Clipped From The Anniston Star

 - J : "V. .V. i , . 2 AnitlfltOtt &fet Is. Sec....
J : "V. .V. i , . 2 AnitlfltOtt &fet Is. Sec. 75h Anniversary Edition allan inlero Feu as i 7 Artillery Wizard 6p ttt laiDi OB war - Z-outhMMice-EST t . , .... ....... ... , ..Ti.t-J , ry-y, -.- i- 1 ' ""' "' ' ' ' ' V . v' V By FRED R. MARTIN The most recent entry to Alabama's Hall of Fame was a native of Calhoun County, and he' was the youngest of the 17 thus far named. Lt. Colonel John Pelham Has born on the farm of his ma- ternal grandfather, the pioneer William McGcbee, about three miles south of Alexandria, and his active youth was spent in Alexandria. " Born Sept. 7, 1838, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Atkinson Pelham. newcomers to .tlabama from North Carolina, . John . Pelham entered the U. S. Military , Academy in June 1856, where he remained until his resignation In April 1861, only a few weeks before he was due to graduate. He was anxious to remain and graduate but the conditions in the North became intolerable to Southerners who were not in sympathy with the aggression of the Federal Government against the Southern states. Although generally known as a major, Pelham actually was rec- Tyler In Command Anniston's Gen. Daniel Tyler was Jn commalld of a sector In the initial stages of the battle, aud terved creditably In the Federal army. However, Col. William T. V,. k: i. - 4 . . ' ' 'if - ... J A , ,v. ' : v- ' . f, r. . ' " Tr" r "M ' V . ' y Slierman, later of "M arching through Georgia" fame, was' the only Federal officer who received more than casual honors In the debacle of this first "On to Richmond" army, .v ; Following First Manassas the Confederate army set about reor-ganiring and recruiting. Pelham took over the Grove's Battery with directions to nse such of the men w ho remained In a battery he was authorized to organize. Many of the men of this battery destited after creditable service at Firit Manassas, since they were from an area which was greatly divided in its. allegiance. ' ' While thus engaged General Stuart, whose headquarters were nearby, was seeking an officer of promise to take over the organiza tion of a battery of "flying artillery" to operate with the cavalry brigade he was organizing. After considering several young officers, Pelham became his choice; a choice he was never to regret. The new battery, under Pelham. was very choosy in selecting its recruits, most of the men. selected ' being transferees from L o t h e r commands which had seen service. Also the men usually were required to have a knowledge of horsemanship, McGregor Recalled Pvt. William McGregor of Talladega County came from the 10th Alabama Infantry, soon to be elected a lieutenant, finally becoming1 a major- la "the artillery arm. Pvt. James Breathed transferred from a Maryland cavalry regiment, soon was elected lieu tenant, then a captain, and finally 5 - - J V '" 1.1 . ' f lp7nT . ; ' - " x ir.- Ul nil U y ; - i " !' u4 i. - It ,a - m mniiiLumiiTni..-rii i umi nimifTnnm mi rnnii nnniniTTit hot --i t-t ihwiumwiwi 'W W h'':ATf4-'--'--'v'- ... WHERE PELHAM DIED Shown above Is the Shaekleford home In Culpepper, Va., where Major John Pelham of Calhoun County died In 1863. Pelham, who was General J. E. B. Stuart's artillery commander, was wounded fatally during the cavalry battle at Kelly's Ford near Culpepper when a shell burst over him and a splinter of steel struck him in the head. The wounded officer was moved to the Shaekleford home where he died. PELHAM BIRTHPLACE Above Is the birthplace of Gallant John Pelham. It was the home, as the plate erected by the Forney District or the U. D. C. tells, of his grandparents, William and Elizabeth Clay McGehee. The home is now occupied by Tom Francis and her daughter. It Is located Just off Highway 431 between Anniston and Alexandria. Gunboats in the Pamunkey river were guarding the work of destruction, and Pf lham was directed to chase them away. One of the boats showed fUht and Pelham, with one gun, engaged it, as it hastily departed