In Camp 5 miles ofRichmond,Va., June 14th, 1862
My dear Wife
Your long and agreeable letter was received yesterday in which you complain that I did not let you know of my promotion. My darling I certainly intended to tell you in my first letter after it took place if I did not, for I always like to write everything that I think will give you pleasure, and I was sure that would. It was not intentional, and you must not think hard of it.
I hope Mr. Stuart stayed long enough with you all for you to overcome the first bad impression he usually makes. He is very amusing, as well as instructive. It was very kind in him to take Jake home. Jake I hope is improving and will soon rejoin the service. You all must not keep him after he is able to come back.
I am having quite an easy time compared to what it was a few days ago, but how long it will remain so is the question. The Yankees seem to all outward appearances as far from attacking us as ten days ago. We are making some preparations for them. They admit in the New York Herald a loss in the recent fight of 7,000 thus showing contrary to my expectations a larger loss than we sustained. They had all the advantage of position, preparations and artillery.
May has passed and they have not taken Richmond yet. In some of the letters taken on the field they were quite facetious about marching to Richmond. Some said they had not time to write more as they were in a hurry towards the city. Others said their next would be dated in Richmond, etc.
I received a letter yesterday from Col. A.M. Scales asking me to try to get his Regt. in my Brigade and congratulating me upon my promotion.
I went to see Almond Heart today and found the poor fellow in a bad plight. Altho’ looking fat he said he was completely broken down and that the Doctor had promised to send him to hospital tomorrow. He said he had not a clean white shirt or drawers to his name, having lost a few days ago, for the second time everything he had. You will excuse me for offering him one of the shirts you made me. He said he would accept it a pr. of drawers and seemed very grateful. I then ventured to ask him about his finances upon which he said he had not a cent for three weeks and I pressed him to take $15. He said he was so tired of salt meal and bread. He has had diarrhea since leaving Yorktown. We talked about when I was married and he said he was sorry when the affair was over as he was enjoying himself very much and that he often thought of Miss Mary Lilly. It felt like old times for Almond was always a great favorite of mine.
… Honey I must close sooner than I anticipated, having some pressing business on hand. May God in Heaven bless you all. I have just gotten through part of my business, I will now give you a few more words to show you that even the duties of a general do not make me forget my wife. Good night.
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