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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
Camp near Decatur Ala.
July 5th 1862
I am now seated to pencil a few lines to let you know that I am well and hearty and in as good spirits as I ever was and hope that these few lines may find you all at same blessing. I received your letter of the 23rd June last evening which gave me much pleasure to learn that you are all well.
We have not been paid yet but expect it soon. You asked me how much money I had. I have twenty dollars yet that is what I have lent two dollars till payday and on and could lend all I have but I don't lend to everybody that asks me for some money. I know that I was mistaken about Richmond but I guess it is taken now for the report was last night taken with a loss of 10,000 of our men. Whether it is true or only a Camp story I cannot tell but I think it is true.
You say you fear this war will hang on longer than we expected. It has already hung on longer than we thought but they can not much longer stay in large armies, for we are getting nearly all the railroads from them and that they can't convey their provisions and when they cannot do that any of the large battles will be at an end. They will perhaps go into small squads but I think they will not amount to much.
Tell Lillie [that she] must not wish me sick, for I have been sick enough since I have been in service, for I would like to get home but I do not want to go home sick. If I do not get home before a year I will try to get a furlough, but I am still in hopes that it will close before that time.
You said that you had a dream. You know that I do not put much confidence in dreams and most always take them the contrary. About me going to Hartmans and having so many sores on my breast I am glad that you was disappointed for my skin never was smoother and healthier than now. And you know that [if] I got as close [to] home as Hartman's, I would not stay there if I could get home at all. About a week ago Ed Kiser asked me whether I would not rather work for Hartman at $12.00 pr. month than be in service and I told him no, that is the service. All that is worse is being away from home, but the country needs my service and I am willing to serve. I got the letter you sent by Warner and I think I get your letters very regular but about ten or twelve days after they are mailed as they come a great ways.
You wanted to know whether I thought you could afford to have your likeness taken. I think you could and I would like to see them but I cannot take care of all the things I have got. So I think you had better not send them to me at present for I can well remember how you all looked but I guess the children have grown considerable.
We left Tuscumbia last Monday morning and in two days we got to Decatur, a distance of 45 miles and stayed there in the enjoyment of blackberries till yesterday we started there and came across the river about 5 or 6 miles in a beautiful grove. If we stay here a month longer we will have all the peaches we want. There are [an] abundance of them. When we get out of meat shoot a hog or a sheep but the greatest trouble is they do not furnish us with salt enough to salt fresh meat. The day before yesterday there was one of company A's men shot dead and they caught the man and was going to bring him to camp, and he got away from the man that had him in charge and has not been seen since. The men are generally healthy and in very fine spirits but Albert is sick with fever. I would write about it in my other [letter] for Angelia's sake but Warner wrote a letter to her and I suppose he told her that he was sick. Yesterday General Haskel's Brigade had a fine time celebrating the Fourth. They had speeches and after speaking, the old peacemaker roared about 30 rounds then when they had fired about 30 the whole battery all fired at the same time which made an awful noise to hear 6 cannon go off all at once.
Last Sunday evening I seen four or five Henry County boys in the 14th 0hio. That old widow's son that worked for father's folks is in there. I have not had more than one letter from father and that was beyond Corinth and I answered that but had no answer. He said he would like to have Edwin with him but said he thought he would leave him there at present till he should get settled down. I have not much more to write. The weather is much cooler than it was through June. It is very comfortable and pleasant. I must close in hopes of hearing from you soon.
From your affectionate Husband,
July 13th 1862
It is with pleasure that I take this opportunity of informing you that I am well and hearty and hope this letter will find you the same. I received your letter of the 5th July today which came very quick and it gave me much pleasure to learn that you were all so well and hearty and that you got along so well.
You say the time seems long since you saw me. It seems a great while since I saw you but I never had time pass as fast as it has since I enlisted. You say that there was a letter or two on the way for me and I now get them very regular. I get one for every one that I write. I am sorry to learn that Angelia is so poorly but hope she is better by this time. I wrote to you that Albert was sick and had gone to Louisville and I hope he is at home before this time. Henry is pretty hearty now. So are the most of the boys and all of good cheer.
We started on 9th from Decatur and came here to Woodville the 13th, a distance of about 45 miles and tomorrow we are going to start for Winchester. We are encamped in a pleasant grove. I can stand the hot weather much better than I thought I could but laying in the shade is not like mowing in the hot sun. Last Sunday I and another man found a bee tree and we cut it in the evening but most of the honey ran out, but we all got as much as we wanted to eat, and we all got stung. I was stung on both lips.
