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 my command, bear witness. His loss is irreparable."
The body of the young officer was sent to Richmond, laid in state in the Capitol of Virginia, and we are told that "some tender hand deposited an evergreen wreath, intertwined with white flowers, upon the case that contained all that was mortal of the fallen hero." His family received the soldier's remains; they were taken to his Southern home; Virginia, the field of his fame, had surrendered him to Alabama, the land of his birth.
"The Major-General commanding," wrote Stuart, in a general order, "approaches with reluctance the painful duty of announcing to the Division its irreparable loss in the death of Major john pelham, commanding the Horse Artillery.
"He fell mortally wounded in the battle of Kellysville, March 17th, with the battle-cry on his lips, and the light of victory beaming from his eye.
"To you, his comrades, it is needless to dwell upon what you have so often witnessed his prowess in action, already proverbial. You well know how, though young in years, a mere stripling in appearance, remarkable for his genuine modesty of deportment, he yet disclosed on the battle-field the conduct of a veteran, and displayed in his handsome person the most imperturbable coolness in danger.
"His eye had glanced over every battle-field of this army, from the first Manassas to the moment of his death, and he was, with a single exception, a brilliant actor in all.
"The memory of the gallant pelham, his many virtues, his noble nature and purity of character, is enshrined as a sacred legacy in the hearts of all who knew him.
"His record has been bright and spotless; his career brilliant and successful.
"He fell the noblest of sacrifices on the altar of his country, to whose glorious service he had dedicated his life from the beginning of the war."