ŇHe seems to feel big over it, to think he has helped a poor soldierŐs wife a littleÓ


Parole Camp Near Alexandria VA

[Saturday,] August 15, 1863


Dear Clarinda,


I am well and hope these few lines will find you all the same.  You must excuse my long delay in not writing to you for we have been very busy since I received your last letter in getting mustered and paid off.


I received a letter from Bill Dagwell this week in answer to one I sent to Mr. Hart.  He says you told him that you was on the point of seeing the firm of Hart and Dagwell once or twice and that you was very much in need of money.  He says you told him this.  I think you done very wrong if you was in want of money to not let me know it while I was carrying it about in my pocket.  He seems to feel very big over it, to think he has helped a poor soldierŐs wife a little.  Yesterday I got my pay and this morning I sent you 25 dollars by Express and I hope you will get it.   There is some talk about our being exchanged but it has not been officially announced to us yet. 


You wrote of seeing Old Top at CarterŐs and she spoke about the picnic.  I hope she did not tell you anything to make you feel bad, for as true as I live and hope to retain your love, I acted not in any way to make her say anything of me and, tell the truth, I acted not out of a married manŐs place while in her company.  If she has said anything mean about me or hinted such a thing, I hope you will tell her that she has told a black lie, for as God let me live, I did not think of such a thing.  Maybe I am going too far, but I thought when I read your letter she had said something to hurt your feelings.  I do not blame you if you did think something of it, for I had no business to go as I did. 


I hope this Rebellion will soon come to a close, for God knows how bad, oh how bad, I wish to see your dear face again and my little Ida.  How I do want to see her so much and the whole of you at home.   Somehow or other, I feel as if I canŐt go back to my Regt and do my country justice in another battle unless I can see you again.  But I suppose seeing you before I go back now is out of the question.


You must give my love to all my folks and take good care of your and the childrenŐs health for my sake.  Goodbye, my dear wife, until you hear from me again.


Yours only until death,

P. L. Dumont.