May 11, 1862
My dear Wife
You may imagine what a monotonous time we are having only marching 1 ½ miles yesterday and 4 the day before. I wish we were at our journey’s end where we could have what few comforts we can have along. I can have neither change of clothes or writing material. Jake is all right.
My dear wife, notwithstanding the grand operations going on here I have nothing to write about. I hope you will receive my letters written a few days before in due time, but when you do not hear from me do not feel uneasy for it is difficult to write for many reasons. And do not believe the reports you see in the papers about battles, for three-fourths of what was in the Richmond paper the other day was every word false. We had but one General wounded and only two Colonels killed. The heaviness of our loss was caused by the bad behavior of the 23rd N.C. and 38thVa.In common with the rashness of others.
Honey, I long to see you. Now nearly one year ago we were under the shade tree [at Good Spring] sitting on the grass, the happiest hours of my life. I shall never forget it and I do not wish to. It was complete earthly happiness.
How are the dear boys getting on. Honey do you not feel very different from [what] you did last year this time, but about the same [as] you may [feel] the next year this time.
I have not heard from you for nearly two weeks, over, counting from the date of your letter. How do you pass your time, now [that] you have your summer outfit made. I hope you will go to the Convention if you think you would enjoy it.
Honey, I have to write always so hurriedly that it is but little satisfaction to me, and I fear less [to] you, but it cannot be helped.
It is distressing to pass through this country. Nearly every farm is deserted and what our soldiers do not destroy they will… My love to all the folks at Good Spring. I must now close. May our merciful father have mercy upon you all. Accept my undying devotion.
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