ÒWhat has become of all of our men, IÕm sure I canÕt tell and I doubt if the Col. can tellÓ


Camp Parole [VA]

[Monday,] August 10, 1863


Dear Clara,


I thought I would write a few lines to you this morning to let you know that I am well and hope this may find you all the same.  Yesterday I went down to the Potomac River and got a mess of freshwater clams and fried them to eat.  They went first rate.  I wish you could have been here to get berries this summer.  They have been so thick the soldiers could not pick half of them.  I could of picked 12 quarts of them long blackberries in a couple of hours, and huckleberries, I have never known what huckleberries were until I came here.  I have had my fill of them this summer.  Oh, how I have wished I could of sent you and Ida some.  They looked so nice. 


We have not got our pay yet, but they say we will get it on next Tuesday.  I hope we will.  There seems to be a great deal of talk now that we will not be exchanged at all, anyway not in a good while.  If we donÕt,  I will try and get home if I can.


Mr. Place wanted I should ask Mally if she would be offended if he should ask her to hold a correspondence with her.  He says he has no one to write to in Utica and he would like someone to hold a correspondence with in that place.  He wants me to ask her, in a way she will not be offended, to write to him and he will immediately answer it.


Tom came over to this Camp two or three days ago and yesterday he went to the Regt.  Poor fellow, I pitied him for he did not look fit for to go.  He just got a letter from Julia with her picture in it.  He wanted me to write an answer but he did not have time. 


Our Regt. numbers now about 190 men and there has been 4 Regts consolidated into it.  This is what I call one of the greatest losses of the war.  What has become of all of our men, IÕm sure I canÕt tell and I doubt if the Col. can tell.


There is no news so I will come to a close.  Give my love to all and keep up good courage.  Dear Clara, I hope to see you soon.  God bless, this is my prayer night and day.  You are the only [one] I love in this world.  Goodbye for now,


Your husband,

Sergt. Co. A 146 NY Zouaves

P.L. Dumont