ŌThe boys here that get passes for Washington come back and make their brags what bully times they have with the womenĶ
Camp Parole VA
Thursday, September 3, 1863
[letterhead of woman in red with flag, typed subheading Chas Magnus 12 Frankfort St N.Y.]
I was in the receipt of your very kind letters today. I am happy to let you know that I am well and I hope these few lines will find you all the same at home. I also received your paper but I was ahead of you in getting the news. I am glad George was not drafted, for I should hate for to see him come if he did not want to. We are not exchanged yet, nor is there any signs of it at present. The talk is yet we are coming home, but dear Clara donÕt place much on what I say, for it is all camp talk. Today I have been mustering the men for something, I donÕt know for what but I guess it is for pay.
I am glad Sarah has come back for I think she is good company for you. I hope she will turn out better than my acquaintance has. I have no need to hope for I know she will.
That Mr. Place I wrote home about is turned out to be one of the worst sort of men. He went to Washington and mixed himself in with mean women of that place and then came back and made his brags about it, and Mr. Philip Smith has got so he sports a woman at this Camp and she happens to be a nigger at that. He got into the SutterÕs Shop here for Clerk and that is the way he spends his money he earns here. God help and keep me from such things. I donÕt see how they can do it and have a clear conscience. Most all the boys here that get passes for Washington come back and make their brags what bully times they have with the women at that place, and most of them married men at that. You will never have the pleasure of hearing this from me as long as you live, and God help me to keep my promise. You always knew what contempt I held for that class of persons.
Oh, how I should like to see you all if I could. Anyway, I have hopes that I will soon. I think they will let us come home if they donÕt make an Exchange. I want to see Ida and Willie so bad, I donÕt know what to do. I hope they will both live to be good children and be a blessing to us in old age if God permits us to see it.
That Bill [Sweatfager] has turned out as I expected. I suppose he is a subject for Virginia, and Bill Dagwell has got enough to pay his 3 hundred dollars without feeling it. But how many will have to come that have not got it to pay? Charles Milbury is drafted, I see by the papers. But what is brother Henry going to do? I suppose he has not got his 3 hundred to pay and I donÕt think his height will clear him for I have seen smaller men than him down here.
Dearest Clara, I must come to a close for it is getting after bedtime. Give my love to all my folks and to Sarah Graff. Oh, how I wish Jake was here with me. I know I would not feel so lonesome. God bless you and my little ones, dear Clara, and keep you forever from all harm, and this is my prayer every night as it is tonight as I go to sleep. Goodbye until you hear from me again.
From yours ever true until death,
Sergt. P.L. Dumont
Commanding Squad No. 11, 3rd Division, Paroled Prisoners
A kiss to all [encircled]