[This is the last letter before DPG goes back to Illinois to get married! David McKinney is headed back for the wedding too. Not sure which General Hovey is being referred to — probably Alvin. Lt. Col. Lysander Webb, who will be killed in the battle of Mansfield/Sabine Crossroads, and the widely-disliked Maj. Hotchkiss are officers in the 77th IL from Peoria.
DPG always signs his name with his initials, but his full name is David Perkins Grier. The Perkins is his mother’s maiden name — Elizabeth Perkins Grier. He is referred to by family members in their letters are “Perk”. From this letter it seems that that is not just a nickname, but his preferred name, although for formal wedding purposes he opts for D.P. Seems like he’s not a fan of “David”.]
Vicksburg Aug 9 1863
My Dearest Anna
Your very welcome letter of the 28th came to hand day before yesterday, some time had passed since I had heard from you before and I had about made up my mind that you did not intend writing to me any more, but I beleive still in the old saying, better late than never and I assure you your letter was joyfully received.
From some days past we have been expected to be moved every day for the purpose off going into camp at Natchez. This was the order in the first place, but two or three days ago, these orders were changed [p2] and we are now under orders to go to Port Hudson + report to Gen Banks, this takes us out of Grants Department, and places us in the department of the Gulf. I find that this causes general dissatisfaction throughout the Corps as every one thought we were far enough from home before. I should not be surprised if we should turn up in Texas this winter. Gen Smith has been removed from the command of our division and takes command at Columbus Col Landrum is now commanding the Division and I am in command of the Brigade. I suppose this is mere temporarily as I understand that our Division is to be consolidated with Gen Hovey’s and placed until the command of some Maj General. I called at Gen Grant’s yesterday and learned that my application [p3] had been forwarded to Washington and that my leave would get here about the 20th of this month.
I do not think we will get of to Port Hudson for some days yet, as Steam Boats are very scarce. I am in hopes that we may not get started before the last of the month for then I should not go down but start from here to Peoria, so I may possibly get in Peoria a little earlier than I anticipated. David will get his leave in a day or two and may probably leave a little earlier than he expected on this same account, he will only have a twenty day furlough. I see in your letter that you are very positive about the wedding, and that I must not say another word about the day. now my dear Anna I would not say anything in the world that would offend [p4] you and I really do not like now to say anything more about the day but I do wish you would take all the things I have been telling you in this letter into consideration and if possible for you to get ready, have the cards printed for the 24th September. This is only one week ahead of your time, and it is worth four common weeks to me. I hope you will not think me obstinate and stubborn in thus insisting with you on this day, and I assure you I would not think of so doing if I did not feel that I should like to be this much longer with you. You ask me about how I should like my name in the cards, now I do not care which way you have it I always sign my name as D.P. and I do not Know but it would be better to have the initials than to have it Perkins, but I shall leave it entirely with you and shall feel perfectly satisfied [p5] with whatever you do.
I suppose you have seen before this Col Webb + Major Hotchkiss and received from them all the news from this part of the country. I wrote you a letter a few days ago and sent by the Sutler. Have you thought anything about where you would like to go, after our Wedding. I wish to leave that entirely with you. I suppose we had better take a trip east, do you not think so? Only a few more weeks now and I shall see you again. I can hardly realize that this is so. I am beginning to get very restless and wish the time would pass along a little more quickly. Write me soon and beleive me dear Anna to be as ever