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J. Pelham

J. Pelham

Confederate (CSA)


John Pelham

"the Gallant"

(1838 - 1863)

Home State: Alabama

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1861

Command Billet: Artillery Battalion Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Stuart's/Pelham's Horse Artillery

Before Sharpsburg

Age 22, he resigned from the Academy at West Point in April 1861, shortly before he was to have graduated at the end of his fifth year. He was commissioned First Lieutenant of Ordnance and assigned to Alburtis' Wise Light Artillery on 16 May 1861. He relieved Captain E.B. Alburtis and commanded the battery at Manassas on 21 July. He transferred to General J.E.B. Stuart's command in November 1861 and helped recruit and organize the First Company, Stuart's Horse Artillery. He was appointed their Captain on 23 March 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded the Horse Artillery battalion on South Mountain and at Sharpsburg.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major on 22 September (to date from 9 August). Observing his excellent work at Fredericksburg, VA in December, General R.E. Lee reportedly said of him "It is glorious to see such courage in one so young." Pelham was mortally wounded by a piece of shell in action at Kelly's Ford, VA on 17 March 1863 and died later that day. He was promoted posthumously to Lieutenant Colonel to date from 2 March 1863.

References & notes

His service from R. H. Moore's 1st and 2nd Stuart Horse Artillery (1985). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph at the National Portrait Gallery, online from their blog.

More on the Web

For more about Pelham, see a lovely bio sketch by Sarah Kay Bierle on Emerging Civil War.


09/07/1838; Alexandria, AL


03/17/1863; Kelly's Ford, VA; burial in Jacksonville City Cemetery, Jacksonville, AL