[In the spring of 1865 Anna went home, while DPG remained in New Orleans to wrap up and make arrangements for the mustering out of the troops of the 77th. William Pitt Kellogg, who DPG refers to at the end of this letter as the person in charge of the “custom House” in New Orleans, became the Reconstruction governor of Louisiana; he lived in Peoria from the age of 18 (1848) and then nearby Canton until 1861, when Lincoln appointed him Chief Justice of the Nebraska Territory Supreme Court, so it seems likely to me that DPG would have had some personal acquaintance with him — also given that DPG is apparently appealing to him for a job for his friend Mr. Winters (about whom, like about most of the people mentioned in this letter, I unfortunately know nothing).
At some point early in this year DPG was brevetted Brigadier General, a long-awaited and long-overdue promotion. He had repeatedly carried out the command of a brigadier general during the war, but remained a colonel until the brevet promotion in the spring; many U.S. Volunteers officers received brevets in the last days of the war, which were awarded for “gallantry and meritorious service, not for command”. Despite DPG’s never actually holding the brigadier general rank while carrying out the duties of a brigadier general (although he did both those things at different times), the brevet promotion did entitle him to be addressed, finally, as General Grier.]
New Orleans, June 24th 1865
My Dear Wife
This afternoon I leave for Mobile and will probably reach that place to morrow morning – I have been very busy the last few days and have pushed my right for muster out at Gen Sheridan+ Gen Canby’s head quarters. This morning Gen Canby partly promised that he would order us mustered out next week and I go back much lighter hearted than I than I came over. I feel now as if there was a very good prospect of getting out of the service within a few weeks now I do not want you to build too much hope on this for something might [p2] yet turn up which would send us down into Texas although the prospects to day are rather flattering for a Northern journey
It will take us at least a week after we get orders to get our rolls made out so that it will probably be the middle or last of July before we see Peoria.
Night before last I was invited to a small Party at Capt Armstrongs and enjoyed a very pleasant evening. Yesterday I took Dinner at Judge Howell’s the Judge and Mrs Howell were very cordial and I enjoyed their company very much. She called on you about two weeks after we had left. I made it all right about our not calling on them by with the excuse that our departure was so sudden that we had not time to call on them. I also called at Dr Piquette they were not at Home and I left my card. I met the Doctor since then on the Street, he was very glad to see me and invited me up to day to Dinner. I can not go as I leave at three oclock [p3]
Mr + Mrs Winters are very Kind and have done every thing in their power to make it pleasant for me. I have however ben very Homesick since while I have been here and I would give any and every thing if I could be with you. Every thing I see in these Rooms puts me in mind of old times and I often look around expecting to see you coming in. Our seperation makes me realize what a blessing I have in my darling and precious Wife, wont we be a happy Couple when we get together again not to be parted during life.
I have since writing you before learnt more about Capt. Constable. You remember when we left he was in bed with a Boil. This turned out to be what they call a fistula and he was confined to his Bed for two months, he then got a leave of Absence and went to St Louis with his family. He is still there and no better, with a strong probability of his never recovering [p4] His affairs here remain as he left them and have not been yet settled He was in trouble with Col Holiband chief Quarter Master but I do not Know to what extent. I got to day and will take over with me all the nescessay Papers for Muster out, so that when we get our orders there will be no detention on that account.
Mrs Winters says she will write to you tomorrow, so look out for a letter from her. I am trying to get a situation for Mr Winters in the custom House under Pit Kellogg who is now in charge of it. Kellogg promised me that he would give him a place. Good Bye Darling. Be sure to write until you see me which I hope will be soon – Give my love to all and beleive me as ever