ŇEverything seems to be preparing for a terrible conflict as soon as weather will permitÓ
Camp at Warrington Junction VA
[Friday,] April 1, 1864
I am well and hope these few lines will find you all at home enjoying good health. Those papers that I have been expecting to get me into the navy have not come yet. Sometimes I think they have never been forwarded by our Col. If I could find out it was so it would go pretty hard with him. If they donŐt come soon I shall try some other way to further my purpose.
Yesterday we had a target practice nearly all of the forenoon and in the afternoon we had Battalion drill. You see our Col. has got back to the Regt. again and he is giving us fits. There has been some great change here lately in the Army of the Potomac. Our Division has been made in to one Brigade and is commanded by Brigadier Gen. Ayres. He has commanded our Division all the time since Sykes had command of the Corps. We are now in the 3rd Brigade of the first Division and the fifth Corps. The whole of the first Corps has been transferred into our Corps and the whole Corps is under the Command of Major General Warren. He was our Brigadier General when we first come out. As a General he is not very well liked by the men of this Corps. Gen. Sykes has gone and the men does not seem to like the idea of his leaving us. He has been so long associated with the men of the fifth Corps that he had become endeared to them as a father. I donŐt know as it will make any difference to me who commands if I have to stay here my whole time. But I am yet in hopes that I will yet get transferred to the navy.
I have just been down to the railroad and had my picture taken to send to you, but I canŐt get a good one. I canŐt look at that machine without looking cross. You can see by this how we have to go almost bare headed. The Col. will not let us wear anything else. Also, we must wear these skull caps on the crown of the head, affording scarcely any protection to our head. They are a bad thing to wear in the winter but a worse thing in the summer. A great many of our Regt. was sun struck and left dead on the road by wearing these kind of caps.
I have not much news to write, only we are getting used to hard tack again. Everything seems to be preparing for a terrible conflict as soon as weather will permit. Soldiers are passing by Regts towards the front daily on the cars.
Oh dear Clara, how bad I do want to see you and our little ones. Take good care of yourself and our little lambs. Give my love to all enquiring friends and may heaven bless you all. Write soon.
From your affectionate husband,
Sergt. P.L. Dumont