down river This Judicrous inci- -wlgjsV-AoeJk- LT. COL JOHN PELHAM t commended by Lee a major in command of the Horse ommended tor promotion to lieutenant colonel. The recommenda tion was approved, but Pelham was killed before receiving the news. The night before leaving t h e Academy he is said to have written that he was about to start South, and that while "Northern friends would call him a traitor, j he could take no other course". if Of Plants j After a day at his home in Alexandria, where he drilled the Alexandria Rifles later to be a unit of the 10th Alabama he jroceeded to Montgomery a in d reported for duty in the Confederate army. A commission had been authorized a month earlier, and "Innvas assigned to the Artillery arm as a lieutenant, and ordered to Lynchburg. Lieutenant Pelham's stay at jyashbyigwa brief, as hia..ser.4stw vices were so sorely needed, at the. front. He . reached Harper's Ferry at about the same time Gen. Jos. E. Johnston arrived to take over command of the troops there, and was assigned to t h e Alburtis Battery as a drillmaster. He also took over the drilling of another Virginia Battery, Grove's Newtown Battery, and these batteries were rapidly readied for service, and gave a good account of themselves at the First Man assas battle on July 21. Lieutenant Pelham apparently commanded a section of the Al burtis Battery, and may have had command of the whole, battery at times, in the Manassas fight. The Battery was commanded by Gen eral Longstreet. and Pelham wrote home that he had "been praised' for his services. The 4th Alabama Infantry was a heroic faelor in tnis battle, and Pelham wrote of witnessing it in action. The young lieutenant also added that-hc did not "know where he will be next week, perhaps in Washington". Artillery. There were men from practically every Southern state east of the Mississippi. There was a sizeable group from New Or leans, probably the so called Napoleon Detachment" of John Esten Cooke's stories. When the Confederate army re tired Southward in the early spring of 1862 Stuart's cavalry command was an important unit, and Pelham and his battery exemplified itratttityto operate TuIIy with the1 cavalry when it was brought face to face with McClellan's magnificent army attempting to take Richmond by way of the peninsula. On one occasion "Pelham had oppor tunity to display his skill when racing a Federal battery for a choice position, Pelham cutting across fields and gullies and tak ing the point, to the great discom fort of the Federal battery. Doubtless Pelham was keenly disappointed that he was not with id- around"" Mir dent was a source of great joy to Stuart and others, and Pelham was praised for his part in it. The cavalry command was not with the main army in the battle of Malvern Hill, (July 1st) but arrived in the area the next day in time to operate on McClellan's flank as he retired to Harrison's Landing on the James, and the protection of the gunboats. On July 2, while scouting near the James, Pelham discovered a neglected . point on Evelington Heights overlooking the Federal ramn. He sent a short letter to "Stuart, with a crude little map, informing him of the situation, and on order from Stuart, he took the position with little fiphting on the morning of the 3rd. He held the position several hours, although heavily engaged by the enemy. He yielded the position only when his ammunilion.vas.exliaustcL-Despite McClellan's plea .for reinforcements, it soon became clear Uiat his campaign for Rich mond by thi route was at an end. The Confederates held the area in the vicinity of the city until the Federal army was retired, and a new threat to the city was in the offing. General John Pope, in command of a large Federal army was moving south, and General Lee turn ed to meet him. nnn t mm"? V " - M n ii 1 1 1 1 J t t smmmm i, m mni in Stuart then could not restrain himself, and Rave vent to his. great joy over the heroic performance of McClellan, now being called "the Virginia Creeper," finally crossed the Potomac, soon to be