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The following account of John Pelham's funeral is taken from the Jacksonville Republican, April 2, 1863. The original is in the Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama.
Major John Pelham.
To show the estimation in which the lamented Maj. John Pelham was held in the anny, we copy the following dispatch from Gen. Stuart, to Hon. J.L.M. Curry:
CULPEPPER, VA., 18th March, 1863.
To Hon. J.L.M. Curry:
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 have shed and the gloom of mourning throughout every command bear witness. His loss to the country, is irreparable.
We also copy the following from the Richmond correspondent of the Atlanta Confederacy:
"The remains of the gallant Pelham were laid out in state in the Capitol, until they were removed under military escort, to the Petersburg depot, to be conveyed to his native State, Alabama. The body of the gallant warrior was visited by most of the ladies in Richmond, and the coffin was tastefully decorated with the choicest flowers, blended with evergreens culled by the estimable lady of Gov. Letcher, and placed on the coffin by her own hands."
Maj. John Pelham.
The sad gloom that has spread over our town, caused by the melancholy intelligence that the noble & gallant Maj. John Pelham had fallen, while bravely defending the righteous cause of our oppressed country, was somewhat alleviated by the announcement that his body would be consigned to its rest in our Town Grave Yard: Whereupon a meeting was called at the court house, on Monday morning, 30th March, 1863, over which, on motion, Col. John R. Clark presided, and Jno. D. Hoke acted as Secretary. The object of the meeting by the chairman, being briefly but feelingly expressed, Chancellor Foster moved that a committee be appointed to report suitable arrangements for the funeral ceremonies. The chairman appointed Chancellor Foster, Col. J.H. Caldwell, Col. W.B. Martin, Col. G.C. Ellis arrl Dr. J.Y. Nisbet.
On motion of Col. Caldwell , a committee, consisting of W.F. Bush, Esq. and Dr. J.C. Francis, was appointed to select a suitable person to pronounce an appropriate eulogy.
On motion, the meeting adjourned to meet again in an hour.
After a recess of an hour, the meeting reorganized, Chancellor Foster, ch'm. of the committee, read the following report:
Whereas, The gallant Maj. John Pelham has fallen in battle, and his remains have been removed to this his native county as their final resting place, we the citizens of Calhoun county as a token of respect to the memory of one whom in life we admired, whom in death we all lament;
Resolved 1st, That in the untimely death of the young and chivalrous hero, the army has lost one of its most promising officers, the country one of its most able and patriotic soldiers and our own State one of its brightest ornaments.
Resolved 2d, That we tender to the relatives of the deceased, our condolence at this time of their great and irrepairable loss which they have sustained in the death of one whose opening career was so distinguished and glorious.
Resolved 3d, That we attend the funeral in procession, and that the following committee be appointed to receive the remains of the deceased, to wit: Col. Jno. B. Hoke, M.J. Turnley and S.P. Hollingsworth.
Resolved 4th, That Col. J.H. Caldwell will act as Marshall, and Wm. H. Flemming, J.B. Forney, J.H. Wright, Dr. J.C. Francis, W.F. Bush, B.C. Wyly, T.N. Anglin, and G.B. Douthit act as pallbearers.
Resolved 5th, That the following be the order of the exercises at the Church: 1st, eulogy. 2d, intermission. 3d. religious services. 4th, procession formed as follows:
1. Remains of deceased, with pallbearers.
2. Family and relatives of dead.
4. Officers and soldiers of the army.
5. Teachers and pupils of the Female Academy.
6. Teachers and pupils of the Male Academy.
8. Committee of Arrangements.
9. Grand Jury, and Officers of the Court.
Resolved, That the Secretary furnish a copy of the proceedings of the meeting for publication in the Jacksonville Republican.
On motion the resolutions were unanimously adopted.
The committee appointed to select a suitable person to deliver the eulogy reported that they had selected Chancellor Foster.
At the appointed hour the remains of the deceased arrived in town, met by the Marshall and committee. A chaste, beautiful and feeling address was delivered by Mr. Foster, and the audience invited to take a last look upon the face of the dead, during which many ladies deposited wreaths of fresh flowers upon the coffin. The religious services were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Smith; after which a large and orderly procession moved to the grave, where was consigned to its last resting place, all that remains of the chivalric and noblle Major Pelham -- rest in peace.
JOHN R. ClARK, Chm.
JNO. D. HOKE, Sec 'y.
This article first appeared in Volume 8, No. 5 of The Cannoneer.