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Confederate (CSV)


Richard Gregory Pegram, Jr.


(1829 - 1896)

Home State: Virginia

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Branch's Petersburg (VA) Field Artillery

Before Sharpsburg

He was admitted to the bar in 1850 and by 1860 he was a wealthy 31 year old lawyer living with his wife, 2 small children, and his (also wealthy) twice-widowed mother in Petersburg, VA. He enlisted there on 31 July 1861 as a Private in Company E, 12th Virginia Infantry. He transferred as First Lieutenant to Branch's Battery, Virginia Light Artillery on 24 April 1862. He was absent, sick, in July and August 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded a section of the battery on the campaign, and at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862:

The light batteries of Captains French and Branch, the latter under the command of Lieut. R. G. Pegram, at different times during the day were engaged with the enemy and did good service ...
Pegram was probably in command in lieu of Captain Branch while that officer performed duties as Brig. Gen. Walker's divisional chief of artillery.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Captain and command of the battery on 2 May 1863 when Branch was promoted to Major. At Petersburg on 30 July 1864 the Federal army exploded a large mine under the Confederate line directly under his battery.

The crater measure[d] 135 feet in length, 97 feet in breadth, and 30 feet deep. The two right guns of Pegram’s battery were not disturbed by the explosion. The two left guns were thrown out in front of our works, and only eight men out of twenty-eight men and two officers with the battery escaped alive and unhurt [their Captain's whereabouts not stated].
He was captured at Richmond, VA in April 1865 and paroled there.

After the War

He was again a prosperous lawyer in Petersburg to 1881 when he moved his practice to Richmond.

References & notes

His service from his Compiled Service Records,1 online from fold3. His role in Maryland from Brig. Gen. Walker's Report, quoted here. The Crater detail from the ORs.2 Personal details from Evans,3 family genealogists, and the US Census of 1860-1880. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Helen Lee Burwell (1832-1920) and they had 8 children - 2 boys, 6 girls - between 1853 and 1875.

His cousin Willie Pegram was also an artillery officer on the Maryland Campaign of 1862.


02/14/1829; Dinwiddie County, VA


11/08/1896; Richmond, VA; burial in "Pegram Square," Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, VA


1   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 30435]

2   US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Volume XL, Part 1, p. 788  [AotW citation 30437]

3   Evans, Clement Anselm, editor, Confederate Military History, 12 Volumes, Atlanta: The Confederate Publishing Company, 1899, Vol. 3, p. 1104  [AotW citation 30436]