ÒIt would be hard for me to leave again if you try to keep me, and that would only make it worse, for I should be hunted as a deserter in a few daysÓ
Camp at Warrington Junction VA
Friday, January 22, 1864
I received your very welcome letter yesterday afternoon and was glad to hear from you and the little ones. I think those pictures are very nice, only I would of liked them better if they had of been Card de Visites but they are very welcome as it is. You see, this kind of picture spoils very easy.
The children grows and look well and hearty which I am glad to see. Ask Melora Teed who she is making that shimmer for. Perhaps she is making it for somebody to look at. I suppose she has growed so I would hardly recognize her now, but I hope she has growed good. Also, I have got a letter from her and I thank her very much for it. You see, it donÕt matter much who it comes from so long as it is news from home.
You are mistaken in regard to the things in my door. They are made of cloth and not of old leather. Do you think I would have leather hinges? That would make it look like a barn. But you see, it looks like a pig pen. The picture looks a great deal better than the house.
I hope this will find you all well at home. I am pretty near well but have been pretty sick. I was taken with the diarrhea and the Doctor give me Sweet Oil and Laudanum to check it, and I have suffered everything almost since, for after that I could get nothing to pass my bowels for a great many days. But I am getting better now.
The furloughs stopped for the present, but they say they will be resumed again at an early day. They will give to none now, only to those whose friends are not expected to live at home. I should like very much to see you all if I possibly could this winter. But I hardly believe I will have a chance. I have had it hinted once to me that Fletch was coming home to recruit, but I donÕt know whether it is so or not. If it is so, he is lucky. I donÕt begrudge him the chance. But I would like the chance very well myself.
I remember the rats Melora speaks about very well. I wonder if rats bother her now. I wouldnÕt be surprised if two-legged rats began to bother her by this time.
WonÕt George be gentleman enough to take you out a sleigh riding? I wish you had one, by the way. How is the little sleigh? Can you use it this winter for Willie? And the wagon, I shouldnÕt wonder by this time it is about played out. But never mind, perhaps we will never want them any more.
If I should happen to get a furlough this winter, you must make up your mind that I have got to return when my time is up, for it would be hard for me to leave again if you try to keep me, and that would only make it worse, for I should be hunted as a deserter in a few days.
I hope this may find you all well at home. You must take good care of yourself at home and the little ones. Keep up good courage and maybe all things will turn but for the best. My love to all of my folks and to all enquiring friends, and tell Melora I will answer her letter very soon. I thank you very much for them pictures. Write soon. May heaven protect you all now and evermore.
From your husband with love until death,
Sergt. P. L. Dumont
Co. A, 146 Regt.
Zouave Vols., Garrard Tigers, Army of the Potomac