Camp Fisher, Va., March 6, 1862
My dear Wife
I was rendered very happy yesterday by the reception of your letters of the 25th and 28th ultimo. My mind was very much relieved to hear that you were not as I had imagined, very ill. A miscarriage—surely if you do not want children you will have to remain away from me, and hereafter when you come to me I shall know that you want another baby. If it is not sinful—and I cannot see why it should be as it has been brought about in a way beyond human control—I must say I am heartily glad you had a miscarriage. If you should have gone on with it for some months you would have been sick and felt little like being troubled by outside affairs, as we all must expect to be, and for I do not know how many months your nervous condition would have been all out of order. The best thing that could have happened except not to have gotten in that condition, as after all you did the next best thing you could.
You can go to the commencement and all that sort of thing. I hope you did not get up too soon and injure yourself. Ham wrote you the letter received yesterday—that he was going to send Mary to N.C. and wanted to know when you expected to go and if…she might go with you. I was very much amused at him; he said he should send Mary off on account of certain expected events to come off, and intimated that I did not and could not possibly know anything about affairs up that way.
Maj. Webb returned last night. He says he was asked ten thousand questions about me as to my looks, color of hair, etc. and that some of them rather gave me fits. He says Judge Ruffin, Jr. is trying to get up a Brigade and that I am to be the Commander. I put no faith in this report at all. I have given up all idea of promotion since I was in Richmond—not my dear that I tried to get any influence while there as you once or twice accused me. I shall rest perfectly satisfied with what I have. If it were possible I feel sometimes as if I should like to get rid of everything like military. I feel confident that my recruiting officers will get enough men to fill up the Regt. sufficiently for all practicable purposes.
My darling I am about through. I commenced this to let you know that I had heard from you. May our merciful God protect and watch over us all and continue us in good health. We have been expecting to move every day for awhile. Do not forget to tell brother Robert about the servants. Write me as often as you have the chance. I hope we will leave here soon. I am tired of it. My love to the old folks and sister Patience….
Your devoted Husband
Sources: William Hassler, ed., One of Lee’s Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999). William Dorsey Pender papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/p/Pender,William_Dorsey.html