ŌThe boys swear they will never wear them big pants, but military power can make a man do almost anythingĶ


Camp on Potomac Creek VA

Tuesday, March 10, 1863


[Detailed signed drawing of soldiers drilling in camp under an archway with letter A, eagle, and banner that reads "Co. A 140 Regt NYSV"]


Dear Wife,


I am well at present and hope these few short lines will find you all enjoying the same good blessing.  We have been to work fixing up our camp and I thought I would send you a picture of it.


We are going to have a Zouave Uniform.  They took our measure yesterday for them.  Most of the boys swear they will never wear them big pants but milltary power can make a man do almost anything down here.  It will be pretty hard if we have to throw away these clothes and buy new ones.  My jacket is just as good as ever and I drawed a new pair of pants about a month ago, and my shirts and drawers are all whole and good yet, and so is my overcoat.  They charge so much for clothes here it will be too bad on the boys to make them take a new uniform.


There is not much news here at present.  Our boys are yet detailed to work on them forts which are most done.  This morning we are having quite a snow storm again.  The bullfrogs have commenced their annual song about two weeks ago and the birds of the Southern Clime have been trying to burst their throats for 10 days past to let us know that Spring is come upon us.  Yes, Spring has come, but what a different one to me to what I have been used to welcome, so many hundred miles away from home, and daily in the expectation of a hostile movement towards the Enemy.  ItÕs not much to be wondered at if I do give expressions that are not lively and cheerful.  Separated by many miles of all I hold dear on earth, my heart feels saddened and I can't feel to welcome this Spring as I was used to in days before.  Oh dear, when will the time come when we shall be united again.  My heart, Dear Clara, grows sadder every time I think of the distance between us, and long oh how dearly for the days that are gone.


We have got orders to go on picket again in a couple of days.  I hope we wonÕt have such a time as we had the last time on picket.  Tom got a letter from Julia and for a wonder I canÕt tell why he didnÕt let me read it this time.  Maybe he won't let me read any more of them on the account of that lot of money and that turkey.  It won't kill me if he donÕt.  He is well with the exception of a pain in his breast he complains of.  He doesn't do much duty and all the boys call him a dead beat on the government because he looks healthier than he did when he came down here.  I have found out a new acquaintance in the Regt.  His name is [Bates], TylerÕs brother.  Tyler was wounded in the Battle of Fredericksburg and is now in some hospital, I forgot where.  Tell Sarah I saw her brother a day or two ago.  He has got to be a great big man and as grey as a rat.  She will hardly know him when he comes home.  Give her my best regards and all the rest of the folks.


Take good care of my little ones and yourself.  Give my love to my father and mother, sisters and brothers, and hoping to hear from you soon.,

I remain yours truly, God bless you all,

P. L. Dumont