ÒConsider the heavy marches and the loads we have to carry day after day, and the broad canopy of heaven to shelter us at night, with mother earth for our bed and pillowÓ
Camp at Warrenton Junction VA
[Wednesday,] March 16, 1864
I am well and hope these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing at home. Last night and today has been very cold weather for this time of the year. It snowed a little here yesterday and we was out on inspection most of the time. The weather is mild and warm here and sometimes it is too warm, it makes a fellow fell kind of lazy-like.
Dear Clara, I have seen through the papers that by and Act of Congress, Seamen can be transferred into the Navy. There is about 15 hundred to be taken out of this Army for that purpose, and I think I would rather serve out the rest of my time there than here. Consider the heavy marches and the loads we have to carry day after day, and the broad canopy of heaven to shelter us at night, with mother earth for our bed and pillow. When I consider all these things it seems as if the Navy would be far preferable and I would make my time about 2 months shorter than it would be if I stayed here. My time would then date from my enlistment the 22nd of August, and I also think I could make more there than here. We have got a conscrip here in our Regt. that was in the Navy one year and he has received notice that he has about two thousand dollars coming to him in prize money and he can get it any time he is a mind to go after it. But, dear Clara, I am subject to your Orders and I will not take any steps without your consent towards going into it. I donÕt hardly think there will be near the fighting there that there will be here this summer.
I have got a few more of them pictures I will send to you. I think I saw Jackson when I was first taken prisoner and he was buried while I was in Richmond. I donÕt know but you will think I am foolish in sending you these pictures but I feel as if I must send you something. I have sent you some twice before and you did not say whether you got them or not.
I canÕt make many pictures this winter for we are kept so busy on duty. I could make them all the time for the Officers and get big pay for them, but I havenÕt the time to do it in unless I occupy all my spare time.
James Handwright is very sick and Fletch is acting Orderly in his place and both our Company Commanders are on furlough. Curran of Utica has been made Lieut. Col., and Armstrong has resigned and gone home.
As I have not much news to chronicle, I will bring my letter to a close. Kiss the little ones often for me and take good care of yourself for my sake. My love to all enquiring friends and acquaintances. Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain,
Your ever affectionate husband,
Sergt. P.L. Dumont
Co. A 146 N.Y.S.V
A thousand kisses [encircled]
Captain Durkee of our Company, wounded at Chancellorsville, one arm gone
[sketch of head and torso of man in uniform with right arm missing from elbow down]