29 March 1864: “It distresses me to have you go into the army as a private. I think it is throwing so much away.”

Item Description: Letter dated 29 March 1864 from Mary Pettigrew to her brother, William Pettigrew. In it, Mary begs William to serve a position at a hospital in Raleigh rather than join the army. She also briefly discusses news from home towards the end of her letter.

[Item transcription available below image]

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Item Citation: Folder 13, Pettigrew Family Papers #oo592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Item Transcription:

My dear Brother,

As the time draws near when you are to go into the ranks, I do feel so anxious about you. I know you can be detached and I do think it will be much better you should. I would write to Dr. Hines and he could and would apply for you. I came near doing it without consulting you and there I thought it might not suit your fancy. So I ask your permission, my dear Brother, to do it, write immediately and tell me yes and then I will write to Dr. Hines and do all that is necessary. I do not think you would like the position in this hospital that Dr. Brame had for you. how I think you would hold the same position as Dr. Haywood’s hospital in Raleigh. I would not want you to be in this Virginia hospital, although Dr. Brame would be very kind and polite to you. Still you had better serve in your own state (I do not find any thing disagreeable) It’s only a feeling my part. The steward has charge of all the money matters of the establishment and does all the purse chasing. He has all the [?] part of the establishment. Now I wish you would tell me that you would be willing to undertake that position with Dr. Haywood. I think it would be much better than being a private. And you will be leaving your country home already. And as to its being disagreeable in Raleigh you would of course take board somewhere near your duties and your housing would be such that you would not find time to be mingled with any thing [?] I think the position not in the least [derogatory?] to your position and char-acter. I can manage the whole thing and you do it from my per-suasion.  Indeed I desire it very much. You must of course take the salary and then you can have it or give it away as you please. Mrs. Rowland gave hers in charity. Please, dear Brother William, let me apply for you. It distresses me to have you go into the army as a private. I think it is throwing so much away.

Annie writes me that Brother Charles thinks the applications really benefits his fare. I am thankful for that. Ben Allston is married to a Miss [Rohium?] of Texas, Annie writes very sadly.

Mr Patterson has gone to his regiment, he did not stop in Richmond. I wrote you that I made every exertion but ineffectually to find your keys. “The Confederate” armies regularly It is a campaigning [?] I had rather pave “the Observer” I make this remark because if you feel disposed to renew the subscription when it’s out, I had rather take the latter. Gov. Vance seems to be doing a good part in making speeches. I think there never was a more laudable effort to secure one’s election. Did Mr. Hale publish  Mrs. Jenning’s communication? And did he make any remarks?

Good bye, my dear Brother, my hand is so tired I can scarcely write. Miss Rouhend sends her kind regards to you. Give my love to Mr. McKay.

Ever your affectionate and loving



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