relieved by the inefficient" Burnside, who was fully aware of his limitations. The two armies moved southward in approximately parallel lines, wttn some action tn the ' no man s land" between. Stu art's command was most active, and engaged in some hot clashes. Pelham operated with the cavalry, and engaged In some spirited fights on his own account, particularly at Aldie on Oct. 31st. In this aetion he was practically surrounded at one time, and it was only such skill as he possessed thai saved him from capture or destrucj tion. Again, on Nov On The Cover The cover page of this section serves as the Introductory page for the 75th Anniversary Edition of The Anniston Star and some of the great men who lived and made their names In this area are pictured. The statue la of General Sam Noble, one of this City's founding fathers, and the monument stands at 12th and Quintard. In the background at the top of the page U an aerial view of downtown Anniston made only a couple of years ago. The cartoons represent an early "flat-bed" press, the type The Star's ancestor! used, and a modern, high-speed rotary press. ; . - . Harry Mell Ayers, editor and publisher of The Star, is known by sight to thousands in this area, beloved by thousands more and his voice Is heard in the high places of the land. The strong guiding hand of Colonel A vers his steered this newspaper throurh wain and depressions and the future seems golden, indeed. but as the fog lifted a grand dis- It Is not too clear what effect this 8. at Hazel Riv- P'av of military might stretched had upon the battle as a whole, Pelham's skill saved him from out before the men in gray en- but it is entirely possible that it one gave the Confederates time to er capture, as the federals pressed trenched on the hills about southward on their "long road tojmile back of the river. Richmond." By early December it was reasonably clear that Burnside would concentrate his army on the Rappahannock at or near Fredericksburg, and Lee's army w as scattered along the south bank of Che stream at points where he could best meet any attempt to cross made by Burnside. He Battles Boats strengthen their lines, and caused They now had litUe time to waitjthe Federals to direct their ereat- for the Federals to move, and this they did as if on parade. He Amazes All Under orders of Stuart, Pelham with two guns one of which was est effort against the better, entrenched commands of Lee and Longs t reef, with disastrous effect to themselves. Pelham's heroic action was within full view of most or the Con federate army, from Lee to pri- disabled and retired almost at vates, and his courage must have onre took up a position about inspired them as nothing else half a mile in front of Jackson's could do. One of Pelham's bov- There were some minor engage- -foier-aint-arthe-Twtertte W.lsfant, known . Clellan early in June, but two of his guns-participated tinder the able direction of his lieutenant, James Breathed. As the Confederates retired PELHAM'S EQUIPMENT Mrs. Laura Pelham exhibits (above) the saddlebags and a pistol of the Lieutenant Colonel John Pelham. The pistol is an 1851 model .36 caliber Colt type, one of two Prlham wore until receiving a fatal wound at Kelley's" Ford in 1863. Guns and saddlebags came bark to the family and one of the ' pistols was sent to Montgomery to be placed on ' exhibit there. Stuart Rides Again I'not iw the uniform'1, at the time that Prthaui's ('fooler of" poMTTorf mn. ht nnpned iinnn Ihpm an' in man., ( h. nM niiian. ..i ments along the river, notably at;atUck that amazed armies. Calhoun County as a brilliant edi-Port Republic where four gunboats By pIuck skill( couragei tnis and hl ieilow .veteratis as threatened Confederate forces Here!gut) and it, crcw held up , Federalja man of great C0Urage. witness- Pelham, now a major, with l!.rmy of 53.000 for nearly an hour.i (Continued op . Page 19) or more batteries under his com- j , mand, took four guns and engaged the boats. At close range, the fire of the gunboats was not effective, and" they were