Letter written by Private William B. Pitzer of Company E, 2nd Battalion VA Reserves, to his father, from Richmond, VA. Pitzer is exhausted after being on duty for nearly 25 days. Though he is serving for a “noble cause,” he hopes that war will be over soon and he can return home. He asks his father to pray for him so that he will not be tempted to sin, and passes on the tragic news that his best friend died in a hospital at Camp Lee. Pitzer has applied for a furlough, but is not sure if he will get it. He is interested in transferring to the artillery. He inquires about a pair of shoes and new socks, as his have worn thin from all the marching. Pitzer concludes the letter when he has to go on post, and sends his love to his family back home.
Richmond Jan 25th 65
My Dear Pa
I received your kind and affectionate letter yesterday and as I have time this morning I hasten to answer it I was so glad to hear that you were all well at home I am well but I need to rest very much as I am nearly broken down I have been on duty twenty five days and nights and have not been releived but two nights we stand on two hours and off four have to walk our beat all the time and are not allowed to rest our guns on the ground it is hard to bear but I am serving in a noble cause
but I hope this cruel war will soon be over and we can return to our homes and enjoy the privelidges denied us and if we never meet on earth I pray that we may meet in heaven where loved ones have gone Pa pray for me that I may not be led into temptation and sin. I have the sad news to inform you of the death of my friend Tom Ballard he died in the hospital at camp Lee I could not get to see him I was on duty and could not get a pass to see him he was one of the best friends I had and it is hard to part with him. I have applied for a furlough for fifteen days I do not know whether I will get it or not I hope that I will
you said in your letter you had written to Mr Hord to aid me in getting a transfer to the artillery I will be off of duty tonight and I will go and see him tomorrow and try and get it you [send?] the shoes by Capt Breckinridge send me a
pair of socks walkin so much in the shoes I have has worn my socks very thing. I am grieved to hear of the death of Poor Neely it is a great affliction but it is time for me to go on post I will bring my letter to a close kiss all the children for me give my love to cousin Jennie and except a large portion for yourself I never received the letter you directed to camp lee
your affectionate son
-Page 1, Continued-
give my love to all the black ones write soon Tell sister Fannie to write me a letter your son WP
William B. Pitzer enlisted in Company E of the 2nd Battalion VA Reserve Infantry, circa July, 1864. He served in the Department of Richmond, in Brigadier General P. T. Moore’s Brigade, Brigadier General George W. C. Lee’s Division at the date of this letter. The unit was paroled April 9, 1865 after its April 6th capture at Saylers Creek.