Sunday, February 6, 2011

Only Married Aout Three Weeks

The first former United States officer to be captured as a Confederate; Brigadier General John Pegram was killed February 6th 1865.

John Pegram was born January 24th 1832 in Petersburg, Virginia the son of John West and Virginia [Johnson] Pegram. His father died when he was still young, and his mother supported the family by running a girls school. Pegram received an appointment to the United State Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1854, and was assigned to the United State dragoons as a Second Lieutenant. After three years of garrison duty in the West, Pegram was appointed as Assistant Instructor of Cavalry at West Point. He took a leave in 1858-59 to go to Europe and observe the Austro - Sardinian War. After returning from Europe in 1860 Pegram was assigned on the frontier in New Mexico Territory.

Pegram received news in May 1861 that his home state of Virginia had seceded. He resigned his Untied State Lieutenant commission. In July of 1861 Pegram was assigned to the 20th Virginia Infantry and commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel. The 20th Virginia was part of Brigadier General Robert Selden Garnett’s brigade serving in western Virginia. In August 1861 Pegrem’s men were cut off from the brigade during the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11th 1861, and Pegram surrendered his men to the Union forces. Making Pegram the first former United States Army officer to be captured as a Confederate, he spent six months imprisoned in Fort Monroe. Paroled on January 1862, Pegram was prompted to Colonel and made the Chief Engineer of the army of General Braxton Bragg. In November 1862 Pegram was promoted to Brigadier General and given command of a Cavalry Brigade. In November 1862 he reported to the Army of Northern Virginia, where he was given command of a brigade in Jubal A Early’s division. Pegram was wounded during the Battle of the Wilderness, but was back in time for Early’s Valley Campaign.

Pegram married Hetty Cary January 19th 1865 in Richmond, Virginia. The wedding was attended by Confederate President and Mrs Jefferson Davis. Pegram was killed in action February 6th 1865 at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run. His funeral would be held in the same church he was just married in. Pegram is buried in the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

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