“I wish I was safely back home again


October 18th 1862


[letterhead of The Girl I Left Behind Me picture and poem]


“Camp Seward, Arlington Heights, 8 miles from Washington


Dear Clarinda,

The regiment has gone to Washington for review and left me behind on the sick list.  Last night I was taken very sick.  I don’t know what the sickness is hardly myself.  Sometimes I was burning up and sometimes freezing.  This morning I have a pair of lips on me big as any nigger you ever saw.  I guess that I have got poisoned with some of the bushes around here.  I can hardly eat or speak good they are so sore.  I should like to have gone to Washington today if I was well enough.  It will be a great sight.  There is to be some 6 or 7 regiments on review by Gen. Casey and another great general.  They are all new regiments come since we have and are expected to be brigaded today. 


They talk here of our Col. Being made a Brig. General.  I hope it is so.  I for one should like to get rid of him.  I tell you honest, he is one of the most unfeeling men I ever saw.  Last night he ordered Wesley Dimbleby off of the ground and just so with every man that comes on the ground.  Wes felt so bad that he almost cried.  H says he never knew or heard of such doings in all his military life but I guess we can weather it out some way or other. 


I wish I was safely back home again amongst those I hold most dear on this earth, no money could hire me to leave it.  I tell you a soldier’s life is not one of pleasure.  There is a great many hardships to go through.  This morning we was called up at 3 o’clock to cook our breakfast to get ready for a march for Washington.  Tell Julia the soldiers cannot get any intoxicating drink here of any kind.


I will write all my letters to you and you can read them to all our friends.  You must write often to me to keep up my spirits.  I have not received any letter as yet from you but are expecting all the time.  You had better direct your letters to Washington, 146 Regt N.Y.S.V. Company A, Capt Cone, for fear we shall move from here.  We have got orders to march on Harper’s Ferry tomorrow.  Letters directed as above will reach us anywhere.  Write and let me know whether you got that 33 dollars from Capt Cone’s father.  If not you must get it.  Write as soon as you get this. 


From yours and yours alone forever,

Peter L. Dumont

This makes 4 letters I have written to you  P.L.D.