ÒI happen to have a hope that I shall yet get through this wicked Rebellion and come home to live and die with my own dear little wifeÓ
Camp Convalescent VA
Friday July 24, 1863
I received your long looked for letter today. It was ten days from the last one and I began to think you must be sick, the reason why I did not get one. Oh, dear Clara, you canÕt tell how I felt after I read your letter. I feel for you with all my heart. God knows how gladly I would come if I could and be with you. I never thought any of my folks could of treated you with so little respect. It is hard to know it. But, dear Clara, I happen to have a hope that I shall yet get through this wicked Rebellion and come home to live and die with my own dear little wife, and then I will try and atone for all the sorrow I have brought on you.
I am afraid you stay at home too much. Why did you not go to the picnic and enjoy yourself? I think it would of done you a great deal of good. I did not know until lately that you was living in such a place as you are, upstairs in one room. I am afraid you are doing an injury to yourself by trying to please me as you think. I donÕt want you to sponge your stomachs or live poorly to save a little money, because that would hurt my feeling more than anything else.
Dear Clara, last Sunday I spent the whole day in the tent thinking of you and wishing I could see you. I wonder if Joey never thought of sitting out on the steps and if nobody never thought of saying anything to her for it, and then that night society, dear Clara, it makes me feel awful. I was almost crazy when I read your letter. I sat down and thought I would write a real saucy letter to them, but my better feelings overbalanced my bad ones and I was glad I did not write it, for that would only be letting them know you had been writing about them to me. So, dear Clara, take my advice, try not to notice everything they say or do. Overlook it if you can, and rest assured that one of the truest and most loving hearts beats warm for you that ever beat in a human bosom. God bless and protect you through life and I hope when the harvest comes you may be gathered with all the heavenly and be at rest.
I would like to see your picture as you now look, to see if you are altered any. I did not get a letter from George or Mally, but may get it tomorrow.
I am glad to hear that Ida was pleased with her ring. Poor little thing, how bad I do want to see her. She must always be called her paÕs girl. I always thought so much of her and she always seemed to think a great [missing page or phrase].
I will send you five dollars in this letter for I am not coming home as I see, and shall not want it. I would like to have you come down here if there was any place to stay, but there is not. The houses within 15 miles of here was all burnt down in the commencement of this war and nothing is to be seen but tents. If we was going to stay here much longer, I would send for you anyway and would try to make to best of it any way.
We was mustered in today for pay and will get it in a few days and I will send it all to you. There is no news to write so I will close. Hoping to hear from you soon. Give my love to all and take good care of yourself and little ones.
From your husband, with love,
Sergt. Peter. L. Dumont.
Tell me in your next letter if George is enrolled for the draft.