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Raleigh, July 6th, 1863.
General James H. Lane, Commanding Brigade, Pender's Division, &c.:
My Dear General,--With this I send you a formal resignation of my position on your staff. Although it may seem uncalled for, I cannot resist the temptation to write you more fully on the subject.

After three months struggle with disease, in the vain hope of rejoining you and sharing with you the toils and dangers of this campaign, I am told by my physicians that I am utterly unfit for duty now, and that I cannot hope to return to my post while warm weather lasts. In accordance with the views expressed to you in a former letter, nothing is left me but to resign.

The principle of duty is the only one which has guided my action in this matter. Duty to the service demands my resignation; for in this her life and death struggle, our country needs that every one of her offices should be efficiently filled — that every officer should at least be at his post, ready to do his best; he then who holds one of these offices, and from sickness or any other cause is unable to discharge its duties, must give way to a better man. Such is my situation.

My duty to you, as my commanding officer and my personal friend requires it; for the last four months you have been without the services of an Adjutant-General and doubtless have been compelled to perform my duties for me; besides your enemies in the brigade will make my continued absence a handle against you, speaking of me with slanderous tongues and lying hearts that they may wound your feelings and lessen your influence.

Finally, my duty to my family and myself requires my resignation; if I should retain my position, and, after spending the whole active campaign in my sick room, should be able to resume my duties at its close--when the army had quit the field for the camp — this would afford a coincidence too unfortunate not to be immediately seized upon by the tooth of calumny; indeed, few men's reputations could stand such a test. Rather than do so, I would then resign and go again into the ranks.

I need not tell you, my dear General, with what reluctance I take this step — how, hoping against hope, I have put off the evil day, until (I fear) I have taxed too sorely even your friendly patience. Your military family was a happy one; such kindliness and genial courtesy and mutual confidence dwelt among us; and the ties of personal friendship,

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W. D. Pender (1)
James H. Lane (1)
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July 6th, 1863 AD (1)
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