CAPTAIN ROBERT BAKER PEGRAM6
Robert Baker Pegram entered the United States Navy as a midshipman 2 February 1829, and received regular and uninterrupted promotions. He served in the Mediterranean, Japan and East India Squadrons, and in the famous Wilkes Expedition. His most celebrated service was the capture of a piratical flotilla in the Sea of China. He took sixteen Junks, with one hundred cannons, inflicting a loss of one hundred men. He received testimonials from the British Commander in the expedition, and her Majesty, Queen Victoria.
Robert Baker resigned from the United States Navy on17 April 1861, and was made a Captain in the Confederate Navy. He was placed in command of the Norfolk Navy Yard. He disabled the steamer Harriet Lane by his batteries at Pigs Point. He commanded the steamer Nashville, and captured the Harvey Burch in the English Channel. He superintended the armament of the iron-clad Richmond. Funds were raised to purchase what was termed the volunteer navy of the State. He went to England for that purpose and had a vessel ready when Appomattox occurred (66,68, 93).
After the war Captain Pegram was able to join his family and engage in civilian pursuits. He was listed as a Vestryman of Bristol Parish in 1871 (68). He was appointed Superintendent of the Petersburg Railroad. After three years he joined the new Life Insurance Company of Virginia, in 1871. In 1873 he was made General Agent at Norfolk. He was Vestryman at Saint Pauls Church there, when it was restored in 1892. Captain Pegram remained in Norfolk until his death on 24 bctober-1894. He was buried there in the old part of Elmwood Cemetery, known as Cedar Grove. 1894. United States and Confederate Navies.
Robert Baker married Lucy Binns Cargill who was born3 1 May 1814 and died 1 June 1870. She was the daughter of the Reverend John Cargill, Rector of St. Andrews Parish, Sussex County, Virginia, and Lucy Binns, daughter of Charles Binns of Sussex County.
The marriage was on 26 November 1835. There were six children of this marriage. After the death of his wife Lucy, Robert Baker married Sarah Leigh, who survived him. There were no children of this marriage.
The scope of the present work will not allow even a modest summary of the extensive information on the work and life of Captain Pegram. Many lengthy obituaries appeared following his death. The following is an article from the Richmond Dispatch of 186 1, entitled, "The Officers of the Nashville," a brief notice of his death in a Norfolk Newspaper of the time, and a poem written in his memory.
THE OFFICERS OF THE NASHVILLE
The London Illustrated News, of the 30th November last, contained a spirited woodcut of the capture and burning of the Harvey Burch by the Confederate Steamer Nashville, and thus speaks of the officers of the latter vessel.
Captain Pegram is an old officer of the United States Navy, and bore a conspicuous part in the Mexican War, in the Paraguay and Japan Expeditions, and during the war waged by the English and French in China. For his distinguished services, his native state, Virginia, voted him, by the unanimous voice of the General Assembly of the Legislature, a splendid sword, and Sir John Stilling, in his dispatches to the Admiralty, makes the following mention of him:
It is impossible to speak too highly of the American cooperating party engaged. They were with the Rattler, emulating each other, in the thickest of the attack; but my warmest thanks in particular, are due to Lieutenant Pegram, the American senior officer; his encouragement of the men, and coolness under a heavy fire, and determined bravery, when surrounded by a persevering and revengeful foe, were conspicuous to all.
Richmond (Virginia) Dispatch 1861 .
CAPTAIN R. B. PEGRAM
Like many of his comrades, sailors and soldiers, officers and privates, Captain Pegram, who died yesterday, gave his sword and his service to Virginia, when the crisis was presented to him, without a moment's question or hesitation. In doing so he relinquished the certainty of that promotion which, attending upon the career of a gallant and able officer, in the old service, would have made him an Admiral in the Navy of the United States. He was as modest and gentle as a woman, as fearless as Julius Caesar, spotless in his private character, chivalrous in bearing, and without reproach in every relation of life. His memory will be ever a precious heritage to his friends, as his record will be a shining example to his fellow citizens of Norfolk. Peace be unto him.
For the Norfolk Virginian.
CAPT. ROBT. B. PEGRAM.
I knew him and I loved him
The issue of Capt. Robert Baker Pegram and Lucy Binns Cargill were: MARGARET BELCHES7,JOHN CARGILL, JAMES WEST, LUCY CARGILL, ROBERT BAKER 11, and GEORGE WILLIAM, herewith presented with their descendants.
MARGARET BELCHES PEGRAM7 was born on 1 June 1837, likely in Amelia or Dinwiddie County, Virginia. She married Colonel Sol Williams C.S.A., 20 May 1863. Col. Williams was killed in the war, 8 June 1863, at Brandy Station, Culpepper County, Virginia. After the death of Col. Williams, Margaret married Major B.W. Belscher of Sussex County, Virginia, on 26 November 1868. He died in 1872. Margaret's first husband lived only 19 days after their marriage, and her second husband only about four years. On 24 October 1877 Margaret married Dr. M. Q. Holt of Surry County, Virginia. Their home was, the "Anchorage" in Surry County. They had one son, ROBERT PEGRAM HOLT8.
CAPTAIN JOHN CARGILL PEGRAM7, son of Capt. Robert Baker Pegram and Lucy Binns Cargill, was born 3 October 1838. He was Adj. General on the staff of General Ransom, C.S.A. He was killed 16 June 1864 near Petersburg, and was buried at Blanford Church.
