Letter – William Pitzer, 25 January 1865


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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

WB Pitzer

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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.

Letter – Edward Hendren, 13 February 1864


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Letter written by Private Edward B. Hendron of Company I, 26th NC Infantry, C. S. A., to his parents, from camp near Orange Court House, VA. Hendron is writing to let them know that he is alive and well, and to thank them for a box of clothes and shoes that they sent to him. He is camped near the Rapidan River and doing picket duty. He describes how the Union forces advanced on them a few days prior, mentioning picket fighting and cannonading. Hendron writes that he has grown weary of the war, and that many men from the 26th NC Infantry were refusing to reenlist. He himself hopes for peace so that he may return home.

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February 13th ‘/64

Camp near Orange C.H. V.A.

Dear Father – and Mother through the kind mercies of God I am once more blessed with the opportunity of writing to you informing you that I am tolerable well at present for which I feel very thankful and truly hope these times may find you all blessed with good health and doing well I received your very kind letter last evening that you sent by Mr. Millsaps and was very glad to hear from you once more. I am sory to inform you that I did not Receive the box you you started to me by Mr Stephenson and the one that was started by Mr. Millsaps was left at statesville he said he thought it would be at

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Orange today and I hope I will get it for I need it very bad. I received the shews that was sent to me they fit me very well and I was very glad and thankful to get them although I did not need them very bad I had bought me some leather and got an old pair of shews and mended them and made me a firstrate pair of shews. I can inform you that we are camped near the Rappidan river and doing picket duty our picket lines are along the river the yankees advanced on us last sinday I was one on the front post Saturdy night and the Regt. was marched in to the breast works at dayligh and stayed in line of battle all day there was picket fighting and canonading but no general engagement.

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Febr 16th ‘/64

I will finish my letter as I did not get to conclude my letter the other day. I went to Orange Saturday to see if my box had come I was on picket Sunday and I went to town again yesterday but I have not got my box yet but some of us will go to town every day till we get them if they come there there has been a great many boxes brought to camps this winter and I have bought something to eat of them when I was suffering. i have always been tired of this war and I am so yet they made an effort to get the men of the 26th to reenlist last sunday and there was nary man enlisted in Co F. ther was none from Co. C and only about 60 officers and all in the Regt

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The men are generally getting very tired of the war and a great many of the old vol. say they are going home when their time is out in the spring I do hope providence will so rule that we may be blessed with peace in our country once more I hope the people of N.C. will do something to relieve us if they have the privilage of voteing for a convention I must close by saying I want to see you all very bad and enjoy peace and liberty about my native home once more

Please write as often as you can so I remain yours as ever E.B. Hendren

To J. Hendren

Edward Bunyon Hendren was from Statesville, NC. He enrolled at age 23 on September 23, 1862 in Company I of the 26th NC Infantry. He was wounded at Gettysburg. In November of 1863 he was listed as a deserter, but returned to duty January 1, 1864. He was captured at Burgess’ Mill, VA on October 27, 1864, confined at Point Lookout, MD then paroled March 28, 1865. He was transferred to Boulware’s Wharf, VA on March 29th, 1865 and received by Confederate authorities the next day. Hendren lived as a farmer in Wilkes County, NC. He was a prominent citizen, representing the county in the state legislature in 1898 and passed away from a heart attack in 1909.