ÒI donÕt know whether it will be accepted or not, for being an officer here in the Regt. I am afraid it will not be so easy to get awayÓ
Camp at Warrenton VA
Monday, March 21, 1864
I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you all at home enjoying the same blessing. I received your letter a couple of days ago but was on Camp Guard at the time. We have been all excitement here for a couple of days past. We have been expecting StewartÕs Cavalry to make a raid here and have been preparing to meet him, digging rifle pits and entrenchments, and have had everything removed so if he was too strong for us we meant to skedaddle and burn everything around us. But I think the excitement has nearly died away, for things are going on as usual again.
Dear Clara, I have not done as I promised you I would. I told you I would wait and see what you said about my going into the Navy. I was so much afraid that it would be too late, that I made application as soon as I could and it has gone to Army Headquarters for approval, and I am now every day expecting it back to the Regt. Oh, I know you cannot blame me, for if you only knew how much I have suffered by them long marches and such heavy loads to carry, you would only say I done the best I could. I donÕt know whether it will be accepted or not, for being an officer here in the Regt. I am afraid it will not be so easy to get away as if I was a private.
I am glad to hear that you have got along so well this winter. You have done better than what I expected. If Mr. Hart keeps up his promise, in the course of a year that little will amount to a great deal in time.
Oh, how bad I do want to see you and our little ones. I pray that God may spare us all to meet again on earth. I feel thankful for his kindness to such as me so long. But many have gone that came here with us and I suppose many more will go before this Rebellion is put down.
Lotty says if I will answer her letter she will write to me. I donÕt know as I have received one from her. I got one from father and she wrote a few lines on it, but then if she thought anything of me I donÕt think she would wait for me to write, for she has more time and a better place to write in. But I suppose her time is otherwise occupied at present.
I think we will be paid off in a few days again., such is now the talk. There is heavy booming of cannon just commenced out in front. I donÕt know what it is.
As I have not much more news to write, I will bring my letter to a close. Hoping to hear from you soon. Take good care of little Ida and Willie, bless their little hearts. Oh, I could only see them. Give my love to all enquiring friends and may heaven bless you all. Goodbye, dear Clara, until you hear from me again.
From your affectionate husband,
Sergt. P. Lewis Dumont
A kiss to you and our little ones [in a box]
I will send you a piece of poetry written for the soldiers. It is very true.
[enclosed newspaper clipping with poem about soldiers anxiously waiting for mail, reverse has Washington D.C. theater announcements including FordÕs Theater]