[David is David McKinney; Col. Webb is the Lt. Col. of the 77th IL, and a Peorian; Col. Landrum is a friend of DPG’s and the Col. of a Kentucky regiment, who sometimes commands the brigade to which the 77th IL is assigned.]
Youngs. Point, La, March 1st 1863
My Dearest Anna
Your exceedingly welcome letter of the 20 Feby came safely to hand this evening, and I assure you was joyfully received. When I heard that a mail had arrived
to day I thought certainly that I would get a Letter from you and I was not disappointed. I see that you have concluded to write only once a week, for several of your last Letters have been written about a week apart. This certainly is better than you used to do, for I have Known times when two and even three weeks would intervene in your letters, but still I think you might still improve and write me [p2] at least twice a week. Your letters are a source of great pleasure to me, and are about the only pleasant relief I have in this dull monotonous life I lead here. Every thing here is as dull as can be and the only thing that we have had lately exciting is the capture of two of our Gun Boats by the Enemy. This is unfortunate for us, and I think is quite a blow to our cause.
Every thing else remains very quiet and we are still working away slowly on the Canal, though we have not been able to do much lately owing to the great quantity of Rain we have been having lately. To day is the first clear weather we have had for a long time and it looks very pleasant to see the Sun once more. We are now having a great run of the Small Pox among the Troops, and every body is getting Vaccinated. Yesterday I went [p3] through that process and I saw David going through with the same performance to day. David has not entirely recovered his health and looks quite poorly, though I do not think his isdisease is at all serious, he is able to be around and attend to his duties, but he is thin and poor and is not in as good health as I would like to see him. I told him to day, that if he did not get better in a day or two, that I thought I could get him sent to the Officers Hospital at Memphis and then if I succeeded in getting a leave of abscense when Col Landrum comes back, that I would stop there and try and get him through home. It is about impossible to get a sick officer leave to go home, but I think I can get him to Memphis if he should require to be sent any where. Now do not think that he is very [p4] sick, for he is not, but it may require a change of climate to get rid of his disease, which hangs on to him. I
should shall dislike to let him go, as he is very valuable in the Regiment, and I like his company so much that I shall feel very homesick if he should leave. I associate more with him than with any other officer in the Regiment because I like him better and if he should go away I Know I should feel entirely lost.
I am surprised that you did not like Col Webb, he is generally very popular with the Ladies, and while we were in Kentucky could generally cut the rest of us all out. he is what is called a Ladies Man and you Know that the rest of us are not especially my self, as I have been out to War so long that I have about forgotten [p5] how to behave my self in ladies society. I suppose ere this will reach you that you will have rece-ived the two last letters I wrote you, in these you will have discovered that quite a foolish misunderstanding grew up out of some conversation that was had between our respective Parents. this is now all right, and I have about made up my mind that the best way to get along smoothly is to let our Mothers Keep out of such affairs, and let us do the talking on all such subjects. we can get along smoothly without a jar, dont you think so? I certainly do and always shall hereafter. I have about made up my mind that the way the fuss arose was by both of them praising upus up to much, your Mother you + mine me, but let it drop, it [p6] is all over now. I am glad to Know, that you think the only way to secure me is to marry me. now I wish you only thought so, and would tell me, I am sure it is just what I want. I can assure you that you are entirely mistaken in thinking I have no confidence in you, I have all + every confidence in you and feel perfectly satisfied that you love me and always will. I am never troubled at all on that question. I have no fears at all that our engagement will ever be broken off. I Know I never will consent to breaking it, and I feel certain you will not. I love you too well to even think for an instant of losing you and I certainly will not. I really believe if I could not get you any other way that I would break in and carry you off, so you see that I am [p7] desperate, and that it will never do for you to throw me overboard. I am glad to Know that your folks are willing that we should be married in the fall although I should much prefer it would come off sooner if it were possible, if I should happen to be able to get a good long furlough next month I might be able to persuade you differently, but then we will see when the time arrives.
Now do not get an idea again that I think you will forget me. I assure you that I Know you will not and I Know I never never will cease to think of you and love you. I love you better every day, and feel that it will be a happy day to me when I can call you all my own. Would that it soon would arrive is my daily wish. You need never fear that I will go into the Regular Army. I have seen enough of a soldiers [p8] life to last me to all eternity, and if I thought Swedenborgs doctrine was true that every person followed the same proffession in the next world that he does here, I would make it a point to get out of the Army as quick as possible. I am much obliged for your excellent advice about behaving myself properly in the Army, and not allow any of its vices to take hold off me. I certainly shall try and steer clear of as many as possible and hope to come through as near right as possible, although I Know I am far from being as good as I should be. I feel grateful to you for always thinking of me and hope you will always tell me just what you think about me, and how you think I should do. You know my opinion of you, do you remember what I told you about yourself, when we were in the Cars on the road to Chicago. Write me soon and I will always remain
Yours Devotedly D.P.G.