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Major John Pelham
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
N 33° 39.577 W 085° 49.602
16S E 608784 N 3725033
Quick Description: Memorial to Major John Pelham Confederate States Army Born Sept 17, 1838 Killed at Kelly's Ford, VA March 17, 1863 erected in 1905
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 7/2/2008 7:04:59 PM
Waymark Code: WM43Q9
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GA Cacher
Views: 30

Long Description:
The stone obelisk was erected in 1905 on Quintard Avenue.

The city of Anniston maintains the monument, which is spotlighted at night.

Dr. Clarence J. Owens, president of the Anniston College for Young Ladies and Commander of the 5th Brigade, U.S.C.V., led the drive to build the tribute.

Named "The Gallant Pelham" by Gen Robert E. Lee.

The noble, chivalric Pelham is no more. How much he was beloved, appreciated and admired, let the tears of agony we have shed and the gloom of mourning throughout every command bear witness. His loss to the country is irreparable. -- J.E.B. Stuart, Maj General



Although "The Gallant Pelham" served the entire war with the artillery, he was destined to fall while moonlighting in a cavalry charge.
A native Alabamian, he withdrew from West Point upon the outbreak of hostilities and joined the Confederate army. His assignments included: lieutenant, Wise (Va.) Artillery (early 1861); captain, Stuart Horse Artillery (March 23, 1862); major, Artillery (August 9, 1862); lieutenant colonel, Artillery (April 4, 1863, to rank from March 2); and commanding Horse Artillery Battalion, Cavalry Division, Army of Northern Virginia (August 1862-March 17, 1863).
After fighting at lst Bull Run, he became the captain of the first horse artillery battery that served with JEB Stuart, becoming close friends with the general. Commanding his unit, he saw action at Yorktown and during the Seven Days. Promoted, he commanded all of Stuart's horse batteries at 2nd Bull Run and Antietam. At Fredericksburg he held up the advance of a Union division against the Confederate right with only two guns. With only one gun left, he continued to shift positions despite the fact that 24 enemy guns were now concentrating their fire on him. Disobeying repeated orders to withdraw, he only did so upon running out of ammunition. General Lee observed and said, "It is glorious to see such courage in one so young!"
Known as the "Boy Major," he heard of an impending action at Kelly's Ford on March 17, 1863. Away from his battalion at the time, he joined the fray with the cavalry. He fell victim to a shell fragment while directing a column past a fence. Thought to be dead, he was thrown over a horse and led from the field. Quite a while later he was lowered to the ground and found to be still alive. He died shortly thereafter. Some believed that prompt attention might have saved his life. (Hassler, William Woods, Coloneljohn Pelbam, Lee's Boy Artillerist)

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The Gallant Pelham.
Jeb Stuart's "Boy Artillerist" From Alabama.

Southern Historical Society Papers.
Vol. XXX. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1902.
From the Mobile, Ala., Register, May 20, 1894.]

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 thro' 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 blade sinks from the nerveless hand,
Over the spotless shield!

We gazed and gazed upon that beauteous face,
While round the lips and eyes,
Couched in their marble slumber flashed the grace
Of a divine surprise!

Oh! mother of a blessed soul on high,
Thy tears may soon be shed;
Think of thy boy, 'mid princes of the sky,
Among the Southern dead.

How must he smile on this dull world beneath,
Fevered with swift renown--
He, with the martyr's amaranthine wreath
Twining the victor's crown!


N. B.--This is the original version from Randall's manuscript.--T. C. D.

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Type of memorial: Monument

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