John Pelham, a native Alabamian, was a cannoneer attached to General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry corps. Pelham distinguished himself with his heroics at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862 and was killed three months later on March 17, 1863, while commanding the Horse Artillery at Kelly's Ford, Virginia. Stuart was devastated by Pelham's loss.

James Ryder Randall, a native of Baltimore who cast his lot with the South and is perhaps best known for the lyrics to "Maryland, My Maryland!", was on duty with the Confederate Army in Selma, Alabama when Pelham's body arrived at the railroad station on its way home for burial. After looking on Pelham's boyish face through the glass plate in his coffin, Randall was moved to write this touching tribute to the fallen hero.

"John Pelham"

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Last modified 16-April-2001