Pegram was a 42 year army veteran with most of his service in the Cavalry.
John Cargill Pegram, born 1881, came from a Virginia military family with with representatives in both the Army and Navy, going back to the War of 1812. His father’s first cousin was General John Pegram, a famed Confederate officer.
Colonel Pegram graduated from the USMA, Class of 1902, and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant of cavalry with his first assignment being the 1st U.S. Cavalry, joining them in the Philippines on Luzon. He remained in the P.I. until September of 1903. He then was stationed at Fort Clark, Texas, an old army post for three years. In 1906, he went to San Francisco for refugee relief work in May, following the devastating earthquake and subsequent fire.
In 1907 he found himself on the Rio Grande River doing topographical duty; and later that year reported to Fort Riley, Kansas to attend the Mounted Service School. In 1910, Pegram returned to the 1st Cavalry, then at the Presidio, San Francisco, Cal. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on 3 March, 1911. He went back to the Philippines in 1914, transferring to General Custer’s outfit, the 7th U.S. Cavalry, in Troop M. The 7th saw a lot of field duty while there, mostly stationed at Fort Stotsenburg.
In 1915 he joined Troop M, 9th U.S Cavalry, as post adjutant, and shortly thereafter joined the 10th Cavalry on the Mexican Border during the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa and Mexican revolutionaries who let an attack on the same American border town, New Columbus in May of 1916.
Captain Pegram has several other tours of duty and received the temporary rank of major, organizing bakery companies, then to Governors Island in 1917. In April of 1918, he filled the vacancy of a Adjutant General’s Department in Washington, D.C., and received a promotion to Lt. Col. of Cavalry on July 30 1918 (but returned to permanent rank of captain on March 1920, after WWI.
Several schools later, he joined the Army General Staff in 1924, as chief of the Reserve Branch, then under G-2 section. In 1928, he was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment at Fort Stotsenburg, P.I. for 3 years. In 1932, he again found himself in the GSC as Chief of Staff G-2 for the III Corps Area, Headquartered in Baltimore, Md. He received his promotion to Colonel on March 1, 1936. Pegram assumed command of the 14th Cavalry Regiment, and the Iowa District, CCC and remained there until August of 1939.
In July of 1940, he became the COS for the VII Corps Area, stationed at Omaha, Nebraska, until transferred to Fort Meade, South Dakota, near Sturgis and became the post commander there on June 27, 1942. Colonel Pegram retired on January 31, 1944, and lived in Petersburg, Virginia. He passed away at the age of 91 years, at Fort Lee, Va. on Aug. 7, 1971.
Awards and Decorations: Philippine Campaign Medal, Mexican Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and WWII Victory Medal.
The grouping consists of Pegram’s 1902 full dress coat, made by Hatfield & Sons, New York. This coat was most likely purchased in 1911 as ghost images of 1st Cavalry insignia remain on the cuffs (he returned to the 1st Cavalry in 1911- see description of Evening dress coat). He upgraded the coat with additional rank on the cuffs, and 1912 pattern rimmed eagle buttons. The knots still retain the 1902 rimless buttons, and captain’s bullion rank on the knots. Condition is excellent.
The Mess dress coat was made by the same tailor, and has the label dated in the pocket to him, dated 1911. The buttons are 1912 pattern, and the coat was upgraded to his last rank of colonel. The knots are buttons. plain, without rank, and have rimmed eagleThe dark blue trousers have the same label and date, There is some damage in the right cheek area of the leg about a inch and a half sized area of holing and staining (at least not in front). Condition other than this on both coat and trousers is excellent. Sorry about the new white shirt and tie (not included, didn’t have a bow tie to use).
The Undress coat is made by the same tailer, and dated 1907. It was worn up to the time of his last command of the 14th Cavalry, and retirement. US collar insignia are probably from an earlier period being pin on types, and the 14th Cavalry insignia are the WWII sew on type. The colonel straps are in fine condition with some age toning to the gold bullion. Condition of the coat is excellent. The trousers are identified to another officer, “C.Marstone” made by Jacob Reed, Phila. The waist is right, and inch inch shorter than the evening dress trousers (re-hemmed with about 6 inches pulled back up into the legs and sewn. Marstone being a very tall man. Most likely purchased at a post thrift store, or given to Pegram. In excellent condition.
The dress belt is of the WWII era, and did not come with saber hangers. Most dress occasions in this period did not require hangers. Excellent condition.
A fine group for a career cavalry officer.