19 June 1862: “your acquaintance with the hire of servants in the camp renders you much more competent than myself to decide as to what would be just both to yourself & to his owner.”

Item description: Letter, 19 June 1862, from William S. Pettigrew to Lieutenant Louis Gourdin Young, aid-de-camp to William’s brother, General James Johnston Pettigrew, concerning the fate of the General’s body servant Peter.

Peter had been sent in October 1861 to serve the General by brother, Charles L. Pettigrew (Peter’s owner). At the Battle of Seven Pines, General Pettigrew was seriously wounded and imprisoned by Union forces. William traveled from North Carolina to Virginia to recover Peter and settle the affairs of his captured brother. William arranged to have Peter travel back to North Carolina until he could communicate with Charles about what disposition should be made of Peter. In this letter, William communicates with Lieut. Young to suggest that Peter travel back to Virginia to serve the Lieutenant until other arrangements could be made.

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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:

Haywood, Chatham County, No. Ca.
June 19, 1862

My dear Sir,

Having heard nothing from my brother with regard to the disposition to be made of Peter, I have thought it best, under all the circumstances, to send him to yourself. He appears to be pleased with camp life, and, I think, is desirous of rendering to you the service which he has hitherto rendered to the Genl. At best, I will send him, and, should my brother Charles direct otherwise, you will be duly advised of it and a change can be made.

As to the wages to be paid to my brother Charles for Peter, I must beg to leave it entirely with yourself, in as much as your acquaintance with the hire of servants in the camp renders you much more competent than myself to decide as to what would be just both to yourself & to his owner. Whatever you may think right, I am sure will be entirely satisfactory to my brother. As there can be no direct communication with my brother Charles him in consequence of the enemy being in his immediate vicinity, you could communicate correspond on the subject of Peter and his hire with my brother’s wife, Mrs. Caroline Pettigrew, whose post office is “Willington, South Carolina.” My brother’s Post-Office is “Scuppernong, North Carolina.”

I returned to Raleigh on thursday, and Peter arrived with the horses on saturday. On Monday I came to this place. Peter will leave on tuesday next for Richmond. Since my return, I have heard nothing from the Genl. But hope he is recovering from his wound and will soon be exchanged. Should any information reach you respecting him, I would feel under no small obligation if you would write me directing to Haywood, Chatham County, N.C. When Peter has arrived at the camp, I would be glad to hear from you, should you find the leisure to write. With my best wishes and with many pleasant recollections of our short acquaintance.

I am, my dear Sir, with high regard,

Very respectfully & truly yours,
William S. Pettigrew

Lieut. Louis G. Young
near Richmond

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