ŇIf I canŐt come home in that time I feel as if I shanŐt never be of any good to the government hereafterÓ
New Convalescent Camp near Fort Barnard
[Friday,] May 22, 1863
After traveling most all over I have again come to a stopping place. We are now at Convalescent Camp about 3 miles from Alexandria and four from Washington. We have been at both places but was finally placed in this Camp. We are only one half mile from old Camp Seward and in a most beautiful place. Everything is clean and neat. They say it will be some time in August before we are exchanged and oh, if I canŐt come home in that time I feel as if I shanŐt never be of any good to the government hereafter. I am not any good to them now and might as well be home as not.
I canŐt tell you in my letters how much we have suffered in the past few weeks so I will not try. But I have gone through it all and am well and hearty as a buck and I sincerely hope this may find you all the same at home. Oh, if I could only come there and see you I would willingly do so, but it may be possible that I can come yet though the men say it is about impossible at present.
Dear Clara, I sent you a letter and a book from Annapolis and then I sent a note in great haste to have you not send an answer, but I think you may send one with perfect safety at present. It is now about a month or over since I heard from you last and it seems nearly a year. I sent you 40 odd dollars when we was paid off and a picture of mine and I have never heard from either one. I wish when you answer this you would let me know all about it. I suppose there is some letters of mine at the Regt. I have not heard from there since I was taken prisoner. If you sent me any money at Annapolis I wish you would answer this immediately and I will write to the postmaster to send it to me here. Direct your letters to me here as follows: Sergeant P.L. Dumont, New Convalescent Camp Near Fort Barnard, Virginia, and if you have not sent me any money I wish you would send me some, for this paper and envelopes I have borrowed. I have not the first cent to my name.
Dearest one, take good care of your health and my little ones. I have trusted in God and am safe after the terrible Battle. Give my love to father and mother and all inquiring friends. God protect and comfort you my dearest one.
From your ever faithful husband until death,
Peter L. Dumont
A hundred kisses to you and little ones
Sergt P.L. Dumont
New Convalescent Camp
Near Fort Barnard
In great haste to hear from you. Write soon and I will do the same
With love, P.L.D.