14 November 1862: “I am very anxious to go to my native state to defend the soil that that the miserable abolitionists of the hated and cowardly state of Massachusetts are now polluting.”

Item description: Letter, 14 November 1862, from D.G. Cowand to William S. Pettigrew. Cowand wrote to thank his friend for lobbying the governor on his behalf for a command in North Carolina should troops be raised to defend the home soil. He also opined on Generals McClellan and Burnside, the readiness of fortifications at Drewry’s Bluff, and the difficulty of being a chaplain in the army. Cowand concluded with an open invitation to Pettigrew to visit winter quarters at Drewry’s Bluff.

Item citation: from folder 259 in the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Hd. Qrs. 32nd Regt. N.C.I.

Near Drewy’s Bluff Va

Nov 14th 1862

My dear Sir,

Your last two letters have been received; and allow me to say, I feel under many obligations to you for your kindness & friendship in trying to procure me the position which I ask of our worthy Gov. I am very glad you called in person, as I know the Gov. will listen to any recommendation which you would make to him; & I am the more thankful to you My friend. I feel satisfied if the Gov should raise any troops for State Service that your recommendation will meet with favor. I truly hope he will, as I am very anxious to go to my native state to defend the soil that that the miserable abolitionists of the hated and cowardly state of Massachusetts are now polluting. Yes, Mr. Pettigrew, I never felt more like fighting than now, when I hear of our friends being driven from our homes, what they have taken or destroyed. Would it not be a proud day to us all to march back victorious to our homes.

I see in this morning’s papers that McClellan has been removed, and Burnside temporarily placed in command of the Potomac forces. I hope this so, as I think McClellan is decidedly the best officer the enemy have. Burnside is, though, a good officer I think. All seem to look for a fight in Virginia daily. I think our forces are ready to meet them & do not fear the result. It is now thought that Gen Longstreet is still with his troops in Virginia. I think but one Brigade has passed through to North Carolina.

It seems to be settled now (or rather as much as can be in war) that our Brigade will remain here this winter. We are building Winter Quarters and still fortifying our position. I think soon that Drewy’s Bluff both by water and land will be able to stand against any force that the enemy can bring. It is truly a formidable work, and the field works are becoming also very formidable. We shall soon have two intire lines round it.

I regretted to hear of the death of your man Aaron & hope you may find the change to a higher [?] more healthy. Our troops I am glad to say are very healthy here[?] & I think generally so. I was very sorry to hear that mr. West had been twice disappointed. It seems that our clergy are quite as patriotic as they should be, many having [??] are going into the army devoting their time to sinful soldiers. It is a post hard to fill. A chaplain has much to contend with while filling his position. It is sad to think so many of our troops think so little of their duty.

We shall be in our Winter Quarters by Christmas & if you should be in this part of the Confederacy should be truly glad to have you call & spend a week with us. We can promise to give you soldier’s favor.

Be kind enough to present my kind regards to Miss Annie. I shall be very glad to hear from you at your leasure. If I move will let you know where I go to.

Hoping to meet you soon in our native State.

I remain

Very Truly Your friend

D.G. Cowand


W.S. Pettigrew Esq

This entry was posted in Southern Historical Collection and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.