Camp at Warrington Junction
Friday Jan 15th 1864
Has been on fatigue in the woods and is now writing by candle light. Is healthy. “I am glad to hear that some one is good enough to help you if it is Old gleaves & I am glad to hear that you can keep warm for I was much afraid you would suffer in that Old House this winter I am liveing [sic] first rate now if they will just let us stay where we are I have Bunks Built in my Shanty so I can keep off the ground”. Jimmy Handwright returned from furlough and he “said he Passed by the house quite a number of times but did not see ay of you & he was not well enough acquainted with my folks to go there on Purpose.” He bought an ax for a dollar fro a soldier who reenlisted. “You spoke about Fletch does his folks say anything about his money I know he has Sent a few times to his Sister But then he spends an awful Sight to the Sutlers for Nic Nax. I told Phil Smith what you wrote about his father but he don’t seem to Care you don’t know what an awful differance [sic] it makes to be in the army a little while. I am glad to hear you say that folks Speak well of me that goes home I try to be good to every one but there are a few always wherever you may go that don’t want to have any one above themselves you see I have to tell them to do something about Camp such as Cleaning up & they don’t like to do it very well Some times but they have to obey me just as much as if the Col told them to do it. Phil Smith is one of that kind. I don’t have to do a bit of work unless I have a mind to all I am Supposed to do is the Bossing & this is what they don’t like I try to be good to every one & I wish all to be the same to me.”
Says he has to tell her about something that he wasn’t going to but he cant keep it a secret: “It was on last new years eve it was one of the most Severst Cold nights I have ever seen the Col drawed 18 gallons of whiskey for the Regt I I was one that had to go to the Commisaries after it after I had drawed it I had to stand around in the cold about an hour & I came near freezing. So I up with a Big pail that had some in it and drinked a Big Swallow of it & Before I knowed it I was drunk But I felt sorry & ashamed imediately [sic] after don’t let it trouble you for I have Swonrn never to become a drunkard what makes me feel so worked up about it is because I have had it offered to me so many times by the Officers & I have always Refused & now they have got Some thing to laugh about”.
Captain [Clasgens?] and Lieut Dutton have gone to Utica to recruit and she may see them. He wishes he could have gone. “Yesterday we took 16 of Mosbys gurillas [sic] at this place”. Tells her to take good care of her leg or she might lose it and she could tell folks she had been to war. Closing.
[sketch of bird with banner reading TO THOSE I LOVE AT HOME]
“Sergt P.L. Dumont & Lady
I wanted to see how this would look”
[a half sheet folded with letter}
He just got her letter and glad to hear all are well. They are still not getting enough to eat in camp but to buy anything seems like taking bread out of her and the children’s mouths. Tom was not sick and felt well but “he was covered all over with Bunches I don’t know whether they will hurt him or not”. So unhappy he hasn’t made it home. Lengthy sentimental message. “Dear Clara if they tell you that I will be an altered man Believe it will be altered for the Better you know that I can not Drink or run with mean women & I hope & pray that you will never know me as such and as forgetting you or leaving it is the last thing I think of as the thirsty man panteth after water so my heart panteth after you oh Dear Clara… The Boys laugh at me when I don’t get a letter they say Pete or the Seargeant is love sick again they can see something is the matter of me… the song you sent me is a good one But it has been sung out long ago by the soldiers I rember [sic] its thrilling notes while marching on to Chancelorsville Battle field.” Closing.