I wish you had my money so that I would not have to take care of it. I would not spend it if you had it you made mention of three women making cheese which would go first rate with our hard crackers on the march. We are ordered to march at 4 o'clock tomorrow with 3 days cooked rations in our haversacks.
I am glad to hear that Salome's family keep well. Tell Salome I want her to raise a hog for when I get home and come to see her I want some ham and eggs.
You wrote about sending me clothes which I do not want you to do for I can draw all the clothes that I want. But my old hat is about gone up. I wrote to you in my last letter that if you could send me one by Ed Niver, I would like it very well, but I suppose Ed started before you got that letter. If you should send me one get one No. 7 1/8. I am out of postage stamps and cannot get any here so you might send me some if you could get them. If I can't borrow a stamp I cannot pay for this letter but it will not make any difference where we pay them here or there. You need not send me any paper or envelopes for 1 have a lot of it yet [illegible] trunk is with us yet and as long as that is with us I can carry paper with me. We are right in the mountains and there are no stores about here. Last week there were three men of the 10th Wisconsin shot who were guarding a rail road bridge. They burned two houses for the secesh for firing into a train of cars. There are bands of marauders, guerrilla parties that commit depredations all along the rail road.
I hardly know as to what to write any more, but when we came in this camp several of our boys went out and brought in a good sized hog so we had fresh meat for a while, instead of salt pork, and some of the boys killed geese and ducks chickens and potatoes and anything they could get hold of. This [is]a regular secesh nest, and I think we will clean them out yet but it is a good place for them to secrete themselves in these mountains. The cars run here on Sunday as well as week days in transport army stores.
Tell Lillie that I am coming home sometime and then I will get some of that bread and other good things. I wish I could give her and Mary and her Ma some of my nice ripe sweet apples that I have laying on my bed beside me, but I think the day is coming when we will be able to share our things with each other. Here I have enough that would like to share with me better than I like to have them share with me, but it never was so when I was at home and had anything. I would rather see you or the children eat it than eat it myself. You say that wish the officers would let us pitch into the rebels and kill them. I wish so too, but instead of that when we take a prisoner and take them before a Col. or General they often set them at Liberty and they go right back and fight against us. Our men took an officer three times and General Wood let him go so the third time they said they would take him to General Buell and I do not know what he done with him. Company A just came in off picket and they brought in several prisoners. I believe I have given you alt the particulars this time, so I will close in hopes of soon hearing from you and that this may find you all well and in good spirits. Write soon and direct [to] Woodville, Ala.
From your affectionate husband
To E. S. Kryder
August 1st, 1862
Send me some stamps if you can convenient
It is with great pleasure that I am seated to pencil you a few lines to let you know that I am reasonable well and hope these few lines may find you all well. I received your letter of the 10th of July this morning after long waiting but you had better believe I was glad when I come off from guard and they told me that there was a letter for me. I will now tell you that I have had four shakes with the ague last week. Last Saturday was the last when I took three doses of quinine and that broke it up but I still don't feel quite as well as I did before as my bones ache considerable but I am getting better every day. I had a letter from you about two weeks ago and I gave you most of the particulars of this place so I have not much to write today, but last Sunday our battalion and 8 Companies of infantry and two pieces of Artillery started with four days rations for Gunter's Landing on the Tenn. River where there were a lot of Rebels. They went and destroyed the ferry boats and burned several houses by throwing shells into them. They said there was one woman came out of a house and showed her backsides to the men and then went into the house. After she shut the door the Artillery threw a shell which exploded in the house and in an instant the whole house was in flame and nothing more was seen of the woman. Our men killed, they supposed, about 20 and our men lost one man killed and one wounded in the foot. I was not along because my horse was not fit to ride. The talk is now in camp that we will [illegible] but when, we do not know but think before long we will go to Shelbyville where the rest of the division is. That is in Tenn. still a little closer home and I will try to get a furlough and come home if I can this fall.
I am sorry to learn that Angelia is so low and you wrote to me to tell Albert to try and get a furlough which is out of the question as he started for Louisville and on the road (it is reported) he died of Typhoid fever. He was very sick when I saw him the last time at Tuscumbia in the hospital. I did not think he would ever get well again but was in hopes he would get home. Henry is well. He had a letter from George this morning and he was well. He said that they had got their new sibly tents and knapsacks and clothing and he said that they were pretty well fixed. We had new clothing issued to us such as shirts and drawers stockings, boots, and they are going to give us hats so you need not send me any hat. I have not drawn any boots yet. I found a pair about the time my other pair gave out. That was about the first of May and I think they will last me about a month longer. I did not draw anything today except 1 pr. Drawers. The first shirts I drew are just going through the elbows, but I think they will last me till cold weather by patching. We have all the peaches we can make use of at present but the weather has been too dry so they are very small. We had [?] very rains day before yesterday and the day before and the weather is not so hot at present as it has been. You think the way they are enlisting soldiers it don't look like the war closing. I don't think so myself but they have issued stricter orders at Washington to the officers so that may make some difference.
