ŌThem that goes is most sure to get catched and brought backĶ
Camp near Potomac Creek VA
Friday, March 13, 1863 [says 1862]
These few lines will find me well at present and I hope it may find you the same. We are going out on picket tomorrow and I thought I must drop you a few lines because if I waited till we returned it would be some time before you heard from me again.
We have got Orders to lay on our arms now all night. They say the Rebels are all around us. They have tried to break though our picket lines quite a number of times. I think before long we will have a fine time of it, or else a hard one. Everything begins to look like a move. They have been giving us an extra supply of cartridges and we are to have a General Inspection in a day or two.
I hear the 4 Oneida has got Orders to join the Army of the Potomac. They say they have been trying all winter to get down here. ItÕs my opinion they wonÕt want to stay here long if they come. They donÕt realize, I think, what actual service is. I guess one or two battles would satisfy them for a while and they would soon wish themselves back in Washington again. There is quite [a few] being discharged out of our Regt. at present. Amongst them is old Fordis Phelps. He got as lousy as he could before he went away.
I looked for a letter from you, Dear Clara, last night but I did not get one. I want to hear very much whether you got that pipe or not and I wish to know if you are all well at home.
I would like to know what the people say about the Conscription law. It will go very hard with some of them, I think, especially the poorer class. You had better believe the 14 boys feel good they have only got one month more to stay. Dear Clara, how long does it seem to you since I have been gone? It is most 7 months since I have been in the service and it seems like a year.
I would like to know, Dear Clara, how you are getting along for money, if you are getting most out. I hope you wonÕt suffer for money. If I thought you would suffer on that account I would be tempted to desert and run my chance and come home, although them that goes is most sure to get catched and brought back. Oh, how I do wish to see you all once more and canÕt. God knows my heart yearns for home and those I love. But I must wait and abide my time patiently.
Tom, he is about the same. He says the doctor told him his heart was affected. I lent him a dollar for tobacco money so he gets along on tobacco at present pretty well. I havenÕt much time this morning. I have wrote this in a great hurry and now I will close, hoping to hear from you soon. Oh, take good care of yourself and my little ones for my sake, dearest one. Give my love to all my folks and hoping God is watching over you all.
I remain, truly and affectionately,
Peter L Dumont