[David is David McKinney, of course. I don’t know anything about Quartermaster (QM) Raney. After DPG and Anna marry, he goes back into the field, but at the end of 1864 he manages to get a post in New Orleans, where she joins him for several months.]
Millikens Bend La. March 26 1863
My Dearest Anna
Your very welcome letter of the 13th came to hand two days ago and found me too unwell to answer it immediately, some four or five days since I was taken with some sort of a bilous attack and have been confined to my cot ever since I am improving now + hope in a day or two to be able to attend to my duties again. I felt so much better this morning that I thought I would get up for a while and as Q M Raney leaves today for Peoria, I concluded I could not let so good an opportunity pass by without writing you. Every thing here remains quiet but the [p2] prospects are favorable I think for something being done before long
I do wish we could take Vicksburg and have it of our minds. You say in you letter that you are beginning to beleive that I do think as much of you as I profess
for as I have written you so many Letters lately Now dear Anna havent you always beleived that I really + truly loved you. I always thought you did, and I do assure you I do love you dearly, and it hurts me to think that all I have professed to you was not sincere in your opinion. I never have said or will say any thing to youbut that I do not feel and you can certainly rely on it. I am very glad that the late fuss we had is all settled and understood. I wrote to your Mother the other day in reply to some messages she sent me in a Letter she wrote [p3] to David. I suppose she will have received it ere this reaches you and probably will let you see it.
I have about given up all thoughts of trying to get a furlough until next fall when I shall try and make my appearance in Peoria and then you Know what is to take place. I consider that a fixed fact, and that net Fall we are certainly to be married. I am strongly in hopes that by that time we shall be so situated that you can come along with me. If that application should work and I should receive the promotion, I shall endeavor to get command of some Military post. I have served in the field a good while and I could content myself with you at some Town very well.
I will get a long leave of absence and after we are married I should like to take a Trip through some of [p4] the eastern states. I suppose you will not object to this. I think it would be very pleasant, don’t you? I suppose August or September would be considered Fall would they not, but probably the best way to fix the day + month would be to wait a while yet and sometimes during those months, when I can get away, why we would then have our wedding. I think I can tell in two or three months about the time I can get away and I will then let you Know.
You can now make your mind easy about David as he has entirely recovered and is enjoying excellent health. He has been very Kind and attentive to me while I have been sick for which I feel very grateful to him. We often talk about you now [p5] at first it was a little embarrassing for me to say anything to him but I overcame that feeling, and now I speak of you to him often.
You say I ought not to have Kissed you at the time and that you had said no one should ever Kiss you until you were married Now I think that was a very foolish idea of yours, of course I like to see a young Lady very particular about that, but I think that it is perfectly right for the Person who is betrothed to you and is to be married to you to Kiss you, and his or her doing so shows that they have some affection for you. when I see a couple set up + look at each other in freezing silence, it makes me shudder and I would make up my mind [p6] that there was precious little affection between the Parties. Do you Know, that this very thing was a puzzle to me for a long time in your case, you seemed to be afraid of me, was very shy, sometimes very cool + distant, flared up when I Kissed you and never would Kiss me until I was leaving. For a long time I doubted whether you really did love me and whether you did not view me with antipathy, but the Kiss you gave me on leaving cleared up all doubts in my mind and I came to the conclusion that your former actions were what would be called prudish, but which I think you carried too far.
I talk, you see very plain to you but I do not do it to hurt your feelings, but I think we each ought to express of feelings fully on all [p7] subjects that appertain to us. I only wish you would write to me in this way, tell me of all my faults +C. and then devote the balance of your letter to yourself, write to me perfectly free and say any-thing to me you please. Anything whatever that relates to you, will be welcome to me, for as I am unable to see you and be with you I would like to hear a great deal about you Do write me often and I have been looking for a long time for the long letter which you have been promising me for so long. When will it come. I do not feel able to write any more at present. I will write again very soon Beleive me Anna to be