ŇIf I had only known that they want a going to draft, I should have been home this day and with my loved onesÓ
Camp near Falmouth VA
Saturday, March 28, 1863
[letterhead of eagle with shield, red, white, and blue, print slightly off]
I am well and hope these few lines will find you all the same. I got a letter from Joey last night and was very much disappointed because I did not receive one from you also. Joey tells me not to desert and come home, but when I read her letter I had a mind to desert and come home for all her advice. She said that you had a beau regular every Sunday night, but come to find out she is a split tail like herself. His name, she says, is Mrs. Sarah Graff. You must be careful or else you might get into trouble with such a beau. I have had one of the same kind call upon me the other day. Her name was Mr. George Reiser. He came and took dinner with me. He looks the same as ever only his front teeth is most all gone. I wonder how Josey would like to see her old flame again. He asked about her and why she never answered his many letters.
Yesterday we had a review and another one was ordered today but it is raining quite hard and I donŐt think we will have it. There has been some talk here lately that if Hooker crossed the River, the Fifth Army Corp would remain where they are to hold Acquia Creek and we are in that Corp. Some of the 14th boys came over to our Camp yesterday after Review and they said the 146 beat all the rest of the troops on marching. We were reviewed close by their Camp.
We had the worst Battalion Drill yesterday we ever had. Some mistake that our officers made while on Review made our Col. so mad that immediately after arriving in Camp he ordered a Battalion Drill. I tell you, he gave us a sweater. He said while drilling us that the men were not to blame, it was the Officers and he wanted to see them do better.
I have just laid this letter aside and have been with the Company after wood down to Potomac Creek. It is raining quite hard. The men were swearing like Pirates because they had to go in the rain. The Boys have it pretty hard now. There is drill twice a day and wood to be got, policing the Campgrounds, so it hardly gives them any time to themselves. They have to go about a mile after wood and back up a pretty steep hill. It is for the Captain and Company cooks.
The health of the Regiment is now first rate. We hear we are going to get four months pay in a day or two. Dear Clara, I should like to know how you are getting along for money. I am dreadfully afraid you are pinching yourself. I wonder if the children would know me if they could see me now. That is what makes me feel very bad, to think if ever I live to come out of this cruel war, my children will not know me. Yet I have some hopes that Ida will remember me. If I had only of known that they want a going to draft, I should of been home this day and with my loved ones.
But I must close, hoping God will protect you and my little ones from all harm. Give my love to all inquiring friends.
From your husband truly,
Peter .L. Dumont
P.S. I hope to get a letter from you tonight.