John Pegram was born in Petersburg, Virginia on January 24, 1832. His father was an attorney, militia brigadier general and bank president in Richmond, and his grandfather commanded all Virginia militia units in the War of 1812. One of Pegram’s younger brothers was the Confederate artillery colonel William “Willie” Pegram, who was killed at the Battle of Five Forks at the end of the Civil War. John Pegram graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in 1854 and served in the dragoons at several duty stations in the west, and he travelled to Europe as an observer of the Austrian-Sardinian War. When the Civil War broke out, Pegram was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the 20th Virginia Infantry. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of Rich Mountain against Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, but was captured and sent to Fort Warren in Boston. Paroled in January, 1862, Pegram served most of that year on the staffs of Generals Pierre G. T. Beauregard, Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith. He was promoted to brigadier general in November and given command of a cavalry brigade and fought under Nathan Bedford Forrest at Chickamauga. After a transfer to the Army of Northern Virginia, Pegram commanded an infantry division under Jubal A. Early at the Wilderness, where he was wounded. He served under Early again at Cedar Creek, and returned to the defense of his hometown of Petersburg in November, 1864. Pegram was killed in action at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run on February 6, 1865. He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.