John Pelham 1838–1863

Born Benton County, Alabama

John Pelham was within weeks of graduating from West Point in the spring of 1861 when he resigned to join the Confederate army. Posted to Virginia, Pelham earned the admiration of cavalry general J.E.B. Stuart, who provided him with horses to transform his battery into a mobile unit. Demonstrating the effectiveness of this “horse artillery” at Antietam and Fredericksburg, he won glowing praise from his superiors, including General “Stonewall” Jackson. In March 1863 Pelham was mortally wounded in a cavalry engagement.

When Brady made this portrait in his New York City gallery, John Pelham was still a West Point cadet.


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