ŌThe men donÕt want to fight any moreĶ
Camp near Potomac Creek VA
Friday, December 16th [should be 19th] 1862
My Dear Wife,
With the blessing of God I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same. We are again under marching orders but where for I cannot tell or surmise. Some say we are going to make another attack near Fredericksburg & others say we are going back towards Washington but the men donÕt want to fight any more. Some of the regulars were getting paid off yesterday.
I for one donÕt think we are going back to Washington because our old guns were taken away from us and new ones given to us. We have got the new Springfield rifle and yesterday we sent off all of our sick and crippled to the General hospital. I donÕt know where that is but some of them say it is in Washington. Amongst them was Tom so I canÕt tell how you will hear from him now. He felt pretty bad when he shook hands with me yesterday, I suppose on that account. George Wheeler went with him.
I have not received any letter from you since last Saturday night. I see you did not keep up to your word in that last letter about writing every Sunday but I suppose you had something else to do at the time. It makes me feel very sad to think you are a going to be left all alone this winter but were is Lotty and Malley, they canÕt all be going. My wishes and prayer is that God will protect you and my little ones from all evil.
Yesterday there was quite a number of boxes came to the Regt for the soldiers and a great number of the eatables were spoilt. One of the boys give me a couple of nut cakes and they tasted first rate. I would like to have a box but I donÕt want to run the risk of having everything spoilt when it gets here so you had better wait until I see fit to send it. The talk is principally amongst the soldiers that we will all go home in the spring. I hope their talk wonÕt be for nothing.
Oh, how I do wish I could be free once more so that I might see your dear face again. I dream of seeing little Ida every night almost. It seems as if I canÕt dream so much for nothing. I hope in a short time we will see one other again, I canÕt tell where you or how you will hear from me again, perhaps never if we go into a fight. But hope and trust the same as I do that all may yet be well. May God bless and protect you.
From your husband,
Peter L. D.
[pencil sketch of the bombardment of Fredericksburg]
I commenced this sketch of the Bombardment of Fredericksburg while it was still taking place. I got it so far when we were ordered across the River and I have never finished it since.