Reserve Artillery – William N. Pendleton

William Pendleton Quotes

Last Updated  September 4, 2010

With quotations by Pendleton first followed by others in alphabetical order of the person making the quote

“[loss of cannon] is among military men more or less a deduction from a man’s standing.”

William Nelson Pendleton

Pendleton in a letter to his wife

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 274

Lee, Susan P, Memoirs of William Nelson Pendleton, D.D. (1893; reprint, Harrisonburg Va.: Sprinkle Publications, 1991)

Page 214-215

“I had to again work like a beaver as did all my officers and men, promoting the safe passage of the army, with its immense trains of artillery and wagons, hence no rest again that night.”

William Nelson Pendleton

William Pendleton discussing the withdrawal from Sharpsburg

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 265

Lee, Susan P, Memoirs of William Nelson Pendleton, D.D. (1893; reprint, Harrisonburg Va.: Sprinkle Publications, 1991)

Page 213

“on this occasion as indeed was true at other times afterwards, Gen. Pendleton displayed an utter want of confidence and fearlessness.”

James A. Blackshear

Blackshear describes Pendleton’s erratic action when there is alarm of Federal cavalry scare of Pendleton’s artillery after they ford the Potomac

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 263

John Appleton Blackshear diary, Sep 7,8 1862. James Appleton Blackshear Papers, Emory University Special Collections, Atlanta

“Brig. Gen. Pendleton is an absurd humbug; a fool and a coward.  Well known to be so among those who see and know, & do not hear.”

John H. Chamberlayne

Chamberlayne, an artilleryman describes Pendleton

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 275

Chamberlayne, John Hampden  Ham Chamberlayne – Virginian: Letters and papers of an Artillery Officer in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865, ed. C.G. Chamberlayne (Richmond Va.: Dietz, 1932)

Page 143, 118

“By the way Pendleton is Lee’s weakness.  Pn is like the elephant, we have him & we don’t know what on earth to do with him, and it costs a devil of a sight to feed him.”

John H. Chamberlayne

Chamberlayne, an artilleryman describes Pendleton

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 260

Chamberlayne, John Hampden  Ham Chamberlayne – Virginian: Letters and papers of an Artillery Officer in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865, ed. C.G. Chamberlayne (Richmond Va.: Dietz, 1932)

Page 134

“When the shackles of this necessary but galling system are off me, may the Lord do so unto me and more also if I do not bring him to account both publickly and privately. And I charge you, if some danger of the battlefield, which he so carefully shuns, shall end my life before the war is done, I charge you in the cause of truth & justice to see that light is thrown on the tortuous, lying & cowardly part which this jackal has played in high places.”

John H. Chamberlayne

Chamberlayne determines to seek justice after the war regarding Pendleton’s actions

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 278

Chamberlayne, John Hampden  Ham Chamberlayne – Virginian: Letters and papers of an Artillery Officer in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865, ed. C.G. Chamberlayne (Richmond Va.: Dietz, 1932)

Page 143-145

“I recollect Captain Pendleton well and when were all younger esteemed him highly as a soldier and a gentleman.  I some days since directed that he should have rank as a colonel and be put in command of the batteries of your army.”

Jefferson Davis

Jul 13 1861

Jefferson Davis to Joseph Johnston directing the assignment of Pendleton to artillery command

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 280

Davis, Jefferson, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 2 vols. (New York: Appleton, 1881)

2:148

“Why wince-when you would thank God for a ball to go through your heart and be done with it all.”

Varina Davis

Davis response to Pendleton after he admits that if like Hood, he had suffered two grievous wounds, he would wince and dodge every ball

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 279

Chestnut, Mary Boykin, Mary Chestnut’s Civil War, ed. C. Vann Woodward (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981)

Page 560

“As much as I esteem & admire Genl Pendleton, I could not select him to command a corps in this army.  I do not mean to say that he is not competent, but from what I have seen of him, I do not know that he is-I can spare him, if in your judgment, you decide he is the best available.”

Robert E. Lee

Lee responding to a suggestion by Davis that Pendleton replace Polk upon the latter’s death as a corps commander.

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 280

Lee, Robert E. Lee’s Dispatches: Unpublished Letters of General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A. to Jefferson Davis and the War Department of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, ed. Doulas Southall Freeman (1957; reprint, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994)

Page 79

“If one of his inspectors ever visited my camp or ever inspected my horses, munitions, etc., I am unable to recall it.”

David Gregg McIntosh

A South Carolina artillery battalion commander recalls Pendleton

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 279

David Gregg McIntosh to Jennings C. Wise, June 8, 1916, David Gregg McIntosh Papers, Civil War Miscellaneous Collection, USAMHI, Carlisle

“it rather a pity that you should not have allowed that good old gentleman, General Pendleton to remain somewhat in the background where he was accustomed to be, and not have exalted him in the conspicuous place you have.”

David Gregg McIntosh

Gregg to Jennings C. Wise complaining about the prominent role that author placed on Pendleton.

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 279

David Gregg McIntosh to Jennings C. Wise, June 8, 1916, David Gregg McIntosh Papers, Civil War Miscellaneous Collection, USAMHI, Carlisle

“A well meaning man, without qualities for the high post he claimed-Chief of Artillery of the Army”

Moxley Sorrel

Sorrel describing Pendleton

Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer by Moxley G. Sorrell by Moxley G. Sorrell (New York:  Bantam edition, 1992)

Page 94

“I am not so averse to hearing the General as others but am always sorry to see him officiate, because I know how the soldiers talk about him.”

Walter Taylor

Taylor makes an observation about Pendleton’s preaching skills

“We Don’t Know What on Earth to Do with Him-William Nelson Pendleton” by Peter S. Carmichael. Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Page 279

Taylor, Walter H.  Lee’s Adjutant:  The Wartime Letters of Colonel Walter Herron Taylor, 1862-1865. Ed. R. Lockwood Tower.  Columbia:  Univ of South Carolina Press, 1995

Page 186

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