Camp Gregg, April 8th, 1863
My dear Wife
Your letter of the 4th came today and the cheerful spirit in which you write is very gratifying. Dr. Powell is not here, but will be back in a few days, when I will ask him about the prescription. I do not care to ask Dr. Holt. Honey, I am very sorry that you keep so weak and sick at your stomach. One of my cousins starts home tomorrow and he will take the sugar to High Point, so you will be pretty sure to get it. I only wish I had something else to send you.
I suppose there ought to be eight button holes on each side of my sack. If there should not be buttons enough, don’t bring any for I have plenty here. Please get it done as soon possible and sent on so I shall get them. We may be off beyond reach of boxes most any day. Do not forget the address. I cannot get along without my drawers. It matters but little how many buttons, or how put on, the coat has.
We hear rumors of a fight at Charleston. It is a very important point and vastly important to hold it. They would crow over the fall of that place more than Richmond. Our preparations are on the largest scale and if we do not succeed in holding it, we may give up all idea of holding any place that can be got at by their Iron Clads.
A deserter came over last night, and he confirms the report about 37 of Hooker’s Regts. being determined to go out of service about the 1st of May. We are all getting anxious to be at them, not because we want to fight, but to try and close the war before they can drill their conscripts. I think it very likely we will attack them in several places, here, at Suffolk, and in NC
Honey, I sent you the Sentinel because it is the best edited paper in Richmond and so much more cheerful in its tune…Six of my rascally conscripts have deserted but as I did not count on more than half of them being any use, I am not much put out. I have more than twice as many muskets as I had at Fredericksburg.
I like your enthusiasm for Gen’l Hill and I hope I shall not forget the many kindnesses he has done me. Gen’l Heth is in our division and a very nice gentleman he is too.
You will get some money through David which will enable you to pay for Maj. Englehard’s cloth. We get through our Court tomorrow much to my relief. My dear wife, I wish so much that you were well as when you came on to see me. I should feel much more at ease. Bless my dear wife, she is so prejudiced when judging her husband. Your praise, darling, is very gratifying to me, and makes me the more anxious to do, to make myself worthy of it. You asked me how we have been living. Very well indeed, Capt. Hunt being the best caterer we have yet had.
What has become of Willie’s horse he left at home. I think it foolishness in his keeping a horse there to eat corn these hard times. Ham told me the other day that Pamela was sick. Is it so? How long will 45 lbs. of sugar last you all. Let me know for I may be able some of these days to send you more.
Capt. Lemon is considerable behind time and Gen. Archer begins to fear that they have caught him, so that order of mine is likely to bring nothing, but we are all making grand plans as to what we shall get when we get into Md. again, if we ever get there. I am inclined to think that will be the move we will make, march for Md. into Penna. and I believe we can do it. Gen. Lee undoubtedly has some bold plan upon foot. Unfortunately, he has not yet recovered.
I understand Gen. Jackson has been making some inquiries about me and said he was sorry he did not know more of me personally – the old humbug- this was when Gen. Hill sent up his last recommendation. He [Jackson] asked an officer of his staff in whom he has great confidence, the other day who was the best Brigadier in the Corps and I think he told him that I was. All of this, however, gives me but little hope of promotion.
Now my dear wife, as I have said nothing worth reading and have nothing more half as entertaining, I will stop. My love to all. Kiss the children and Sis. Does Pamela really care anything for me. Since she will not write me I have really commenced to have some doubts. She is a dear girl and I love her dearly. God bless you my dearest and best of wives and may you soon be well. Let me know if you got the apples I wrote about.
Good night my sweet wife.
Your loving husband.
Source: 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).
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