Location: Camp near Potomac Creek VA

Date: 03-01-63 (says 1862)


Sunday March the 1st 1862 [should be 1863]


Dearest Clarinda

I hardley know what to say in this letter but I suppose I must tell you the Truth.  I am reduced to such a state of weakness I can hardley write you this letter we have been out on Picket duty again and while there was attacked by the Enemy but our Regt did not get in the fight after all although we expected to all the time and every moment.  Before we went on picket I was taken with the Dieraeh [sic] and it has got such a strong hold of me now it will be hard work to stop it.  I have to run about once every hour and I have fallen away in a week so my jacket is a great deal to big for me my Eyes stick out and my cheeks have fallen in so I hardley know myself there is nothing but water passes my bowels and that is all I [p. 2] have lived on for two days past my appetite is gone and I cant bear the sight of vituels nor couldent if it was the best in the world.  Dave Reese came in my tent this afternoon and he said he hardley knew me oh it is onley a short week ago that I was enjoying good health and now I am miserable.  Dear Clara my best and onley loved one on Earth may be that I do wrong in telling you how sick I am but I cant help it.  Demming was here yesterday and I did not feel strong enough to have much to say to him.  Oh I wanted to write so bad to you immeaditely [sic] after I came off from Picket but I felt so bad I could not and it is hard work for me now but Dear Clara you know I have a strong Constitution and with the Blessing of god I hope by the time you get another letter from me I will be a great [p.3] deal Better. Monday March the 2nd. I had to give up my letter yesterday because I was tired but I feel bully this morning.  I have not run out to the rear in all night and I feel this morning like eating a little.  Oh never fear Dear Clara I will soon be well again.   Yesterday there was a large lot of Boxes came here for the boys.  You wanted to know if we would have to stay here for 3 years.  I hope my love that it will be the shortest 3 years that ever you or me saw.  I suppose that if they mean to carry this thing through until they lick the south we will have to stay 3 years and more.  While we were on Picket and the enemy attacked us we took some Rebel prisoners and I had quite a Talk with them they were well Dressed better than we were they were Inteligent and talked fight right in your face while they are a Prisoner they are grit to the Back Bone [p. 4] [across top] Please send me a few postage stamps I am all out this is the last one on this letter [line dividing this sentence from the rest of the page] and are bound to never give up as long as they live and they said they would fight harder now since abe issued [sic] that procklamation [sic] than they did before.  Dear Clara Julia seems to fell hard about something towards me almost to bad after I done all I could for Tom.  She acuses [sic] me of feeling to big to do anything for him because I am Sargeant [sic] now.  I dont feel any bigger now than I did before onley I feel proud that I am earning more for you and my little ones being that I have got to stay and spend my time.  She says I might afford to give tom some of that turkey god knows I tried hard enough to give him some she says you got money from that ward and could afford to buy turkeys.  I wrote a little piece and put it in her letter I dont know if she will give it to you or not.  I would like to know what money you got from that ward please write and let me know.  She says she paid half on that box and you sent the biggest half and she dont think it would hurt me to Divided [sic] with Tom.  I wrote a letter and thought I explained everything satisfactorly [sic] but some folks wont be satisfied any way that neck tie you sent me comes very hand I like it first rate.  Take good care of your health my Dearest one and my little ones and may god Bless you all and may this letter find you all well at home.  Good by until I write you again which I hope will let you know that I am well again.  I remain your true and loveing husband Peter L. Dumont