[So it seems like David McKinney is going to be the best man at the wedding. I haven’t found in our collection the photo DPG mentions of himself and Col. Landram/Landrum of the 19th KY in his tent, which kills me.]
Vicksburg August 5th 1863
My Dearest Anna
I wrote you only a few days ago and since then have received no letters from you, but as our Letters leave for Peoria to day, I thought I could not let so good an opportunity pass by without writing you a few lines. I find it rather difficult to write Letters now days or in fact to do any thing else, on account of the intense heat. I do not think you can form any idea of what heat is until you are down in this part of the country for a short time. Part or our Corps have been moved to Natchez and our Division moves next. The Boats will probably be back here for us about day after to morrow. The Troops that [p2] are now down there represent it as a beautiful place, much handsomer than any other city on this River, and also cooler than it is here, although it is one hundred miles further south. We are quite lonely here now as nearly all of our officers have gone home on Furlough. We have sent from the 77th seventeen officers and about Thirty men. they will all be back by the last of this month. I made my application for leave a day or two since. Upon inquiring I found that Gen Grant had only power to give
for twenty days leave and that to get a longer one the papers must be sent to Washington. I made out my Papers, and had them strongly approved by all intermediate commanders and Gen Grant then approved them and forwarded to Washington. I will get my leave about the 1st of September and leave about the [p3] 5th and return to my post by the 1st of November. this will enable me to get home about the 12th I have been consulting the Almanac since I last wrote you and find that the 20th Sept comes on Sunday. now the 24th comes on the next Thursday and it is just one week before the 1st October could you not possibly make your arrangement’s so that we could be married on the 24th this would give me a week longer with you after we are married providing you do not come with me. You Know we wish to take quite a trip after we are married and if it is not until the 1st October we will not have much time. I would like to have time enough to make the trip and stay some time in Peoria after our return. I do wish you could make your arrangements so that this could be done, it will [p4] only alter your arrangements one week, and you Know one week is quite an item, for a soldier on furlough. This would also give me twelve days to be with you before the wedding, please give this proposition your thoughts, and write me in your next letter what you think about it. David will also leave on the 5th Sept. but will only have a twenty day furlough he is going to stand up with us and will just about have time to stay, until the 24th. I think when you take all these things into consideration that you will agree with me on this point.
I feel that I have said a great deal about this as I Know perfectly well that it is the Lady’s privalege to set the day for the wedding and that I should not have said so much about it. I beg your pardon [p5] for so doing, and should not have done so, if I had not felt so anxious to be with you as much as possible. I wish very much to bring you down to Natchez with me, and certainly will be in favor of doing it, if we remain there any time after the 1st November When that time arrives we will be better able to tell about it. I am getting very anxious that the days would move around a little faster, last week was very long to me, and I expect every one will seem longer. Just think nearly one year has passed since I last saw you a great many changes have taken place in that time, but I can truly say none with me as regards my feelings towards you, only that I feel that I love you better than I ever did [p6] before, and I feel perfectly well convinced that I shall find you unchanged in this respect, and that I still have your love.
I send home to day a Dagurrotype of my Tent, with Col. Landrum + myself enjoying camp life. We were taking it very easy the other day while the weather was very hot, and we concluded that we would make the Gentleman who was taking Pictures in my camp take us, which he accordingly did. the next time you are up at our house ask the folks to let you see it, and then you can form some idea how we live down in this country.
I wish when you receive this you would write immedianty so that I will receive the letter before I leave for home, it takes now about either or nine days for our letters to reach us, so that you can continue to write to me until about [p7] the 25th or 26th of the month – so please write me lots of letters during the balance of this month, for it will be some time again before you will have to write me again. I shall be terribly disappointed if I do not get a letter from you by next mail. Beleive me as ever