[Part one of two. Clearly DPG has a bit of a problem with the Eastern half of the Union Army. Edwin Stevens is the captain of Company E of the 77th IL.]
Near Vicksburg, June 30th 1863
My Very Dear Anna,
Your exceedingly welcome letter of the 17th came safely to hand last evening by the hands of Capt Stevens, if you had sent it by mail it would have come through at least four or five days sooner and then by this time I might have received another from you that is if you would do as you should and write me about twice a week. do you not think I have been doing remarkably well for the last few weeks gen-erally writing you twice a week and sometimes three times. Capt Stevens gives a glowing account of his visit at Peoria and especially [p2] of you. he said he had taken Tea at your house and enjoyed his visit exceedingly. he gave me a long account of how you looked and what you said and I assure you I was highly pleased with listening to him and could have Kept him talking all Night on the subject he was highly pleased and congrat-ulated me on my success in getting such a nice young Lady. you may be sure that I entirely agreed with him on this point as you are already aware. He said he tried to draw you out about me, but he did not succeed as you seemed to be perfectly unconscious on that point. I had just arrived at this point in my letter when the mail came in and among my Letters I found one from you dated Peoria 22d, for this please accept my thanks. I feel deeply grateful to [p3] you for this and I will write you one or two extra letters for it. You can not form an idea how glad I am to get a letter from you my dear Anna I really beleive if you knew the great pleasure they give me you would write at least twice as many as you do. We are still in front of Vicksburg and daily getting closer to the Rebels. our works are now nearly touching theirs and we can shake hands across with the Rebs. I think before many days our forces will make another assault and I think will probably go into the city, though I am afraid a good many men will lose their lives in the attempt. I am becoming very tired of this seige and I belive I am about ready to make another charge on the Gentlemen although I must confess I dread [p4] the terrible fight we will have.
We are now mining several of the largest Forts and in a few days will blow them up, and then the Rebs must look out for a big rush of Yankees. I rather think they are laying ready for us and will give us the best they have on hand – but of course we must expect to be shot at pretty well to gain such a prize as Vicksburg will be – and then I think we will Capture enough Rebels, so that we will have enough to exchange for the Troops that we are in loosing in our brave eastern Army. Ever since this war commenced our Army in the West have been kept busy gaining victories to pay up for the heavy losses we have met with in the East.