ŇI have now 68 men under my charge and feel power invested in me to act the same as CaptainÓ


Camp Parole VA Near Alexandria

Friday, August 28, 1863


Dear Clara,


I received your long looked for letter yesterday and was so busy I could not answer it before today.  Also I got one from Joey.  My health is good at present as I hope yours is.  I am sorry you have made up your mind to go hop picking, for now I am afraid I will have no one to write to me, that is all I care about it.


We are not exchanged yet and I canŐt tell whether we will be or not.  Poor Dave Jones, how I feel for him if he would feel about it as I did.  I should never care about coming home if I was in his place.  It is horrible to contemplate, I hope for his sake it is not so.  Such news as that would kill me.  I would rather hear my wife was dead than to hear that news.   God forbid that I shall ever hear it from my own home.  But I can trust you.  I have never doubted you for you never gave me no cause.


The talk is here now if the Commissioners cannot agree on some terms of Exchange by next Monday we will all be sent to our own States.  There seems to exist a great difficulty about the Negro Soldier.  It is the general opinion we will not be exchanged at all. 


I have now got 68 men under my charge and feel power invested in me to act the same as Captain, and my time is occupied some now what it used to be.  You must excuse this bad writing for I have wrote it in an awful hurry.  I hope to get home if they donŐt exchange us, and then I hope it will be before you go a-picking hops.


You must give my love to father and mother and all inquiring friends.  I have not any more news to write so I will come to a close.  Kiss the little ones often for my sake and may heaven bless you and keep you.  Yours with love and haste,


Your affectionate husband,

Sergt. Peter. L. Dumont.