One of my very favorite history books is William Hassler’s One of Lee’s Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender. This collection of letters written by Dorsey to his precious wife Fanny during his service under Robert E. Lee gives very personal glimpses of a husband, father, and dedicated Confederate soldier. The consistency of his letters in the midst of the Civil War is both amazing and poignant to me. And the constant encouragement he offers his wife — and the effort he makes to keep her cheerful during their long separations — speaks to a deep and abiding love.
My collection of books about Dorsey grew this week with my purchase of Brian Steel Wills’ new volume, Confederate General William Dorsey Pender, The Hope of Glory. I have barely started reading this one, but appreciate the careful scholarship and in-depth looks into the background of the man who was to become my Great Great Great Grand Uncle.
I highly recommend both of these to anyone intrigued by the Civil War, Robert E. Lee and his Lieutenants, or the art of war itself.