“Gen. Meade seems determined to have another fight before going into winter quarters”


Camp near Paolia Mills VA

Tuesday, November 24, 1863


Dear Clara,


I am well and hope these few lines will find you all enjoying the same good health.  We have just returned to Camp from another mud march.   We started this morning about daylight to cross the Rapidan River to have another fight with the enemy, but before we had reached 5 miles from Camp it commenced raining and we got stuck in the mud again, but not as bad as last winter, and the Order was given to get back into Camp again.  So here we are after a hard tramp through the mud. 


I don’t think we will stay here long if the weather will permit our moving, for Gen. Meade seems determined to have another fight before going into winter quarters.  But it has got to be the time of year that we cannot depend upon the weather at all, and then we have had a very open fall and generally one extreme follows another, so we cannot tell what is going to be done.  But one thing is certain, if the weather will permit, you may expect to hear of another great battle being fought near Fredericksburg, for the Rebs will not give up the other side of the Rapidan without a great struggle.


The army is getting or has been getting paid off as fast as possible.  I think all of our Brigade has been paid off except our Regt.  Our paymaster has not got along yet.


I made a couple of pictures, one Saturday and one yesterday, and got a dollar for them.  So you see I can keep myself in spending money, for we do not get any chance to spend any.  There has been no sutlers allowed in front since we fell back from Culpeper, and the Boys have been in a great state for tobacco.  There is but little to be seen and extraordinary prices are asked for it.


I think it will take 2 or 3 days to dry up the mud before we can move again, but the weather looks very unsettled and like setting in for winter.  Tom has had all his things turned in and if we had not made a failure of our move, I think before this would reach you he would be in Washington.  He may stay here now until we move again.  He may get his discharge.  The way things look and act, it looks very much like it.  I hope he may, for his not worth a great deal in the army.  He has had something the matter with him ever since he has been down here.  It is stopped raining now and the Boys are all praying that it will commence again.


But I must come to a close.  I hope we can settle this war without any more fighting, but if we have to have another battle here this fall then I pray God may spare us to meet once more.  Give my love to all of my folks, and likewise remember me to all inquiring friends.  Take good care of yourself and little ones, and may the blessing of heaven rest on and protect you all, and now hoping to hear from you soon, I remain yours and yours only in love,


Your husband,

Sergt. P. L. Dumont


A kiss