ŌThere is not enough money in America to get me to enlist againĶ


Camp at Warrington Junction VA

Monday, December [should be January] 11, 1864


Dear Clara,


I take the present time to address a few lines to you.  I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same.  I have just returned from Guard Duty on the railroad where I have been for two days, and when I came back I received a letter from you.


Our duty is very hard on us here.  While we are on guard we cannot sleep at all, 48 hours.  We have to stay on post without sleep, and when we come into Camp some of them have to go back again.  But if nothing happens we shall get along well enough.


I have got another shanty built up and yesterday I made a picture of it which I will send to you, together with a letter from a soldier of how we live, fight and die.  It is the most true of anything I have seen in print.


You spoke about me reenlisting.  There is not money enough in America to get me to enlist again.  No, Clara, if I ever get out of this scrape alive and well I shall remain at home contented the rest of my life.


The weather is twice as cold this winter as it was last and we have had 2 pretty hard snowstorms.  There is now about 6 inches of snow on the ground.  The sun is warm daytimes, but the nights is bitter cold.  Them two pocket handkerchiefs you sent me I sold as soon as I got them for 50 cents apiece.  You see, I have wanted them so long and just before I went out on picket I went to the sutters and bought a silk one and paid one dollar for it.  So I did not want but one, and I sold them you sent me.  Tell me if I got enough for them, and that thing you sent me to wear around my neck I sold for one dollar but I have not got my pay for any of it yet, but I think I will get it next payday and I will send the money back to you.


You spoke about Bill Morey enlisting again.  This is the only place for such men as him.  Here we can keep them away from whiskey and women, a bully place for men that donÕt know how to behave at home.  Every once in a while someone keeps hearing something about his wife, what she is doing while he is gone.  Oh, I believe I should go crazy and shoot myself if I should hear such things about you.  So far I have never heard anything about you and I hope I never shall.  I believe I have a good wife and one that loves me and I love her in return.  I hope God may spare us to meet again and live and take comfort in one otherÕs society.


James Wandwright is two days over his time on furlough now and I donÕt know what will be done with him when he comes back.  That Mr. Edic has been released from the guard house and one monthÕs pay taken away from him.  He is, as you say, a good man and deserves better treatment.  But every one must pass through a course of military.  Maybe we will get paid off the last of this week yet.


As it is getting late, I must draw to a close.  Give my love to all inquiring friends, to father, mother, sisters, and brothers.  I hope to hear from you soon again.  Take good care of yourself and little ones, and try to keep from catching so much cold and being sick, for you canÕt tell how it makes me feel when I hear you are sick.  May heaven bless you all.


From your husband,

Sergt. Peter L. Dumont