ŇThe boys in our Company feels quite bad because we have not got an officer that we enlisted underÓ
Camp on Potomac Creek VA
Sunday, December 28th, 1862
I hope these few lines will find you all well at home. I am well at present, thank God, and I wish I could say the same of the rest. Most all of the Regiment is sick with colds or some other disease which is taking them off pretty fast. Fletcher got a letter from his brother David stating that they have not heard anything from this Regt since the Battle at Fredericksburg and I suppose by that you have not got my letters. This, I think, if I am not mistaken, makes 8 letters that I have wrote since that time, and oh Dear Clara it is so long since I have heard from you, I donŐt know whether you are dead or alive. Tell Julia that Tom is not much better than he was when I last wrote to you. I think he is improving but rather slow.
Today there is another to be buried out of Company F but I donŐt know his name. There is so many dying here that it would take most all of oneŐs time to keep track of them. Poor Ed [Lomis], I donŐt think he will ever see his Sarah again. He is most gone. By the time you get this I think his spirit will take itŐs flight. Out of eight hundred and sixty men that we drawed rations for at Camp Seward, we now have five hundred and sixty that we draw rations for and the number is diminishing very fast every day.
We have not got an officer that we enlisted under in Utica in our Company. Second Lieut Durgee of Company I has been appointed over Lieut Jones in our Company as Captain and the orderly Sergeant of Company E has been promoted in Lieut StanfordŐs place. Lieut Jones has been transferred in Co. C and Lieut Stanford has been transferred in Company H. There has been nine promotions in the Regt but not any in our Company. There has been quite a change around in the Regt and the boys in our Company feels quite bad because we have not got an officer that we enlisted under. We can safely lay the blame on Captain ConeŐs shoulders. If he had stayed with us as he agreed to do, we would have had all our Officers and our position in the Regt. Instead of being on the right we have been assigned near the center of the Regt.
I heard yesterday morning that the Col had reported us unfit for duty at Headquarters. We are drilling on guard duty, what little we drill now, and the soldiers all think we are going somewhere to do guard duty. But it is all guess work and I donŐt place much confidence in it. I have made up my mind to this effect, that when we start on the march we start, and when we stop we stop, and thatŐs all any of us know.
Dear Clara, I have written all the news in my other letters which I hope you have got long before this and I hope to hear from you every day. Last night I built a bright fire in the tent when I heard the mail had come, to read your letter because I surely thought I must get one anyway. But I was doomed to bitter disappointment again for there was nothing for me. It is now about 3 weeks since I have heard from you and the mail has come regular every day. Give my love to all my folks and inquiring friends. Write often and tell them to write as often as they can. Dear Clara, kiss the little children and take good care of them and yourself for my sake. A lot of kisses and my prayer for your welfare and hoping GodŐs blessing rests on you all.
I remain your loving husband,
Peter L. Dumont
I am all out of postage stamps. Please send a few. P.L.D.
I send you some drawings of camp life. Keep them for me. The tent on the left is the kind that we now live in.