ÒWe wonÕt get paid until next month on the account of most of the boys not having anything coming to themÓ

 

Camp at Bealton Station VA

[no date, probably mid-December 1863]

 

Dear Clara,

 

I received your letter of Dec 7 last evening and was glad to hear that you was all well.  I am sorry to hear that you have got a bad cold.  I am afraid that you expose yourself to the cold weather too much.  If you have not got clothing enough you must buy it.   Remember your health before anything else.  Without that you might as well be with the dead.  I am in hopes that the sore on WillieÕs head wonÕt amount to much.

 

We are now building up winter quarters in hopes that we shall stay here through the winter.   Yesterday they had the report around Camp that Gen. Meade was superseded.   But as a general thing it is not believed.  We have got most tired of changing our generals in the Army of the Potomac.  It creates a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst the men.  Yesterday our old Capt. came back.  He looks first rate and he was received by the Boys with a great deal of applause.  He is a good man and I am glad he has come back.

 

I have been to work today lugging logs to build my shanty for this winter.  I wish you could see the shanty we have to live in here for winter.  It would surprise you and make you laugh at the same time.  But a soldier can live in any kind of a place and I believe can endure more than any other person in the world.  We have been now for most a month past living on about half what we want to eat.  It comes from their giving us those 8 days Rations and it was impossible for us to carry them when they gave them to us and now they are trying to make them up on us by giving us one day for two.

 

The talk is now that we wont get paid until next month on the account of most of the boys not having anything coming to them.   They are settling up the yearÕs clothing account and that is why they havenÕt anything coming.  The last of this month I will have a hundred dollars coming to me.  You must take all you can get from other folks to get along until I can send you some.  Our Sutler come here today but the Boys have not got any money to buy anything with.   Tom went from here to go into the invalid corps.

 

But I must close.  Give my love to all of the folks and take good care of yourself and little ones.  Hoping to hear from you soon. I remain yours ever and ever with love.

 

 God bless you all,

Sergt P L Dumont

 

P.S.

Send me a little black linen thread in a letter