Pritchard, Benjamin D. – May 20, 1865

Michigan Civil War Collection Rare and Notable

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

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

Letter to Mary from
steamer Clyde May 20th
about capture