glad to take flight after Pelham had raked them with his guns, putting a shot through one of them. s army -war of rapture. in the battle was one of "pure encamped on me neignis on tnc General Pope had beeTrwstffieaeniil Tnrrrver, sugnuy up Pnn- uith nomDositv and much by the several operations of the mentine to John Ksten Cooke said stream from r redencksburg. Le, boasting, approached the Rappa-I Confederates, part of whom were; "Pelham is a very remarkable witn lne major portion of his army, hannock River, to be met by the between his army and Washing- man. I have never seenmore wa now taking position on the before McClellan several m a 1 o r Confederates at several points, ai ton. Turning to face Jackson, the skillful handling of Runs-With a!i,18n" UK ,uw"- a'K - , ,i c..- .t.itAil ' i. . c . ,. . . , . . IRurncia VAmaH In think that SI an nnnnriiiiif Limr. iiun l siduiu ntt mm iir- .'M'i'iinii nasui rimn v nam nn parn riank' I w pv, "u'-1""- . v , u ... . .,, ........ another of his famous raids, this developed. ' time going far to the rear of the! pelham, cooperating with Stuart, Federal army, and taking the huRhad been engaged in several brief engagements developed, one of them being the battle of Gaines Mill (June 27th). In this engagement Pelham displayed his usual skill and daring, doing much to assure a Confederate victory. He came under the eye W "Good Old Stonewall", who took his hand and greeted him as if he were an equal, as indeed he was In courage. Incidentally, General Jackson loved artillery, and his first fame was won as lieutenant of artillery in the Mexican War. He could noli do otherwise than admire Pelham. Boat Flees Gun I could whip the world." considerable pan oi me toniea- . Victory was claimed bv both "ate army wai concentrated at or armies, but Lee retired to the safe-nFar prt Republic, about 18 miles supply depot at Manassas Junc-lflgM,- aong the route of jackson's'ty of Virginia, and McClellan wasldowns,rMm' ' However, the entire tion, having to destroy much '!army, and, after some preliminarv slow to followhim.ThojiConfcd-iarmy . .wLJPlP-t least .?. the. loot because of his inability to figMing, Pelham was given a sort: crate army, greatly reduced andienou?h io Participate in any battle move . 'of "rovinc command-' in the bat-If aliened hv the hard' camnaien !at Fredericksburg. 1 1 . Ik. AhfnnAtnl a irm'l ' 1 " ' ' i.uyt-.. ........ -'" tie. In this he rendered valuable enjoyed a IfaalCU an ll liau ni:ri na.-tnv fore Pope hcadquart I . iL. "'aI' A rr ik i0x 'Hi" ,hc npxt day, (Sept. 1) in' Miss Sarah Dandridge, Pelham's' toon bridges. At early dawn on the unnorm, oracr ijo:ih., piyii, v, , ... j.j' - - io.i.. us. . ,. .wtoM anH The uniform was first paraded ; w . r ' "s re apeeuea uancce, was a nwmwx in the town of ttarrcnton, on the " lu 'e '""s ueienu- brief rest. ! . On Dec. 11th and 12th Burnside , af. !l na . . o , nt i service. at several points, and was! Stuart's command had headquar- crossed his army to the south bank in this raif! Muart raPu,reu heartily thanked by Jackson. Iters at the beloved "Bower," home!of the river, on the plain below the s headquarters, n his ad-, n,, . .... ! . ... ...... ...u...', ,-ii .i.psh t- i uia.ii wan antvc in nif iiiu aitoi iJit: vuhuiiuu laimiy in wimii u.h iww. n." p,av.v. .. . , ; . i .. l : ,,i back of a darky of proper size,;-" n,,. much to the delight , of the popu-j As McClellan retired toward the lace, then sent to Richmond, prep-, turns norm James River, Stuart's command scouted toward the Federal depot at the "White House." in process erlv inscribed and dipiyed-in-f store on main street. General Jack- Son drvlv observed that he "re-j; With the Federal army safely out etllQ-, . .bH f ntnn n, i.i of his way, General ice imme-LnP ' . 