Pritchard, Benjamin D. – May 20, 1865

Michigan Civil War Collection Rare and Notable

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Regiment: 4th Michigan Cavalry Battles Mentioned: Historical Figures: Jefferson Davis, Henry W. Halleck, James H. Wilson On board the Steamer Clyde off Fortress Monroe May 20/65 Mary my own Dear Dear Darling God has again permitted me to come where I can once more address Thee my hearts most precious [  ?  ] Oh! Mary Dear what a long long time it has been since I left the Loved One and not one single word have I heard from you since or any one at home. and Oh! Darling now but you can know the dreadful anxiety under which I have lived. lived! no I have not lived I have only been suffered to exist de- prived of everything which could make life dear except the one blessed privilege that of hoping that I might soon be permitted to return to the Dear One who is the keeper of all my happiness and my hopes. But Dearest when I left you, you was so far from being [  ?  ] from those terrible injustices and what may have happened since I dare not contemplate but I have prayed incessanitly that God would protect the Dear One and I trust and hope that [  ?  ] this the Precious One is very morly if not entice by all Oh! if it can be so hard happy happy I shall be and how hard I will strive to make my Dearly Beloved Mary happy and compensate in part for the great injustice I have been con- [  ?  ] to do her by my long inavoidable ab- sence. But Dearest Mary the war is over, and the danger of battle passed our Country still lives and Liberty is ours and by the blessings of our God thy husband has been chosen to place the foot upon the serpents neck. And to day the arch fiend & Gaitor and manic author of all our national woes tis a prisoner in my power. And with a continuance of the blessings of that same Providence. I shall soon fold my dear dear Mary to my heart never more to now another parting; and may God [  ?  ] the hour for my heart cannot bear restraint much longer. And Oh! there Darling you will pardon me for the many wrongs I have done you not by my desire but from the stern necessities which have surrounding me Mary Dear it has been more then two months since I left you and not an sylleble have I heard from you and Oh! are you well? I would five every thing if I could have that question which is constantly in my mind answered in the offirmation but I will hope on. Dearest I cannot at this time althought to tell thee many of the particulars of the long hard campaign through we have fast passed. But will have to close this poor letter with the recital of a few of the incidents which has resulted in bringing me here away from my command. On the night of the seventh inst I was sent out of Macon with my Regt in down the Ochmulgee River with directions to go 75 or 100 miles from M” & take possession of all the ferries across the river and to scout the country as far as possible with a [  ?  ] to the capture of Jeff Davis & other parties – which we know to be flying from Richmond for the purpose of reaching the trains Mississippi Department. At Abbyville 75 miles from Macon as the afternoon of the 9th I came upon the track of a train which I capt captured in the morning of the 10th near I-ville a point 100 miles S. E. of Macon and which proved to be a verry impertinent capture as by it we se- cured the person and family of Jeff Davis his P.M. Gen” (John Reagan) Col Johnson & Col Lubbock of his military staff and Burton N Harrison his private Secretary. Maj Maurinel Capt Moody &a & Hathaway also the Brother & Sister of Mrs D. Five wagons & three (3) Ambulances & quite a number of Private soldiers. On my return to Macon I was met 9 miles out of the town by a courier with orders for me to prepare immediately for a trip to Wash -ington. I arrived with an escort of 170 men in charge of my prisoners. I came by the way of Atlanta- Augusta Savannah Hilton Head to this place where I arrived yesterday afternoon. Upon my arrival here I telegraphed the Secretary of War & recieved orders to remain here until further ado with my prisoners At midnight last night I another dispatch from Mr Stanton saying that Maj Gen Halleck would meet me here at noon today from Washington until he arrives all will be uncertainty whithe I will turn over my prisoners at this point or take them to Washington. But I presume I will be ordered to Washington whithe the prisoners go or not I do not expect to go back to Macon but will join the Regt near Nashville as Gen Wilson told me that he had orders to move all his Cavalry back to the Tenn River. If I am detained in W’ling. I would like to have you come to me or at least as far as Webbs where I would meet you. I will write you again in a day or two when I hope to be able to speak more definitely. Write me at Washington once Precious One and I think I will get it for I mean to go there I will bid by Little Dear Good By until tomorrow. May Gods righest blessings rest upon Thee my own my Dear Dear Darling [  ?  ] is the prayer of thy Loving Husband               Dudley My love to all and a kiss for Brother & [  ?  ], and several for Mary. [On Envelope:] Mrs. B. D. Pritchard Chagrin Falls Ohio 1865 Letter to Mary from steamer Clyde May 20th about capture