5 November 1864: “these will be but little security to any thing below the Wilmington”

Item Description: Letter dated 5 November 1864 written by William S. Pettigrew. He writes regarding the charge of his baggage, will, and other personal belongings. His worry over the possibility of a Wilmington invasion informs his instructions.


Item Citation: Folder 270, Pettigrew Family Papers, #00592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

To Mr John Blekepon



Copy Camp Writing near Wilmington N.C.

Nov. 5, 1864

My dear Sir:

I wrote you on the day after my arrival in camp; which I hope will be received; if it have not already been. In addition to what was then written I would be glad to add the request that you would wet the mucilage on the envelope that contains my will, and seal it up (not with a wafer however, but merely with the mucilage). As it is paper of some importance to me perhaps it would be best to have it closed from the observation of every one but myself. When my baggage is lent to Raleigh, to the care of my Uncle, Mr. James B. Shepard, as I have requested in my former letter, you will please place  the will, my watch & money in the hands of the person who will be good enough to take charge of the baggage, and request him to deliver them to Mr Shepard. Will you please wrap them up securely in paper, counting the money & putting with it strip of paper specifying the amount.

Lest my last letter should not have reached you, I will repeat some of the instructions there given. In consequence of the fall of Plymouth & the probability of raids being made by the enemy, into the counties above, these will be but little security to any thing below the Wilmington & Weldon R.R. you will therefore oblige me by sending my baggage to Raleigh, to the care of Mr Shephard, by the first safe opportunity, even should one offer before Mr Len. Hapell goes on to the Legislation. It will be safer in Raleigh than Edgecombe. The pair of new shoes, intended for my own use in the service, please retain for the present, as well as George’s new shoes & clothes, unless there be reason to apprehend that they will fall in the hands of the enemy if so then please do with them as in your judgment may appear best. My shoes ? we could not part with particularly the former without much inconvenience. The Daguerreotypes belonging to ? son Hines you will please retain until I have heard from my sister Mary, unless there is a probability of their being lost in unsettled state of the country. If there be such a probability, it would be best to send them to her, accompanied with an apology for not accompanying them with a letter.

As to the length of our stay here, I am unable to form an opinion. Some think there is a probability of an attack on Wilmington; others that there is none. The Regt of So. Reserve, that was ordered from this encampment on Monday last to the north eastern part of the State, has been ordered back & is now near here. For what purpose I have not heard. Our Capt, who has just left our cabin, says Maj. Riley, the commander of the post- remarked today that we had as well make ourselves content. It was one of the Lieutenants instead of the Captain. Should a letter arrive at Tarboro from my sister at Richmond in the course of a few days, please forward it to me to the care of Capt. J.M. Hart, Camp Whiting near Wilmington, Company B. Senior Reserves. I commenced drilling yesterday. We have so fitted up our cabin that it is comfortable. With my best respects to your family & the ? Jones, I am, very truly yours, W.S. Pettigrew

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