voices of these men could be heard above the roar of the guns singing the Marseillaise, that stirring song that roused the man of destiny's imperial eagles on many a gory field where the Old Guard could die, but never surrender. This six-gun battery was the nucleus around which g
s a bee line and never looked back, no matter how much noise the other cadets made in his rear. He was considered the best athlete at West Point, and was there noted for fencing and boxing. Then, as now, at the academy, a cat with its reputed plurality of lives would be dead a dozen times in taking half the chances those laughing cadets would eagerly seek in the cavalry drill, but Pelham excelled them all. The Prince of Wales was struck with his horsemanship when he visited the academy in 1860. His horseback riding was marvellous, and went down from class to class as a sort of tradition, and long years after he had met a soldier's death the cadets would relate to gaping plebes how Pelham rode. In 1861, when the laughing blue of the Southland sky was overcast by the dark cloud of civil strife and Alabama called to her sons in every clime to come to her defence, Pelham resigned his cadetship at the academy and started South. At New Albany, Ind., he was intercepted by the Federal
cademy, a cat with its reputed plurality of lives would be dead a dozen times in taking half the chances those laughing cadets would eagerly seek in the cavalry drill, but Pelham excelled them all. The Prince of Wales was struck with his horsemanship when he visited the academy in 1860. His horseback riding was marvellous, and went down from class to class as a sort of tradition, and long years after he had met a soldier's death the cadets would relate to gaping plebes how Pelham rode. In 1861, when the laughing blue of the Southland sky was overcast by the dark cloud of civil strife and Alabama called to her sons in every clime to come to her defence, Pelham resigned his cadetship at the academy and started South. At New Albany, Ind., he was intercepted by the Federal authorities, for it was known there by some one who reported the fact that he had left West Point to join the Confederate army. He was placed under surveillance and not allowed to cross the river to Louisville. H
December 13th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 1.35
y all the artillery on the Confederate left, and rent the blue lines with shot and shell. But it was at Fredericksburg that the zenith of John Pelham's renown was reached. The martial king of the proudest nation in all the tides of time might well envy—if the shades in Valhalla are given that privilege—the story that crowned the boy artillerist in that stupendous fight and dreadful revelry of death. All was quiet in the Confederate army at Fredericksburg on the morning of the thirteenth of December, 1862. The flower of the South's young manhood was there on the heights in double lines behind bristling bayonets and grimmer guns. Every soldier knew there was to be a fearful fight before the sun sank behind the western wood. The Federal army had crossed the Rappahannock and was forming line of battle under cover of the river bank. Jackson, Stuart and Lee rode down the Confederate lines to the extreme right, followed by waves of cheers, where the Stuart horse artillery was parked.
illerist would be almost mere tradition when the last Confederate shall have passed away. Indeed, while writers almost innumerable—both historical and penny-a-liners—have, in song and story, traced the career of lesser light of higher rank, they have scarcely mentioned much less eulogized the beardless boy whom General Robert E. Lee, in his report of Fredericksburg, termed the gallant Pelham, thus knighting him upon the field. Of this same youth the London Times, in chronicling his death in 1863, said: For his age no soldier on either side in this war (Confederate) has won such fame as has young Pelham. John Pelham came from old Kentucky stock, his father, Dr. Atkinson Pelham, having removed from this State to Calhoun county, Ala., in 1837. Young Pelham was appointed a cadet at West Point in 1856 by the representative in Congress from the Talladega (Ala.) district, Hon. S. W. Harris. The only five-year class in the history of the academy was organized that year, which accounts f
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