“If it is the lot that God has set aside for me to be shot on the field of battle, then try and live a true and Christian wife”

 

Camp near Potomac Creek VA

Monday, March 23, 1863

 

[rough sketch of eagle holding banner reading ‘Camp Near Potomac Creek Va’]

 

Dear Clarinda,

 

I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you all enjoying good health at home.   We are on the verge of a Battle I think and so I thought I must write to you again.  We have been Ordered to be ready with 8 days of rations and every one that had got no knapsack has got to have one and carry his grub on his back.  We are going to leave our clothes and tents and take nothing but a blanket and our grub.  There is no wagons going with us and but two pack mules to carry the Officers’ things.

 

This morning the Doctor would not excuse anybody.  He has ordered one man that walks on crutches, his name is Bright, to report for duty.  We have got lots of cripples, some of them pretty bad, and they have all been put in the Ranks again.  Where we are going, or when and where, is more that I can tell.  Some say Fredericksburg is the place but it is all guess work.

 

I have not much time this morning, you must excuse this short letter.  Oh my dearest and only one on Earth that I love, I shall confide the keeping of you and my little ones in the care of God and if it is the lot that God has set aside for me to be shot on the field of battle, then try and live a true and Christian wife and bring our children up in the fear of the Lord.  I pray every night just before I go to sleep for your welfare and safe keeping, and now hoping that all may yet be well, I will close, hoping that God in his mercy is watching over you.  God comfort you in your loneliness while I am gone.  Give my love to all.

 

Goodbye for now until my next.  I have got a sore arm from being vaccinated.

Your husband,

Peter L. Dumont