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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Culpeper in Culpeper County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“Gallant” Pelham’s Last Days

The Virginia House and Shackelford House

 
 
"Gallant" Pelham's Last Days Marker image. Click for full size.
December 23, 2006
1. "Gallant" Pelham's Last Days Marker
Inscription. Confederate cavalry chief Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and Maj. John Pelham, the commander of Stuart’s Horse Artillery, frequented the Virginia House Hotel and often visited the Shackelford family across the street. A warm friendship developed between 24-year-old Pelham and Bessie Shackelford, an unmarried daughter.

Pelham earned a reputation as an artillery genius, and during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee dubbed the young major the “Gallant Pelham.” On March 16, 1863, word of Union horsemen approaching Kelly’s Ford prompted a train to be sent south to Orange for more ammunition. Pelham, who was at the Orange depot, took the train back to Culpeper to join in the impending battle. The following day, the Battle of Kelly’s Ford was fought 10 miles east of here. Pelham was in the thick of the fray when a piece of shrapnel struck him in the back of the head. He was draped over his horse and taken to the Shackelford house. That evening, doctors removed the tiny piece of shrapnel, but Pelham died about 1 a.m. Stuart arrived soon after and wept over the body of his esteemed artillerist who had fought in 60 engagements and never lost a gun.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker
Virginia Civil War Trails Marker image. Click for full size.
February 8, 2008
2. Virginia Civil War Trails Marker
series.
 
Location. 38° 28.46′ N, 77° 59.739′ W. Marker is in Culpeper, Virginia, in Culpeper County. Marker is on North Main Street (Business U.S. 15), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Culpeper VA 22701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William "Extra Billy" Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); A.P. Hill's Boyhood Home (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eppa Rixey Boyhood Home (about 500 feet away); Historic Antioch Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Tribute to Black Americans – Early 1900’s (approx. 0.2 miles away); Culpeper Court House (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Culpeper Court House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mountain Run Watershed (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Culpeper.
 
More about this marker. On the marker's lower left is a photo captioned, The Virginia House Hotel, diagonally across the street, was built in 1846 and served as a popular gathering place for soldiers throughout the Civil War. The porches have since been enclosed. On the right side of the marker is a photo captioned, The home of Henry Shackelford, a prominent attorney, stood to your left,
The former Virginia House Hotel image. Click for full size.
February 8, 2008
3. The former Virginia House Hotel
Across from the site of the Shackelford House.
directly across the street from the Virginia House Hotel.
The marker also features a portrait of Maj. John Pelham, C.S.A.
 
Also see . . .
1. John Pelham Biography. (Submitted on October 14, 2008.)
2. John Pelham Historical Association. (Submitted on October 14, 2008.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Plaque at the Site the House Stood image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 11, 2008
4. Plaque at the Site the House Stood
The Gallant Pelham
On this site stood
the house in which
Major John Pelham, C.S.A.
died on March 17, 1863
erected by
The Culpeper Chapter U.D.C. in 1958
Site of the Shackelford House image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 11, 2008
5. Site of the Shackelford House
The site of the Shackelford house, where Pelham died is marked by a plaque, seen at the front corner post. The site is at the intersection of Cameron and Main Streets. The marker's location is to the north, or left in this view, in a parking lot.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 1,632 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on .   4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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