ŌTell Ida her Pa will come one of these days, and then her Pa will stay with her, never to leave her any moreĶ
Camp Parole, VA
Sunday, September 27, 1863
Today has been one of the most lonesome Sundays I believe I have ever seen since I have been down here. The Eleventh and Twelfth Corps of Paroled Prisoners left this Camp and gone to join their Regiments fully armed for the front, and it leaves the Camp quite naked, and I am expecting every moment while I am writing this letter to get Orders for the Fifth Corps to go. Fletch has been ordered to report here to go with us. He feels very bad about going but that donÕt do any good. He thought he was going to stay with the doctors at the Hospital.
I am well and hope these few lines will find you all the same at home. If I could complain the same as some can, I suppose I might get excused from the Regt. for a while, but I canÕt find cheek enough when nothing ails me. No, I will go and when I canÕt go any farther I will stop and have a clear conscience that I have not tried to shirk my duty, although I donÕt want to go to the front any more than any other man.
I have tried every way to get home to see you and my little ones and every means has failed, so I will try and feel resigned to my fate. Tell Ida her Pa will come one of these days, and then her Pa will stay with her, never to leave her any more. Oh, I would give the world to see you all once more, dear Clara, if that would do it, but it wonÕt, so we will have to hope and wait and put our trust in Providence until brighter days dawn upon us, and I feel that is not far distant for it seems as if the day must soon come when this war is ended. I was in hopes it would die out with the song (when this cruel war is over), but that is worn out some time ago and almost forgotten.
Dear Clara, you must keep up your courage and hope and pray the same as I do, and do not despair of never seeing me again for such things will only serve to make you miserable. I know the same would make me miserable indeed. God comfort you in your loneliness and keep you from all harm. I hope you will not suffer for anything this winter. I wish you was in another house, for I am afraid you will suffer very much from the cold in that old house you live in. If I could have been there a couple of weeks, perhaps I might of done a great deal towards making you comfortable. But you must do your best to make yourself as much.
So as you can see, dear Clara, you need not feel afraid of my deserting, for that is the last thing I shall ever think of, and I shall ever try to be deserving. So if there is a chance of promotion I shall try to be one on the list for it. I made a big jump over quite a number of the Corporals and SergeantÕs last winter and perhaps I may make another one this winter. I will ever try and do my duty and let come what will.
Kiss Willie and Ida for me. Take good care of your self. Give my love to mother and all the rest of the family. Remember me to all inquiring friends. Good night and God bless and keep you and my little ones forever. Direct your letters to the Regt. the same as you used to. This is the last time you will hear from me at this Camp, I think. Goodnight. God keep you all.
From your ever loving husband until death,
Sergt. P.L. Dumont