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Kelly Hancock on “One Bright Moment: The Wedding of Hetty Cary and John Pegram”
Born in Baltimore on May 15, 1836, Hetty Cary was related to two of Virginia's most influential families, the Jeffersons (through her mother's family) and the Randolphs (through her paternal grandmother, Virginia Randolph Cary).
When the Civil War began, Hetty gave her support to the Southern cause. Whether enthusiastically waving a smuggled Confederate flag in the face of Union soldiers in Baltimore, or by smuggling drugs and clothing through the blockade with her sister Jennie, Hetty did not hide her Confederate sympathies, and soon faced arrest or exile from her Union hometown.
Choosing exile and the South, Hetty and Jennie escaped to Richmond where they resided with their cousin Constance Cary and her mother. The three young ladies became known as the “Cary Invincibles,” and earned fame for making the first three battle flags of the Confederacy.
John Pegram was born in Petersburg, Virginia in 1832, the oldest son of third generationplanterJames West Pegram and Virginia Johnson Pegram. His grandfather had been amajor general, commanding all Virginia forces during theWar of 1812. His father, James Pegram, was a prominent attorney, militia brigadier general, and bank president inRichmond
After his father’s unexpected death in 1844, Pegram’s mother opened a girl’s school in Richmond to support herself and her five children. Six years later, Pegram attended West Point with future generals, J.E.B. Stuart, Stephen D. Leeand, Oliver O. Howard, and was commissioned as asecond lieutenant upon graduation.
After learning of the secession of Virginia, Pegram resigned his lieutenant's commission and accepted a commission as alieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army,and assigned command of the20th Virginia Infantry. Pegram was imprisoned for six months after surrendering his regiment during the Battle of Rich Mountain in 1861. After receiving parole in January 1862, he traveled to Richmond, where during a party at his mother’s home he met Hetty Cary, and thus began one of the most famous romances of the Civil War South.
This month, we welcome Kelly Hancock of the American Civil War Museum and White House of the Confederacy, who will take us back to “One Bright Moment: The Wedding of Hetty Cary and John Pegram.”
Kelly’s presentation will relate the story of Hetty Cary and John Pegram, and the events surrounding their wedding on January 19, 1865. Hailed as the social event of the season, the wedding of one of the most beautiful belles in the South to a dashing brigadier general was one bright moment amid the tragedy and gloom experienced in Virginia during 1865. However, Kelly reminds us, ill omens preceded the wedding, and tragedy would follow soon on its heels.
Kelly Hancock serves as the American Civil War Museum’s Interpretation and Programs Manager, coordinating the research, development, and implementation of interpretive programs for public audiences both on and off-site; supporting the work of the Education Department by leading projects focused on the heritage traveler audience; and collaborating on offerings for the teacher audience.
A native of New Mexico, Kelly received her B. A. in history along with her teaching certification from Eastern New Mexico University. She taught 7th grade social studies before moving to Richmond. Kelly began work at The Museum of the Confederacy in 1998 and served as Manager of Programs and Education from 2002 - 2013. With the creation of the American Civil War Museum, Kelly assumed her current position.
Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband Robert, playing with her two cats, Cordelia and Ophelia, supporting the work of her church, and feeding her new found passion for the 1920s.
We look forward to her presentation on this chapter of Richmond’s history.
Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:30 PM
$16.00 for members, $20.00 for guests.
Pre-Paid Reservations Must Be Received By April 18, 2017
Mail Your Payment To:
PCWRT, P.O. Box 1144, Powhatan, VA 23139
Checks Or Money Orders Only Please
Thursday, May 18, 2017, Dr. John Marsh on Stonewall Jackson and Autism
Click here for 2017 events.