His Excellency Jeff. Davis
West Point, N.Y. Feb 27th '61
Dear Sir, Being still a member of the Mily Acad'y, I don't think it would be exactly proper for me to offer my services to the new government but I am anxious to serve it to the best of my ability. If you think it would be better for me to resign now than to wait and graduate which will be in June a single word from you will cause me to resign and as soon as my resignation is accepted, I will con¬sider myself under your orders and repair to Montgomery without delay.
I am a member of the 1st class which graduates in June next -- you know the importance of that portion of the course still to be completed, and also whether my services are needed at present. May I expect a recall if needed?
Most Respect'y Your ObIt Serv't Jno. Pelham of Alabama
N. B.—This is the original version from Randall's manuscript.—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 innumerab...
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On the plantation at home
Jeb Stuart's "Boy Artillerist" From Alabama.
HOW JOHN PELHAM, BY HIS SKILL AND COURAGE, WROTE HIS NAME HIGH ON THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
(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 shi...
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"The Gallant Pelham" September 7 1838 - March 17 1863
PELHAM, John Lt. Col. Stuart's Virginia Arty. 09/07/1838 03/17/1863 Jacksonville City Cem.,
Calhoun Co., Alabama
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 to-day. 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 Richmond and lay in state at the capitol, viewed by thousands. He was buried at Jacksonville, Ala., amid the scenes of his childhood. General Stuart's general order to the division announcing his death concluded:
"His eyes had glanced over every battlefield of this army, from the first Manassas to the moment of his death, and, with a single exception, he was a brilliant actor in all. The memory of 'the gallant Pelham,' his many virtues, his noble nature and pur...
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