“We had another execution in our Division about Christmas, it was a deserter”


Camp at Warrington Junction

Sunday, January 3, 1864


Dear Clarinda,


I am well and hope these few lines will find you all enjoying the same good health.  I received your letter on Friday and I was glad to hear from you.  But at the same time it brought news which I did not want to hear, that was about yourself and mother.  But I am in hopes this will find you all well again. 


I was in hopes you have received that money long before now because it was too much for us to lose.   Dear Clara what made you send me all the money you had?  If you ever do so again I shall not feel thankful for it at all because I think you did wrong.  You could not tell but what you might want to use it the next day.  I hope you will never do so again. 


I am in the same place yet I have had not time and no ax to put up a shanty with as yet.  But if nothing happens I hope I will get one made this week.


James Handwright went home on furlough this week.  I think he will call and see you before he comes back.  I hear that the orders has been given to stop these ten day furloughs on account of so many reenlisting into the Veteran Corp and so many are leaving the army at present.  I told Jimmy to tell you how hard it was to get a furlough here, in hopes that you would not think I did not try to get one.  I almost begrudge every one their chance I see getting one.  Mr. Edic is in the Guard House yet for staying over his furlough.  He gave me everything you sent me.


I forgot to tell you, we had another execution in our Division about Christmas, it was a deserter.  He was taken out about one o’clock, the Division drawn up in a line so all could see him, and a few minutes afterwards a number of balls pierced his breast.  I was spared the painful sight for I was Sergt. of Guard that day and I was left to guard the Camp.  Only me and three men on guard was left in Camp.


Last night I drawed a picture by candle light and I will send it to Ida.  Tell her how her Pa wears such clothes.


Fletch is in Command of the Company for a couple of days and I am acting Orderly in Handwright’s place.  We are having dreadful cold weather down here now.  I think I never saw such cold times all last winter.  But one thing is strange, we don’t have any snow.  We have not seen any but once and then not enough to make a snow ball of and that was about a month ago.


We are having a great many deaths in our Regt. this winter again.  Some 5 or 6 have died very suddenly within the past 3 weeks, and we can’t tell what they die with.  I think it is with exposure to the weather.  You see, we have to be out in the cold and rain and all kinds of weather and we keep a cold all the time.


You must take good care of that leg of yours or you may have a bad one of it.  I hope by the time this reaches you it may find mother and all the rest of you well. 


As I have not much more room, I will close.  Take good care of the little ones and don’t let them freeze to death in that old shanty you live in.  Give my love to all enquiring friends and to all my folks and keep up good courage.  Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain yours with love until death,


Your husband,

Sergt. P.L. Dumont