One of Lees Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender


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And now Gen. Pender has done the last thing a patriot can do for his country, yielded up his life; he has passed away comparatively unknown, simply because he was a North Carolinian, and, no sharer in the favoritism of the authorities, won his way to distinction by his sword alone. But North Carolina soldiers will do their duty to the last, and notwithstanding the injustice with which they are treated, will never disgrace the State they are so proud to represent. Source: Greensborough Patriot , August 6, as found on www. As you may recall, Pender was wounded in the thigh during the Gettysburg campaign by a piece of shrapnel.

Pender decided to head home to recuperate but the wound became infected and doctors decided to amputate his leg on July 18 th. Pender lived for about 2 hours after the amputation was complete. His twenty three year old wife, Fanny, who was pregnant at the time with their third son, could not attend the funeral and went into seclusion. She never remarried and after her death in , she was buried next to her loving husband. We regret to learn that Major General W. Pender, who was wounded in the battles at Gettysburg, died at Staunton, Va.

His remains were brought to Richmond on Sunday last and placed in the Capitol, and subsequently brought to Edgecombe county, his place of residence, for interment. He was promoted to Brigadier General after the battles around Richmond, and subsequently Majo4 General. He stood very high as a gallant and useful officer.

One of Lee's Best Men : The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender

He was about 30 years of age. Source : Fayetteville Observer , July 23, , as found on www. Hassler, General Pender and his men were on the line at Seminary Ridge and Pender was seated on a large granite boulder awaiting orders. Unable to mount his horse the next day, Pender made plans to return home to recouperate.

Source: William Hassler, ed. Our mail came in today and the only think I heard from you was that four letters had reached Shocco the day after left. We are resting today after marching miles since leaving Fredericksburg twelve days ago yesterday. If I had an surety that you would get this in a reasonable time, I should have a good deal to tell you. Until we crossed the Md. They have done nothing like the Yankees do in our country. They take poultry and hogs but in most cases pay our money for it.

General Dorsey Pender Civil war 1862 1863 3 of 3

We take everything we want for government use. The people are frightened to death and will do anything we intimate to them. The rascals have been expected us and have run off most of their stock and goods. I bought a few articles for you yesterday and will get you a nice lot before we leave. We pay about percent. But for the demoralizing effect plundering would have on our troops, they would feel war in all its horrors. I never saw people so badly scared.

We have only to wish for a thing and it is done. I have made up my mind to enjoy no hospitality or kindness from any of them. Everything seems to be going on finely. We might get to Phila. Lee intimates to no one what he is up to, and we can only surmise. I hope we may be in Harrisburg in three day.

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What a fine commentary upon their 90 days crushing out, if we should march to the Capital of one of their largest states without a blow. It seems to be the impression that hooker will not leave Washington, but will leave the states to take care of themselves. We are in Adams Co. If we do not succeed in accomplishing a great deal all of us will be surprised. Our men seem to be in the spirit and feel confident.

The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender

They laugh at the idea of meeting the militia. This is a most magnificent country to look at, but the most miserable people. I have yet to see a nice looking lady. They are coarse and dirty, and the number of dirty looking children is perfectly astonishing. A great many of the women go barefooted and but a small fraction wear stockings.

I hope we may never have such people. Nearly all of them seem to be tenants and at first I thought all the better people must have left. And such barns I never dreamt of. Their dwelling houses are large and comfortable, looking from the outside — have not been inside — but such coarse louts that live in them.

I really did not believe that there was so much difference between our ladies and their females. I have seen no ladies.

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We passed through Hagerstown but saw little Southern feeling displayed. The fact is the people in the NW Md. I hope you reached home safely and feel satisfied with me, and see that this time at least, you did not leave camp much too soon. I never saw troops march as our do; they will go 15 or 20 miles a day without leaving a straggle and hoop and yell on all occasions.


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Confidence and good spirits seem to possess everyone. I wish we could meet Hooker and have the matter settled at once. We got the Richmond papers of the 14 th today and they bring us good news from Vicksburg. This campaign will do one of two things: viz — to cause a speedy peace or a more tremendous war that we have had, the former may God grant. Joe enters into the invasion with much gusto and is quite active in looking up hidden property.

Pender, William Dorsey

In fact the negroes seem to have more feeling in the matter than the white men and have come to the conclusion that they will impress horses, etc. Columbus is laying in a stock for his sweetheart and sisters. Hill thus far has managed the march of his Corps and I think will give as much satisfaction as Lt.

My love to all and keep my folks in Edgecombe posted as to my well being. Write to me occasionally through S. Cooper, A. Now darling, may our Good Father protect us and preserve us to each other to a good old age.

Tell Turner I have a pretty pair of low patent leather shoes with heels for him. The advance of our column is at Chambersburg, Penna. May the Lord prosper this expedition and bring and early peace out of it. I feel that we are taking a very important step, but see no reason why we should not be successful. Our troops are sending a good deal of stock out of Penna. The inhabitants of this part of the country are very enthusiastic in our favor.

We hear all sorts of reports of rebellions in Baltimore, etc.

One of Lees Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender
One of Lees Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender
One of Lees Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender
One of Lees Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender
One of Lees Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender

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