You ask me whether I want a handkerchief. I sent my silk one away in my jacket and I have a linen one yet so I do not need any but if you could send me some needles and linen thread they would be of some use to me. I have given you all the particulars I can think of so I will come to a close in hopes of soon hearing from you again. No more but remain as ever your true and affectionate husband,
Write soon and direct to Woodville, Ala.
August 2nd, l862
It is with the greatest pleasure that I am seated to drop you a few more lines to let you know that I feel quite well this morning and that I received your kind letter of the 21st July with great pleasure but was sorry to hear that you was sick, but hope this will find you all well and in good spirits. I am sorry to learn that Joseph was sick but hope he may get well or hope he is well before this time and that Mrs. Benham had such awful luck. I am glad to learn that Salome and family is well and tell Salome not to trouble not to trouble herself about Joseph but hope and trust for the best as it will not help him for her to trouble herself about him. I still think that I will try to come home this fall if I can but there is no certainty. I am glad that George is so well contented in the army but if I had no one to see after more than he has I would be well enough contented to stay as long as I lived or till the rebellion would be put down. I think when we get them three hundred thousand men down here that the president called for we can clean them out for they have the advantage of us for they have their forces together and ours are all scattered guarding towns and railroads.
You wanted to know what you should do with that lot in Attica. I hardly know myself what to do with it, but I suppose if you would go there you could get several dollars rent for it. Shade the tavern keeper had it last year but I could not tell who has it this year but it is likely that he works it this year again. I wrote to you in my last letter to send me some postage stamps but maybe you did not get that letter. The last one is on this letter. I am glad that Edwin is such a good boy. If I would come home I will get him a pair of boots, that is, if he needs a pair then.
We have been on half rations for some time, till yesterday we drew full rations again, but we made the hogs and chickens suffer around camp so that we had enough to eat. Yesterday we drew peas and ham, pork and crackers and so on. I have not much more to write this time. The boys are generally healthy. Once in a while one has the ague or rheumatism. With this I will close in hopes of hearing from you soon again. No more at present, but remain as ever your truest and best friend and loving husband
To E. S. Kryder
[continued from August 2nd 1862]
Now read this to yourself if you please. You wanted to know what you should do with your notes which I can hardly tell you, but they are not heavy and you can carry them in your pocket but it seems too bad to think that an own mother would rob her daughters house. I wish that she knew my feelings. I feel like as if I could burn them out as easy as I can burn a rebel bushwhacker down here in Ala. and if they do not stop their depredations it will be a good thing for them if I should never get back there but I am coming if my life and health be. And about your leaving there I think that father will try and find a place for you unless Nixley would build a house. I would not go there but if he will build a house and rent it I would say that you would do well there for as soon as I get back I do not know where I will go
Aug. 4, 1862
It is with pleasure that I take this opportunity of writing to you a few lines to let you know that I am reasonable well and hope these few lines may find you all in good health and lively spirits. I rec'd two letters from you last Saturday which gave me much pleasure and answered them the same day, and the Chaplain is going today so I thought I would writes a few lines by him and send you $l5.00 which I would you would than for me to keep it here. I will then have six dollars left providing I should need it, if I should get sick or something happens for we do not know when we will get paid again.
There is an awful excitement in camp this morning on account of having got 4 of Co. G's men shot while on picket yesterday by the rebel bushwhackers and our men went out and caught 5 of them and one of the wounded men knew them when they brought to him and they (the rebels) are now getting examined and our men say that they must be hung or shot before they leave this camp and they went out and burnt a widow's house where they found a keg of powder and now there is another house burning in sight of camp and we will burn every house within five miles if they do not stop their depredations. Yesterday Capt. Gaylord came back to us again. He is quite hearty and rugged and he treated the boys with cigars and a jug of good whiskey. We had a fine shower of rain yesterday and this morning it is warm and sultry. I have not much more to write this time. Perhaps Henry will write some. I cannot find Hank and I will have to hurry so as to get it ready for Warner is going on the first train. No more at present but remain as ever your true and affectionate Husband
to Elisabeth Kryder
A word to Lillie. Be is a good girl to your Ma and little Mary and Pa will come home sometime and then he wants to have good girls to play with. Edwin, you must be a good boy so that your school teacher will like you and you will be a good man when you get to be a man. No more at present. My respects to all inquiring friends
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