August 31st, 1862
My dear Wife
We have been fighting for several days. I am safe and sound with the exception of a small cut by shell on the top of the head. It will be well in a few days. Willie was shot near the knee and above—only a flesh wound. Ham had been placed at a comfortable private house. You need not be uneasy about him. I saw Ham a few moments ago. He is well. Our first skirmish was at Manassas day before yesterday. Jackson’s Army had quite a fight maintaining our position. Yesterday we had a general action and whipped them badly making almost another Bull Run affair. They had about ninety thousand, we had not that number in action. Their loss was tremendous and ours very heavy. We are not pressing them and our Division will move soon. My loss has not been very heavy. I have not time to write but little. May God have mercy upon me and protect me as he has thus far and may he keep you in health and spirits. I am very anxious to hear how Dorsey is. Please write to my home and tell them that I am well. My love to all.
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