17 June 1862: “…of all places in the world he ought not to come down here, from circumstances I am not at liberty to mention to you, for other eyes may see the lines.”

Item description: Letter, 17 June 1862, from Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Bonarva Plantation, Tyrrell County, N.C., to his brother William S. Pettigrew, Haywood, Chatham County, N.C. In this letter, Charles responds to William’s letter of 1 June 1862, in which William wrote inquiring about the fate of Charles’s slave Peter (whom Charles had sent to Virginia to serve their brother Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew).

Item citation: From folder 254 of the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

[William S. Pettigrew
Haywood, Chatham Co., N.C.]

Tuesday June 17th 1862 Bonarva

I was greatly relieved my dear brother to get your letters of the 4th and 7th and to [] by them that our dear brother was out of danger from the severe wound he has received, and that he behaved with so much galantry, and credit to himself and his country. It is indeed a pleasure to all of us to know the elevated and distinguished consideration in which he is held by the whole country and particularly by those who were most around him and of course had the best opportunity to know him well. I trust in God that he will soon be restored to health and be able to occupy his position again.

You write me about Peter. I am very much pleased to see that he has conducted himself so well. You wish to know the disposition I wish made of him. I should like that disposition made of him that our brother would most wish and I think that he would wish him to remain with Lieut. Young; therefore unless you know any thing to the contrary I should prefer him to remain with Lieut. Young. I know he would be out of place, and would not be welcome in S.C. And of all places in the world he ought not to come down here, from circumstances I am not at liberty to mention to you, for other eyes may see the lines. I will leave the decision about him with the exception of coming here or going to S.C. to you, for you can view the whole circumstances and something may occur before you receive these lines to make a change. I think he had better remain in the same calling with some reliable man. I write this enigmatically on account of the increasing difficulty of sending up letters. So I ask you to consult your own judgment about him. 

This has been the most unfavorable season for the cultivation of a crop that I have ever seen; there has been a vast deal of rain and the grass continued to grow more vigorously than ever. So that the corn looks very badly and very much behind hand, fortunate no one had a full crop, and it has enabled them [?] upon the little they had. My [?] are all here and seem well contented. Many however have not been so fortunate. Wheat crops are very poor and some have offered them for the seed. There seem but little disposition to labour, and I am at a loss to know what the people will do another year. There will unquestionably be a great deal of suffering.

Give my love grandma Annie and all the family. I hope this letter will reach you safely

your affectionate brother

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