JAMES WEST PEGRAM7, son of Capt. Robert Baker Pegram and Lucy Binns Cargill, was born 11 February 1843. He was in the Confederate Army and was wounded at Fort Fisher. He was Vestryman, and Superintendent of St. Pauls Church Sunday school. He was one of the founders of the Life Insurance Company of Virginia, and was Vice-President at the time of his death. James West married Eliza Waller Blacknall of Norfolk, Virginia. They had the following issue:
LUCY CARGILL PEGRAM7, daughter of Robert Baker Pegram and Lucy BinnsCargill, was born 24 November 1847. She married Dr. William Allen Deas of Richmond, Virginia. She died in December 1918, without issue.
ROBERT BAKER PEGRAM II7, son of Capt. Robert Baker Pegram and Lucy Binns Cargill, was born 29 December 1848. He was a civil engineer. He married Ella Goodwin Wyatt of Marion, Alabama, who was born 25 January 1852 and died 3 December 1895. Robert Baker I1 was General Manager of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. He was also President of the Vera Cruz and Pacific Railroad, and lived for a time in Mexico. There were five Children:
Robert Baker III was also a poet, and a selected number of his poems were published on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, "by those who were close to him and who appreciated his depth of character and youthful spirit," 22 August 1944.
DeSALES HARRISON JR.l0, son of Virginia Wyatt Pegram and DeSales Harrison, was born 21 March 1924. He was in World War II, was wounded and decorated. He was educated at Tulane and Emory Universities Law Schools. He married Alexa Williams, and they had ALEXA11, JULIA and SUSAN. DeSales Jr. and Alexa were divorced. DeSales is Chairman of the board of the Tel-Am Broadcasting Company and of the Basic Low Technology Corporation. He livesin Concord, Massachusetts.
NANCY KNIGHT HARRISON10, daugher of Virginia Wyatt Pegram and DeSales Harrison, was born 23 June 1931. She was educated at Mount Vernon Academy in Washington, D.C. She married Keith Spears Lattimore, and they had two children: KEITH SPEARS JR.11 , and HARRISON.
Robert Baker IV9 and his wife Nancy were killed in an airplane crash at Orly Field, Paris, France on 3 June 1962. They were part of a group that was visiting France, by chartered plane, for the observation and study of the arts. The people who were killed in this crash took the very heart of the Atlanta connoisseurs and benefactors of the arts. Robert Baker IV and Nancy had two daughters.
ANN FRENDERICK PEGRAM10, daughter of Robert Baker Pegram IV and Nancy Frederick, was born in Atlanta, Georgia 6 October 1937. She married Joseph Lawrence Lyle Jr. of Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1957. They had issue JOHN BROOK11, born Lexington, Virginia 24 February 1958; MARTHA LAWRENCE, born Lynchburg, Virginia 3 1 March 1961; and JOSEPH LAWRENCE", born Lynchburg, Virginia 5 November 1963. Ann Frederick Pegram was married a second time to Byron L. Harris in Atlanta, Georgia.
SUSAN VIRGINIA PEGRAM10, daughter of Robert Baker Pegram IV and Nancy Frederick, was born 20 February 1940 in Atlanta, Georgia. She married Kevin Frances O'Gara on 6 August 1960, in Atlanta, Georgia. They had four children: KEVIN FRANCES Jr.11, born Wilmington, Delaware, 27 May 1961; ROBERT PEGRAM, born Wilmington, Delaware 26 July 1962; NANCY FREDERICK, born Atlanta, Georgia 24 February 1965; and TIMOTHY DRISCOLL, born Atlanta, Georgia 11 December 1970.
Information on the family of Robert Baker Pegram I11 can be found in the Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy (95), and in "Alexander Rose of Parson County, North Carolina, and his descendants" (96), from which much of the above was taken.
GEORGE WILLIAM PEGRAM7, son of Robert Baker Pegrarn6 and Lucy Binns Cargill, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on 26 May 1852. He married Margaret Jane Dodson of Petersburg on 26 November 1879. She was the daughter of Daniel and Martha Rowlett Dodson. Margaret Jane was born 13 March 185 3 and died 2 1 June 1917.
The old and well-known Dodson Tavern on High Street in Petersburg, Virginia was built about 1753 by John Dodson. British soldiers were said to have been quartered there during the Revolutionary War. General Robert E. Lee ate many meals there. Aaron Burr, Vice-President, 180 1- 1805, later tried for treason and acquitted, was a guest at the tavern. Margaret Dodson was a descendant of John Dodson, the original owner. The tavern remained in the family until Col. John Cargill Pegram, son of George William Pegram and Margaret Dodson, deeded it to the city as an historical site, shortly before his death in 1972. In addition to the tavern, Col. Pegram also left an extensive collection of books to the city, along with antique furniture in the tavern. Some of the colonel's letters and books have been given to Fort Lee Quartermasters Museum, including letters written by Robert E. Lee to the Colonel's mother. The story of the tavern is chronicled and pictured in the Progress-Index of Petersburg, 15 August 1972.
Capt. George William Pegram died 24 April 1905 in Petersburg, and was buried in Pegram Square at Blandford Cemetery. The Times-Dispatch of Petersburg carried an obituary entitled "Death of an Honored Man". George and Margaret had three children.
COLONEL JOHN CARGILL PEGRAM8, was born in 1881. He married Gwendolin White. There were no children. At the time of his death, at the age of 91, he was one of the oldest graduates of the United States Military Academy, having graduated in 1902. Col. Pegram was a great traveler, and after his retirement he spent many winters on the Island of Majorca in the Mediterranean.
MARGARET BELCHES PEGRAM8, daughter of George William Pegram and Margaret Dodson, was born in 1883. She lived in Petersburg and never married.
ELIZABETH ROMAIN PEGRAM8, daughter of George William Pegram and Margaret Dodson, married Robert Martin.