13 December 1864: “should Raleigh fall into the hands of the enemy please retain it”

Item Description: William S. Pettigrew sent this letter to his Uncle in Raleigh with instructions for the care of his possessions during his absence. He requests some be returned to him, and instructs him what to do with it if Raleigh becomes in danger of being lost to the Union.

18641213_01 18641213_02

Item Citation: From Folder 270, in the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp Jackson, Masonboro Sound near
Wilmington, N. C., December 13, 1864

My Dear Uncle, 

As it is more than probably I will be in camp for some time to come. At least through the winter. I would be glad to have a pair of new shoes that were made for me at Summerville, when last there. I am not sure whether they were left in your office or carried by me to Tarboro: But, I think, the latter. If so, they were returned, I presume, with my baggage to Raleigh by Mr Cekepon. May I ask of you the favour to send them to me to the care of the Rev. Alfred A. Watson, Wilmington, N. C. , who will convey them to me at this encampment. You will recognize them, I am sure, as they are much warmer then my other shoes, & have never been worn. They were made for the army. I wish them now that I may break them to my feet before those I now have are worn-out. I presume Mr. Cokepon has sent them: But, if he have not, have written him to forward them to me. Please send them to Mr. Watson’s car, if you have them, by express. 

In my last, I made some requests of you respecting my baggage, which I beg here to repeat under the apprehension that the letter may have been miscarried & as it may be that the reserves will not be released from the war until the close of the war, it would be very agreeable to me if you would be good enough to comply with the request. 

In my trunk & carpet bags are some woollen clothes. The keys to the same have been sent you by Mr. Cekepon. If I do not return before the 1st May, will you please open them & take out the clothes & have them so attended to as to prevent them being eaten with moths. ? & ? will pick them out of clothes, will you please open them & pick them out of clothes. Will you, at the same time, open the flat box I brought from Summerville, & remove from it a piece of home spun that I brought. Please have it secured from moths also. 

I brought with me from Summerville another box much deeper than the flat one alluded to. In it are some books, with letters & papers that I prise most highly: Be pleased to take special care of them. It would be unnecessary to open it. In fact, I would wish not. But only request you to take care of the box & its contents until my return. I beg you to take the best of care of this & the small tin box left with you, permitting no one to open letters, as what they contain is for my eye alone, until after my death. After which , you will deliver the wooden box to sister. Many, & the tin box request my brother or sister to destroy without opening. I prefer my baggage remaining in your charge until my return. If you regard it safe with you, should Raleigh fall into the hands of the enemy please retain it. But if you regard it safer in Harnett, should Raleigh be i danger, Mr. Maleon McKay, of Summerville would send a waggon for it at any time you may write him. If there be danger at Raleigh, please confer with MR. Brown as to what had best be done to secure my property that are in his hands. My address in care of Capt. J. W. Hart, Company B Gen. Reserves. Camp Jackson, Masonboro Sound near Wilmington your affect. nephew, William S. Pettigrew 

for R. Shepard Raleigh N.C. 

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