Camp nearRichmond,Va., May 27th, 1862
My precious Wife,
We are still going on in the usual way; two large armies lying within three miles of each other, apparently on good terms for we scarcely ever hear a gun for the last three days, but the real opening will be the more earnest. If we are victorious here it will bring some months of quiet around Richmond at least, for if we are successful it will be such a bad whipping for them that it will take some time for them to recover. And we contemplate nothing but a defeat for them. How can people who threaten to treat ladies as harlots because they will not bow and smile upon their low rascals, succeed? There is a great deal of real piety in our army and a much more Christian spirit than formerly. We do not depend so much upon our own superiority as upon the help of God. Every man who has any manhood should and does feel the absolute necessity of fighting to the death.
You need not be surprised to find some of these days, our Chaplain Rev. Stuart drive up to your door. I told him yesterday how I should like for him to go and take and bring me some letters and that I would promise him he should enjoy his visit and he jumped at it and says if nothing prevents he shall start next Monday. I know you would be delighted to see him, particularly as he would be from me. He is a most capital fellow. He got his commission yesterday to date from the 1st.
Do you want the prescription for Turner, for fear you do I will send it in my next, the Doctor not being here just now. As the bearer is waiting I must close. No letter from you yet. My love to everybody. I am getting on finely. May our Heavenly Father protect us.
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