'frnm w .nmmnri anH in ii uitm, mm u..ri.y ji.,-i .,j ui. , i' , ... - - of being abandoned or destroyed, gretted the Federal general w as "I"'"' "l" " l"wa.,u Pelham with four guns left the 1 - Maryland. This campaign culmin- ..Rnu,-r.i linrt.r nrH-r, trm nn. ated in the battle of Sharpsburg, eral Ue to penetrate the country one of the bloodiest fighta of the-orth of the potomac, in the rear en ire war. , . of McClellan's army me army movea into Maryland it was faced by the Federal army again under McClellan, with 13th his army was alerted and Manv liannv hours were snpnt in ready to move, and the Confed- thls home and Jits surrounding jerates were ready to receive them, grove o( huge oaks, many of which) A heavy fog caused delay of the are still standing. . Federal army until after 10 o'clock. Congratulations to . . . 31p r On Your 75th Anniversary LECTRI (era ServingAnnistort and Colhoun County's Commercial Electrical Needs For The Past 10 Years. ,615 W. 11th AD 7-1781 Store Is An Institution Dedicated To Community Service And The, Safe-Guarding Of Your Health Collins Drug Company hds carried on the. traditions of a good Drug Store and has been a port of Anniston for 40 YEARS. . Thit drug store is interested in you . . . and all the people of Anniston interested in Anniston's civic life, and glad to be o port of the future development of this area. Just What The Doctor Ordered Every prescription filled os the doctor writes it . . . compounded by the friendly pharmacists at Collins using only the highest quality pharmaceuticals from the finest laboratories. SERVING ANNISTON SINCE 1917 Prescription! Baby rNleects Cosmetics Fountain Service 123 Eojt Collins Drug Store Dial AD 6-4435 This, the so-called Chambersburg raid, proved to be most sensational operation of Stuart's career, al- heavy fighting at Boonesborough!,hml,h, nf rnmir ntwr. and South Mountain. Pelham s jn some of js a Fe(1. part in these engagements w as im-era, reaction ranged from aston. portant and he had a very narrow ishment to stampede, escape from capture Gne Pennsvlvania town s mayor Jackson had taken Harpers Fer- ,elegrapncd Washington that "50.-ry September bth and urned:000 rcbels are on the l6nse in northw-ard to join Lee at Sharps- Pennsylvania." and conservative burg By the early morning of Sep-!offjcers stimated tne commnA to ..n uc. i,u, uic io iacea:be several tjmf.s Us arhljJ, size each other, and at the break of dawn the fight began. In the early stages Stuart's command operated with' (Old Jube Early near the Dunker church. At this point the Federals were Little opposition w as encountered until the command was nearing the Potomac river on its return, although Federal detachments were near on several occasions. . At the river several hundred Fed thrown back, and Pelham and his erals were assembled near the lit-guns participated in the charge ,,e . scd ford sclected for the against the retiring- Federals. crossinR but these were coerced Following this Pelham took a L, d art wihnut a fight hv S(mc position at the extreme left of the lalk on the part of tne Con. unieui-raie army io guara Kalnsl federates. have endangered Lee's entire ar my. At this point Pelham had guns from other batteries, and while he was not heavily engaged, -his position was one of prime Importance, commanding the terrain to the Potomac. River about one mile to the Pelham Wins Again ! As the major portion of the command crossed the river, some of the Federal command returned and engaped the renr of Stuart's little army, with Pelham and one west, and rendering an altaeklof his guns in the extreme rear in a acainst Jackson's line north of (liCidcensive position. For a time it Dunker church impracticable seemed that Pelham and his one gun would be samficrd. . However, with hia-usual skill, by shifting position and firing up the lo recent years a study has been ! river and then down, he kept his made of the Sharpsburg battle, and attacker at a safe distance, and Genius Is Shoicn an officer of the U. S. Army said, he crossed over aafcly. i We extend,.. II M II H 1 1 i ' Best Wishes to " Mt Aumstmt tar On the occasion of its th AiilpDveirsairy Diamond Jewelry Store 13 West 10th St. 75

Clipped from
  1. The Anniston Star,
  2. 29 Nov 1957, Fri,
  3. Page 16

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