Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/349

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341
The Gallant Pelham.

by some one who reported the fact that he had left West Point to join the Confederate army. He was placed under surveillance and not allowed to cross the river to Louisville. However, he accepted the first opportunity to elude the authorities and went up to Jeffersonville.

Around his stay at Jeffersonville and subsequent escape there is woven a pretty little romance, which; whether true or not, is worth relating. He had disguised himself as one of General Scott's couriers, so the story goes, before entering the town, and while watching his chance to slip across the river, he became acquainted with a pretty Yankee maiden, who was visiting friends in the place. She became smitten with the handsome young soldier, and they were together much.

By and by he gained her confidence sufficiently to disclose his identity without fear of betrayal, and informed her of his purpose to go South and join the Confederate army. She was a true Northern girl, and endeavored to prevail upon him to stand by the "old flag," but he was firm. Love has been known to be stronger than patriotism in hearts colder than that of a sympathetic maiden. It was true in her case, and Cupid overthrew Mars in her heart.

Finding her entreaties of no avail, she volunteered to ferry him across the river. Consequently they took a skiff the following day for a pleasure row on the Ohio, but they never came back; that is, he did not, for they landed on the old Kentucky shore, where he bade his fair benefactor a last farewell and she returned to Jeffersonville by way of the ferryboat. From the time he set foot upon Kentucky soil Pelham' s brilliant career began. However, he did not remain in Louisville long, but hurried on to Montgomery, then the capital of the Confederacy, and reported for duty. He was commissioned first lieutenant in the regular Confederate States Army, and assigned to duty at Lynchburg, Va., where he had charge of the ordnance. Shortly after reporting there he was ordered to Winchester, Va., and was drillmaster of Albertu's Battery.

In the meantime, the Federal army, like a huge snake, was coiling itself around Manassas preparatory to striking Richmond. The Confederate army went out to receive the blow and deliver another in return, and Pelham rushed to the front with his battery. All that long day of Manassas he fought with superb courage. So well did he handle his guns that he attracted the attention of that Prince Rupert of American calvarymen, General J. E. B. Stuart. General Stuart saw what was in the boy, and intrusted him with the organi--