ÒWe are all the time talking about Peace down hereÓ
Camp on Potomac Creek near Fredericksburg
Tuesday, December 23rd, 1862
Dear Wife Clarinda,
I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you enjoying good health. It is nearly two weeks since I have heard from you and home although I have written almost every other day. Most all the letters I get is from you and if I donÕt get them regular every week I feel awful disappointed and then again I think you are forgetting me. Oh, I hope that day will never come that you cease to think of one who has loved you fondly and truly and will ever do so while God gives me breath to lisp you name. Dear Clara, I have loved you as I can never love another one in this world. I am glad now that I am placed amongst dangers that I can look back and see how peaceful and quiet we have lived together and enjoyed each otherÕs society so long without trouble and strife the same as some of them have that I have seen in my life, and what I hope and pray for now is that we may enjoy those sweet times again.
Dear Clara, the weather is very nice and warm here just now. Today it has been almost as warm as summer. The soldiers are all speculating on what they are a going to get from home in boxes in a couple of days for Christmas. I hope they will get their boxes for Christmas for their sake but as for me I donÕt expect anything. Dear Clara, as for money I think I have got enough until pay day and as for sending a box, I donÕt know what to say about it. There has been boxes lying in Washington for 6 weeks for some of our soldiers and they have not got them yet so I canÕt say what is best to do about sending. I think you had better wait until I see a change for getting it.
Yesterday we performed the solemn rites of burying two more of our comrades. They were buried quite decently with a board placed at their head telling their name, age, and marking the place where rest the illustrious dead. Tonight I am writing after candle light.
We heard read on dress parade the punishment some of our boys has got to take that was Court Martialed on November 30. They have got to carry a log weighing 30 pounds for 30 days from morning until night and forfeit 5 dollars of their monthly pay for 3 months because they didnÕt turn out on Review. On the 26 of last month there was some 6 or 7 of them. But thank the Lord, Dear Clara, I am not one of them.
Tom is a great deal better than he was when I last wrote. He is so he can get around again quite comfortable. He has not got a letter in some time from home and he wishes they would write as often as they can conveniently and oblige him.
Dear Clara, I wonder if they talk as much about Peace at home as they do here in Camp. We are all the time talking about Peace down here but donÕt seem to be settling it very fast. Today we heard we were going to Alexandria for winter quarters but I suppose it is one of our camp stories the same as usual. One day Peace is declared and the next we are going in a fight. So it goes here all the time to keep up a perpetual excitement. But I have got so I take no notice of it whatever. It is getting to be an old story.
Give my love to father and mother, sisters and brothers, and all inquiring friends. Kiss the little ones often for me and tell them of their Pa which is far away and coming home one of these days so they wonÕt forget me, and I will go to sleep at night praying that God will spare all our lives to meet again. God bless and protect you all,
From your husband,
Peter L. Dumont
Please write as often as you can and tell them all to do the same.