“Quite a few men have been placed in Confinement for refusing to take arms before they were exchanged”


Camp Parole, VA

[Friday,] October 2, 1863



I received your very welcome letter yesterday and was sorry to hear that you felt so bad about my going back to the Regt. but it is no more than what I expected.  I don’t wish to go no more than you wish to have me.  But as a soldier I must obey orders.  For some reason which I cannot account for our Corps still remain at this Camp, although we have been expecting to leave here every day.  There is considerable talk about our going down in Tennessee under the command of Gen. Rosecrans.  The 11 and 12 Corps have left this Camp to go there, I mean Paroled Prisoners.


I think it is now an undoubted fact that we are not exchanged but are going to be placed in the field in retaliation for what the Rebels have done.  Quite a number of the men have been placed in Confinement for refusing to take arms before they were exchanged.  What they will do with them remains to be seen.


Fletch has been ordered to report in Parole Camp and is now staying with me.  We all expected to be with our Regts. 2 or 3 days ago.  My health at present is very good and hope these few lines will find you all the same at home.  I think that our Corps are going to Tennessee and we are waiting to join them here.  If so I will write you in good time to let you know all. 


I and Fletch got a talking about Sarah Graff and Jake last night and we would like to know what has become of Fred, Jake’s brother.  We have never heard from him since we have been down here.  Also, about that money of Jake’s, whether she (Sarah) ever got it or not. 


I would like to see Sarah and all old friends first rate, but oh, dear Clara, how much more would I give to see you again.  Dear Clara, all you can do for me now is to pray for me that I may be spared to you and our little ones.  But at the same time, pray that I may become better than what I ever have been.  Pray that I may become one of God’s followers and live to him and for him only.  Fletch says all that he feels is his great sins and expresses a great determination to seek God.  I hope he may.  Every soldier should feel the same as he does.  I think if we were all good men in this war it would of come to a close long before now.  But generally they are wicked, very wicked indeed. 


But I must come to a close.  Give my love to all inquiring friends, to father and mother, sisters and brothers, and oh that love that I bear for you, dear Clara, can never die.  Take good care of yourself and little ones.  God comfort and protect you all.


From you husband ever with love,

Peter. L. Dumont