[Smith: Anna’s brother Smith McKinney, who with his wife Adelaide and their daughter Anna lives in Elmwood, IL. David: Anna’s brother David McKinney. Col. Webb: the Lt. Col. of the 77th IL, who has recently returned from a trip home to Peoria for his health. Col. Landrum: Col. William J. Landram, commander of the 19th KY regiment, commander of the brigade to which the 77th IL has been assigned, and friend of DPG. While Landram was away, DPG has been in command of the brigade in his place.]
Millkens Bend La. March 20 1863
My Dearest Anna
Your very welcome letter of the 7d was received yesterday, and I was indeed very glad to hear from you. This letter seemed to have been written just after having received my Letter telling you about the conversation that passed between our Mothers. I wrote you a day or two afterwards telling you that it was all right and every thing was explained. I am now very sorry that I ever wrote you any thing about that for I would not for the World have given you the least unpleasant feelings on the subject I did not write it for that and when you last letter was received and I found that it had made you feel [p2] bad, I just made up my mind that I was a great fool and that somebody ought to call me out and shoot me for one. You Know that nothing in the world would induce me to write or say anything that would make you feel in the least unhappy and I beg your pardon for saying anything in my Letter that made you feel so. I did not intend anything of that Kind when I wrote, on the contrary I shall always feel it is my duty to do everything in my power to make your life a pleasant and happy one, and I Know I shall feel happier in doing so. I love you my dear Anna too well to wish ever to see you spend one unpleasant hour. I am perfectly satisfied that it was all imagination on my part, about your Mother not liking our getting married and I have the fullest confidence [p3] in her good will and opinion, so we will not mention that subject again. I am rejoiced to hear that you are enjoying Elmwood Society so much. You did not tell me how you liked the young Gentlemen and Ladies that you met at Smiths party. I am so sorry that you received that Letter, until after the Party, for I should liked so much to have had you enjoy it, and it seems that it chased all your enjoyment away. Mother has written me two or three letters since, and she was very sorry that she had said a word about it, as it was afterwards all explained to her, and she feeles very badly over it, for she thinks
the every thing of you. I am very very sorry at a good many things that I said in my letter, but I assure you I did not mean any thing to injure your feelings. I never [p4] would say anything for that purpose
I write it on the spur of the moment, and felt a little vexed at what I have found out since to have been a mistake. Where I thought this had been said I never for one instant thought that you entertained any such feelings for I Knew perfectly well you did not. My opinion as you Know is an always has been very high of you and it never will change, of this I feel perfectly convinced. So dear Anna hereafter let us have no misunderstandings of any Kind. Always beleive that I love you better than life itself and I beleive you do love me, and when next fall comes around we will settle it all up and get married and enjoy life [p5] hereafter in happiness. Two days since orders came for us to be in readiness to take the field at a moments notice. From appearances I should judged that we will do something in a very short time probably make an attempt to take Vicksburg. Troops are moving around us in all directions and if I judge right something will be done before long. This morning Col Landrum returned and I have again taken command of my Regiment. I am glad to get back again and the men appear very glad to have me with them again.
I should have been on my Road to Peoria to day if these orders had not come, but I would not ask for or accept a leave when there was so good a prospect for my Regiment being in active service, so I do not think you will see me in [p6] Peoria before fall, when I shall surely come and then take you away. Col. Webb arrived yesterday he is looking very well again and I hope will manage to Keep his health. I wrote you three or four days ago, and intended enclosing the document you find herein enclosed, but I forgot to do it, and sent it of without it. you will notice that Gen Burbridge signs it, this is the same Gentleman that abused me in Kentucky, but who afterwards sent and apologized, ever since then he has been a great friend of mine and does every thing he can for me, quite a change of heart, is it not? Gen McClernand does up the thing quite handsomely does he not? All this may not obtain me the desired position but I think it is quite complimentary [p7] don’t you think so? Col Landrum wants to get another Brigade added on to the Division and give me command of it. I do not Know whether he will succeed or not. David is now in good health and I am also. My Augue has left me and I hope will never return. I have written this in a great hurry so you must excuse the bad appearance of everything. Do write me oftener. I intend writing you a big long letter some of these days soon. Direct as usual
Belive me as ever