ŌLaughlin told me if my father went to Roscoe Conkling and had him to intercede for me, I might get a furlough that wayĶ


Camp Parole, VA

Wednesday, September 16, 1863


Dear Clara,


I felt somewhat sad and disappointed tonight and I thought I could not pass these few hours before bedtime better than corresponding with you.  My health at present is very good and I hope these few lines will find you all the same.


Yesterday I went to the Great City of Washington and oh how I did wish I could of seen your dear face there.  When I came to see so many men and women who seemed to take so much comfort in each otherÕs society, you canÕt tell how bad I felt and how much I longed to be at home with you and my little ones.


I was in the War Department and saw Dave Laughlin there and had quite a talk with him.  He told me he did not think there would be any more exchanges, so I canÕt see what they are going to do with us unless they do let us come home.  I came home tired almost out about dark last night and am sore all over today.  I was in most all the Public Buildings, the War Department, the Navy Yard, Smithsonian Institute, and the Capital, so you see I had quite a tramp of it.  Oh, I wish you could see it as well as me.  Altogether it is a sight worth seeing.


We heard today they are giving out 15 hundred furloughs at Annapolis to one time for thirty days, so maybe if we have patience our time may come yet.  It donÕt seem to do any good to make an application for a furlough, so I donÕt know whether or not it is best to try it again or not.  Laughlin told me if my father went to Roscoe Conkling and had him to intercede for me, I might get a furlough that way if in no other.  He seems to have great influence at Washington.  He can do as he is a mind to about it.  A great many of the Boys have got them from Francis Kernin.  But Laughlin tells me he is on the wrong side of house.  He has no influence at all.  That is the reason why they donÕt get them.


They are getting pretty strict with us here.  They are making me give Orders to the Boys which I hate to, but I must obey.  The Boys look to me to see if I wonÕt be so hard on them, but I must do my duty or else suffer myself for it. 


I will send you a couple of pictures for Ida and Willie.  They was given to me and I feel as if I wanted to send them something and I donÕt know what else I can send them.  Kiss them often for me.  Take good care of your health for my sake.  Give my love to all inquiring friends and to all my folks.  Goodbye for now.  It is getting late and I must go to bed.  Good night.  God bless and protect you, my only dear one.


From your husband with love and many kisses,

Sergt. P.L. Dumont