ÒI would rather he would have them all if I could only get them to himÓ


Camp near Falmouth VA

Friday, January 30, 1863


Dear Clara,


I received your kind and welcome box which you and Julia sent, all right side up with care.  But I am very sorry to inform you that none of it can reach Thomas.  I tried my best to get it to him but it was of no use.  The same night that I got it I took my things all out except half of the turkey and nailed up the box again and labeled it to him ready to send the next morning, and soon as it came daylight I went and seen the doctor and he said it was impossible to get it to him.  He said I might send it half way and there it would stay for six months before it would be delivered, and I am also sorry to tell you the he ainÕt got them 2 dollars because they tell me he would never get it.


I had quite a talk with the doctor yesterday morning about Tom and he told me that Tom went away from here with the remitant fever and was turning in the Typhoid and if he got over that down here in this climate he would be lucky, and his chances were better for going home then if he got over it than they were for coming back here again.  I hope Julia will not feel bad towards me because I have tried my best and done all I could and what else can I do?  As for the things in the box, I would rather he would have them all if I could only get them to him than ever taste a bit myself, rather than ever be blamed afterwards.  The things are all in the box nailed up yet except my part, hoping that I will yet get a chance to send it to him.  But I think I will risk that money in a letter to him tomorrow.  Dear Clara, I have done all that I could and tell Julia not to feel hard towards me.


We have just experienced an awful snow storm.  The snow is about six inches deep all over the ground and it is hard work to be happy with anything considering the houses we have to live in, but I wonÕt trouble you with my troubles for I suppose you have enough of you own.  I am healthy now, very much so, and I hope these lines will find you the same.  We got paid off last night after dark and I will send you 40 dollars in allotment papers.  One of them is from my tent mate Mr. Joseph Corrigan and he wants you should keep it 6 or 7 days or until his aunt Mrs. Margaret Corrigan calls for it.  He will write for her to come there and get it.  She is in Clayville and he thinks it is the best way to get it.  TomÕs money canÕt be got now, they tell me, until next payday.  With them checks I send by Mr. Deming I also send you a portmonic taken from Fredericksburg with some cartridges and musket caps.  That check you can take to the bank when you have a mind to and get the money on it.  My pay that I had coming to me was 30 dollars and 30 cents so you see I have ten dollars left yet.  If that allotment paper goes home all right I will send you some of that money.  I think you must want some by this time.


Dear Clara, everything in that box was nice and good as I could wish for, but how glad I would be if Tom could only get his.  How thankful I was for what I received, God alone knows.  I hope as soon as you get this you will answer it immediately so as to let me know if you got everything all right and so hoping that God in his mercy is watching and protecting you and my little ones from all danger.


I remain your true and faithful husband until death,

Peter L. Dumont