ŇI have had a presentiment since you sent that telegram that the Lord will punish us for our wickednessÓ
[Wednesday,] July 8, 1863
I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you all as it leaves me. I received your kind letter today and hasten to reply. I am very sorry that my little Ida is so sick. Oh, I hope you will take good care of her for nothing would grieve me more than to lose her, for I always thought so much of her. I donŐt mean by this that I donŐt think anything of Willie, for I should hate to lose him just as bad. But you know how Ida was her Papa girl. How much she always seemed to think of me, and how she did always want to go with me wherever I went. But sometimes I think she will never follow me again.
I have had a presentiment since you sent that telegram that the Lord will punish us for our wickedness. But I hope for the best. I have not heard anything from that furlough since it went to the War Department and that is a week ago. Some say it takes two weeks to get it sometimes, so I still have some hopes yet.
We are getting glorious news here at present today. The news is that the whole Rebel Army of Virginia is destroyed. I pray God this may be true. Vicksburg has fallen and Richmond is expected to be taken every day and it seems as if the Rebs is catching it on every side pretty bad just now.
Dear Clara, you ask my consent to go to the picnic on the 14th of this month with George. If you can enjoy yourself any way by doing so, I give my consent with all my heart. Why should I try to keep you from doing so? I am surprised you would not dare to go without my leave. No, Dear Clara, go and my God bless you. I love you too much to keep you from enjoying yourself. It canŐt make any talk with the folks, you know, for he is my brother. Yet you know I am jealous, very much so, and I hope there will be no danger in giving my consent to such an elopement with my brother.
As for me, I canŐt find no pleasure in anything now. I get up in the morning and when night comes I am as tired as if I had done a hard dayŐs work. I am thinking of you and home all the time and it works so much on my mind it makes my head ache most all the time. My constitution is not what it used to be. The least exercise tires me all out and yet if I was forced to [do] it I suppose I could march fifty miles in one day. I donŐt think we will be exchanged yet right away. But if we are, we must make the best of it.
Dear Clara, there is not much more news here at present. Everything is all excitement. I have found a young man here by the name of Justis Place. He used to work at Harwoods. He sends his respects to her, Malvina.
So hoping this may find you all well with the blessing of God, I will close. Hoping to hear from you soon. Give my love to all.
From your husband with love, God bless you dearest one,
Sergt. Peter. L. Dumont