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[144] forces from reaching Keyes' at Seven Pines (a matter of supreme importance), and deprived Keyes and Heintzelman of two brigades and a battery of their own troops.

It has been mentioned that during the events narrated, General J. J. Pettigrew was wounded very seriously. I cannot forbear, in this presence where so many dear friends of General Pettigrew remain, to record for future history an unpublished letter from Pettigrew to Whiting, fraught with the pure patriotism and exquisite self-sacrifice characteristic of both heroes, who sleep in death together for the cause they served.

I hardly need remind you that this (like his report) was written by an amanuensis, and exhibits in its feeble signature the exhaustion of one wounded almost unto death.

June 4, 1862. East Chickahominy—Enemy's camp.
my Dear General:

I am very much ashamed of being in the enemy's hands, but without any consent of my own. I refused to allow myself to be taken to the rear after being wounded, because from the amount of bleeding, I thought the wound to be fatal; it was useless to take men from the field, under any circumstances, for that purpose.

As I was in a state of insensibility, I was picked up by the first party which came along, which proved to be the enemy. I hope you know, General, that I never would have surrendered, under any circumstances, to save my own life, or anybody's else, and if Generals Smith or Johnston are under a different impression, I hope you will make a statement of the facts of the case.

I am extremely anxious to be exchanged into service again; I am not fit for field service, and will not be for some time, but I can be of service in any stationary position with heavy artillery.

I would be glad that an immediate effort be made for my exchange by resigning my place as Brigadier General and accepting the place of Junior Lieutenant of artillery. If I am ordered to Fort Sumter, I can do good duty. I do not suppose there will be any objection to make this exchange, and I make this proposition because we have no Brigadier General to exchange, and I suppose after I lay down this rank there will be no disposition to hold me personally, beyond any other officer.

I hope my troops did well, although deprived of my leadership.

Very truly,


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