“Oh, dear Clara, my dream of seeing you this year has vanished, I am afraid, but still I have hope of seeing you sometime”
Camp Parole, VA
Sunday, September 20, 1863
[letterhead with two color pictures: one of soldier with flag and drum, typed subheading “Chas Magnus 12 Frankfort St N.Y..”; and another of buildings subheaded “War Department”
Today has been another long, tedious, cold and lonesome Sunday. It has been so cold here today it was impossible to keep warm. But for all that I am enjoying good health and I hope you are all enjoying the same good health, and now dear Clara, I suppose I will have to inform you of the news that we are all exchanged and will have to go to our Regts., and just about now I suppose they are getting all ready for a big fight again out in front. We have been very busy here for a couple of days getting some more clothing, and there has about 18 hundred guns come to this Camp which they say are for us. The Officer that is over me here in Command told me this morning that Lee thought we were all exchanged. This what I write to you is mostly imagination but I think it will come true. Anyway, they are going to send us somewhere, for they are equipping us the same as for the front.
Dear Clara, this ay seem hard to I and you, but I suppose it is honest. Oh, if I could only come home and seen you and the little ones, I think I could of gone back to the Regt cheerfully and willingly. But all may turn out well yet. I have hope and do not despair. That is all what keeps my spirits up. I would die here for worrying so much if it was not for hope that this war was most ended. I hope this winter will end it so we may come home in the spring all right. I think by the way they are hurrying things up, we will go away from here about the middle of this week. We may not be exchanged yet but I think so for certain, although we must hope for the best. If I go, I shall try and let you know before I go so to see about my letters. I must not lose them by any means.
Fletch does not want to go to the Regt any more than what I do, but I guess he will have to go with [us], although they want him to the hospital very much. He makes so good a nurse.
He made me a present of a nice new woolen shirt today. I would have to pay about 3 dollars and a half for one like it down here. Dear Clara, if I go to the Regt you will have to wait some time before I send you any more money for I guess the Regt has just been paid off and I will have to wait until another payday before I get any more money. I hope you will not spare of what you have got, but use of it long as it lasts as much as you want and don’t scrimp yourself and the little ones. Take good care of yourself and little ones and don’t suffer for anything as long as you have the means of getting it. Give my love to father and mother and all the rest at home and to all inquiring friends.
Oh, dear Clara, my dream of seeing you this year has vanished, I am afraid, but still I have hope of seeing you sometime. I think your last letter was a good one and oh, how much I do prize those little missals that come from you. If I could not hear from you then I would be sad indeed. I never thought before I was married that I could love one so much as I do you. I would rather lose all the riches of the land than you, dear one, and yet we must be parted. But I feel it cannot be so forever.
But dear one, I must close. Kiss the little ones for me, and God comfort you and protect you in your loneliness during our separation. God bless you all, this is my prayer. Goodnight from yours ever and ever until death,
With love and kisses,
Sergt Peter L. Dumont