Colonel John Pelham
Lee's Boy Artillerist
By William W. Hassler
204 pp., 5.25 x 8, 29 halftones, 6 maps
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4549-3
Published: September 1995
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-6678-8
Published: November 2000
Buy this Book
- Paperback $28.00
- E-Book $19.99
"Stonewall" Jackson, who relied implicitly on Pelham in tight situations said: "It is really extraordinary to find such nerve and genius in a mere boy. With a Pelham on each flank I believe I could whip the world."
"Jeb" Stuart, the dashing cavalry chief, claimed that "John Pelham exhibited a skill and courage which I have never seen surpassed. I loved him as a brother."
Major John Esten Cooke, a fellow-officer and tent-mate, wrote: "He is the bravest human being I ever saw in my life."
And one of Pelham's veteran gunners asserted: "We knew him -- we trusted him -- we would have followed him anywhere, and did."
Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities in the spring of 1861, Cadet Pelham slipped away from West Point to join the Confederacy. Following the fierce Battle of First Manassas, in which he fought side-by-side with "Stonewall" Jackson, Pelham was assigned to "Jeb" Stuart's command with orders to organize the Stuart Horse Artillery. This mounted unit -- dashing from action to action on the battlefield -- provided General Lee's army with invaluable mobile firepower which saved many desperate situations.
In over sixty battles Pelham's blazing guns saw furious action against Union infantry, cavalry, artillery, gunboats and even locomotives. Although he fought against tremendous odds, Pelham never lost an artillery duel or a single gun!
Colonel Pelham was an outstanding figure on the battlefield and off. The modest, boyish-looking commander of the Horse Artillery was as calm and popular with his gunners under fire as he was with beautiful Southern belles in the ballroom. This action-packed book fully describes the incredible feats of the adventurous, romantic artillery genius of the Confederacy.
About the Author
William Woods Hassler is president emeritus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and of Wesley College. He lives in Winchester, Virginia.
For more information about William W. Hassler, visit the Author Page.
"Possesses the same vividness that brought high acclaim for [Hassler's] earlier study, A. P. Hill: Lee's Forgotten General."--Civil War History
"A solid biography of the Confederacy's boy wonder."--Civil War Times