|Transcribed from old newspaper clippings from the Calhoun Chronicle,
the Grantsville News and the notes of Mae Stump Elliott and Edith Pell
McAlister by Norma Knotts Shaffer (Published 1999)|
WAS DRUMMER BOY AT ELEVEN
AND SERVED THROUGH ALMOST ENTIRE CIVIL WAR
DISTINCTION OF A GRANTSVILLE CITIZEN
Enjoyed the Game but Would Rather Shoot Squirrels
Voted for "Old Abe" for President When Fourteen Years of
To have the honor of being one of the youngest enlisted men in the
Army, and to have served three years in one of the greatest wars the
has ever known before he had reached the fifteenth anniversary of his
is truly a great distinction, and it is our belief that in Julius W.
Grantsville can successfully claim to number among its residents the
enlisted man in the great War of the Rebellion.
Julius W. Pell
Husband of Florence Stump Pell
Mr. Pell enlisted as a drummer boy in Company B, Eleventh West
Volunteer Infantry at Burning Springs, Wirt County, on December 24,
at the age of a little over eleven years - or, to be exact, eleven
three months and twenty-six days - and served his country and the Old
faithfully in that capacity for a fraction over three years.
mustered out - honorably discharged - at Camp Deep Bottom, Virginia,
January 4, 1865. His true age, however, at the time of his
was not given, but from undisputable records of his age, date of
and term of service can be proven beyond the possibility of successful
contradiction. He was noted as the most dimunitive drummer boy
the service, weighing, at the time of his enlistment, only fifty-two
His service for the most part was in the armies of the Shenandoah and
Another distinction is claimed by Mr. Pell. While in the
of the federal government the right of suffrage was accorded him, and
the election in the fall of 1864, while a fraction over fourteen years
of age, he cast a ballot for Abraham Lincoln for President of the
States. After his discharge from the army, however, he was not
to vote until he had attained his majority.
Mr. Pell's training in things military began long before the
of the Civil War. He and his brother, John R. Pell, now of
who is two years his senior, were commissioned by the Governor of
as drum and fife majors of the 119th Virginia Militia, at the ages of
and ten years, respectively. Their father, W. F. Pell, held the
of Colonel in this regiment. John R. Pell, the elder brother,
as a fifer at the same time and in the same company with Mr. Julius
and their terms of service were exactly the same, Mr. John Pell being
years of age at the time of his enlistment.
At the outbreak of the Civil war, W. F. Pell, the father, was a
of Roane County, near Reedy, and was Colonel of the militia, or home
The community was composed mainly of men who sympathized with the
and Mr. Pell was asked to lead a company in the field to fight for the
Southern Cause. This he refused to do, and being a man of strong
Northern sympathies, and believing in the preservation of the Union,
enlisted as a private in Company A, 11th W. Va. Volunteer Infantry,
owing to his former military training, he was immediately promoted to
captaincy of Company B, of the same regiment, in which his two young
enlisted and served until the company was mustered out of service at
close of the war. Several men who were members of Mr. Pell's
are residents of this county, among them is John R. Cornell, who
at this place.
The honor of being the youngest enlisted man, by both active
and non-combatants, has been claimed by many in the past few
One gentleman, now a resident of South Carolina, who has long been
upon as the youngest, is fifteen days younger than Mr. Pell, but did
enlist until after Mr. Pell had seen one year of service.
Julius Worth Pell was born at Kingwood, Preston County, on August
1850. His father removed to Roane County in 1852 where the
remained until the outbreak of the civil war.
After the war Mr. Pell lived with his parents at Elizabeth and
Springs, coming to Grantsville on June 1, 1875, nearly thirty-five
ago. After his removal to his place he taught several terms of
_____ merchatile business, which he successfully conducted for
consecutive years under the same roof. He retired from the
business in 1907, his store building was removed and the handsome
building was erected by the Bank of Grantsville on the same spot.
About fifteen years ago Mr. Pell completed one of the finest
houses in the town, built wholly from a fund that had accumulated in
years from the discounts on bills _______.
Although he _____ active business Mr. Pell is keenly interested in
oil business and occasionally dabbles in real estate for a
With a keen business foresight, Mr. Pell some years ago began buying
farms and royalties in the most desirable parts of the county, and
has several hundred acres of very desirable land, all of which is
lease for oil and gas. Is Vice President of the Calhoun County
and is heavily interested in other business enterprises.
In politics Mr. Pell is a straight forward Republican, has never
to political honors, but has been elected and filled the honorary
of member of the Town Council and member of the Board of
He is a member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church at this place, and has
years served as clerk of the church.
Mr. Pell is a sportsman and no day can be spent more enjoyable by
than to shoulder his trusty shotgun and hie himself to the woods in
of game, preferably squirrels, but when the furry denizen of the
are most conspicuous by their absence he contents himself by bowling
a few of the more plebian "Molly Cottontails." He is a leading
in the Bear Fork Hunting Club, an aggregation of local sportsmen, and
the club is encamped for their annual hunt Mr. Pell's game bag is not
any means at all times the lightest.
Mr. Pell was united in marriage to Miss Florence Stump, a daughter
Major Stump, and a member of one of the oldest families of the county,
on January 18, 1880. Their two children, Fred E. Pell and Mrs.
G. Miller, are both residents of this place.
Grantsville News, March 18, 1910
Congressman Hamilton has had it recorded in the Congressional
that Julius W. Pell of Grantsville, West Virginia, was the youngest
in the Civil War. He added that Mr. Pell resides in his home
and is one of its best citizens. The statement showed that Mr.
enlisted as a drummer boy in the Union army at the age of a little
than 11 years. Under the provisions of the new age and service
law Mr. Pell is not yet entitled to a pension not having reached the
of 62 years.
The Calhoun Chronicle, June 4, 1912
Julius Worth Pell was the son of William Fairfax Pell and Anne
Ravenscroft. The wife of Julius Pell was Florence Stump, a
of Major Lemuel Stump and Malinda Huffman Stump. Julius and
were parents of four children, I. Fred E. Pell who married (1) Nellie
the daughter of David and Massalona Barr Hathaway and (2) Minnie M.
the daughter of Henry and Rebecca Hardman Elliott, and II. Ruth who
(1) Arthur G. Miller and (2) John Mackay, III & IV. Twin
Louise and Edith who died in infancy.
The Pell home spoken of in the article is still standing and is
present site of the Stump Funeral Home. Originally, the house
a splendid example of Victorian Architecture, but has undergone
remodeling and now presents a modern appearance. The site of the
Mr. Pell's store, also spoken of in the article, was removed to permit
construction of the Bank of Grantsville on the corner of Main and
Streets, and presently houses the offices of Calhoun Realty, Inc. and
Calhoun Chronicle owned by Carl R. Morris. The brick structure
has the "BANK" sign on the top front of the building.
Norma Knotts Shaffer