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"My Precious Loulie...":
Love letters of the Civil War

I know I shall be thinking all the time "if it was just my darling Loulie how different it wd be."


My Precious Loulie

Your sweet and welcome letter of the 22nd came on Friday. I was highly amused at your flirtations with the widower or rather at the combination of it. The occasion in which Miss M. made the unfortunate remark reminds me very much of a certain occasion in Wmsburg when Kate made a charge against you, at which you blushed very much + which you denied very vehemently. It was with reference to John M. you remember it I reckon. There Miss M came out with the most agreeable + assuring piece of information she could have given me namely that it was all a mistake - that you were not engaged to John M at all. I have a most vivid recollection of this scene + I have no doubt that just such another occurred where Miss M made the unfortunate remark you blushed, a bright red, which told on you + in your excitement said it was not so. I can imagine it all. But the poor widower, his heart was not made as glad as mine was I know, tho he did laugh. So you think he is in earnest. Well, I have no doubt he is. I have thought so all along + I am sorry he is. As I told you tho you must use your own discretion + your own way in setting him right on this delicate subject. You know better than I do how to do it + when to do it. I hope he will not allow himself to get too much involved tho. how he can associate with you without loving you, I don't know. Still, he has been kind to you + enabled you to pass some pleasant hours, so that I would not like for him to suffer anything from the association. But I know you will be gentle with him, my darling + if he does address you he will love you more after you have rejected him than he did before. I do not know the Dr. Dulaney to whom you refer + can't imagine where his brother could have heard of me, or of our affairs. Miss Mary Waller must have been at the bottom of it as Miss M. suggested.

I am going this evening to call on three young ladies - Misses Lynch's, who live on the farm on which we are camped. I do not want to go at all, as I still have as great a repugnance as ever to visiting, but their mother has been kind to me + I knew a brother of theirs at the Seminary, who has died since the war begun + I am made obligatious to call on them. I know I shall be thinking all the time "if it was just my darling Loulie how different it wd be." This is the day for the great Chicago Convention. I do pray that God may so order their counsels as to bring about peace, but I am very doubtful as to the result of their labors & very much afraid that we are all of us expecting too much of them.

The shelling of Petersburg has commenced again more vigorously than ever. I suppose Grant has found that he has gained nothing by his occupation of the Weldon RR. We still use the road, but have to wagon our supplies further than we did before.

I am more than ever anxious to see you darling, but still undecided about when I shall come. Look for me when you see me, is as near as I can come to it. Love to Miss M, Kate, Miss Lila + the Dr. I trust your neuralgia is better. May God ever bless you my precious one prays

yr own loving + devoted
D.B.

If I had not gone to sleep this morning I would have written a longer letter, but now it is too late in the evening I am afraid we will have more rain tonight but I hope not. Every time it rains at night I get a ducking, as my poor flimsy old fly is not protection to me at all. Mosquitoes are terrible too. Do you have them?




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Gail McMillan, Director, Digital Library and Archives
DLA Staff

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