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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
Camp near Rome, Ga.
June 5th, 1864.
Dear beloved Wife:
I take my pen in hand to write to you to let you know that I am reasonable well and hope these few lines may find you all well and in good spirits. My health has been improving ever since we have been on the march and my arm is not quite well yet but it is healing slowly and does not trouble me much any more.
I rec'd. a letter from you at Athens Ala. and I answered it the same day and the next day we started for Decatur and got there about noon went into camp unsaddled and in about two hours boots and saddle call blew and we want out on the Courtland Road after some Rebs that came up there foraging. We charged after them for about 7 miles and took nine prisoners and three wagon loaded with corn and went back in the same camp.
The next morning we started out on the same road with a Brigade of Infantry in advance and they skirmished with them nearly all the way to Courtland but did not have much fighting but killed several Rebs and we had but three slightly wounded. The next day we started for Moulton, that is our brigade, and the Infantry went back towards Decatur and the Rebs followed us up and thought would capture our Brigade. There were 5 regiments and four companies of them and only three Regts of us, the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Ohio, and we had two pieces artillery with us and they had 8 pieces and our Co was on picket and when we went out there were three of them following us up to see where we would put our pickets and we charged after them and caught one. And before dark some five or six came up and fired on our boys but done no damage and we chased them away and several times they came up and fired on us through the night and just about daylight they advanced in force and we had to fall back. They brought their artillery and shelled us but done us no damage and on they came with their yells and cheers but they could not scare the 2nd Brigade.
Unexpected as they came upon us it did not take Col. Long a great while to form his line and when the Rebs came down to our lines they run against a circumstance and quit their yelling and our boys commenced yelling and drove them back with a loss of 13 killed and about 60 wounded and 32 prisoners. We had one man killed and 8 or nine wounded and the man they killed had taken 5 prisoners and one of them shot him after he had surrendered. And we had to go to Summerville yet that day 32 miles, so we had no time to lose. Passed through Summerville and crossed the mountains, and it was awful hot and dusty and it settled on my lungs so I had an awful cough, but it is getting better as we had rain for three days but this afternoon is very pleasant and looks like fair weather.
Rome is a very strong fortified town but our men got in the rear of the Rebs and they had to evacuate without fighting much and they are gone to Atlanta with Gen. Sherman close on them and when we make another advance that place will be our and the Confederacy will be cut in two and I think they are getting nearly played out.
We have not had any mail since we were in Athens, Ala. where I got a letter from you and if we get mail here I expect several letters but I thought I would write today, for I do not know when I will get another chance. Henry is well.
With this I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon. I am as ever your true and devoted Husband
To Elisabeth S. Kryder and all inquiring friends,
Please write often and direct to Co. I, 3rd. OVC via Nashville, Tenn. And then they will come to us for I do not know where we will be by that time. Via means by the way of. So Good Bye.
Camp at the front
June 7th, 1864
I take this present opportunity of writing a few lines to let you know that I am reasonable well and hope these few lines find you all well. I received your kind letter of the 24th this evening and was much pleased to know that you were well and will tell you that I wrote you a letter day before yesterday and gave you about all the news that I could think of so I will not write much tonight.
We are about 20 miles south of Kingston, Ga. and the rebel army is about 4 miles this side of Atlanta where there is to be a hard battle. That is if the Rebs will stay and fight. The news from Virginia is good. Gen. Grant has outflanked the Rebs and compelled them to fall back to the fortifications of Richmond and the siege has begun and I think by the 4th of July the Rebel Capital will be ours.
You say you hate to have me come farther off but do not trouble for I expect to come home again as I am only a little farther than we were last summer. You want me to think of you, which I do almost constantly and I shall be glad to get your picture. I am glad you write often. It seems almost as if I was talking with you to read a letter from you. I wish I were there to eat some of your new bread for I believe it would relish full as well as my supper of Hardtack and shoulder and coffee and sugar.
You ask me whether they have raised our wages which I do not know for we could not get papers regular and do not know whether it became a law or not.
Yesterday we marched from Rome to Kingston and today we marched about 20 miles to the front. It is now after ten o'clock and I do not know whether we march tomorrow or not. I hope not for my mare is very lame and if we could lay still it would rest her.
I am glad those rings fit the girls. I might have made you a ring when I was at it but thought you would not care for one. Well I must close by bidding you goodnight from your affectionate husband
To Elisabeth and all inquiring write often and direct via Nashville Tenn. Via means by the way of
June 9th my mare was graveled and it festered out on top of her hoof and it is getting better. I have not much more to write and not much time as the mail is going out at 7 o'clock and it is nearly that time now. Henry is well and is busy answering some of his letters. No more this time but remain your true husband
Camp near Marietta, Ga.
June 14th 1864
Dear beloved Wife
I take this present short time of writing a few lines to let you know that I am in reasonable good health and hope these few lines may reach you all well.
I just now received your kind letter of the 2nd and have only a few minutes to write till mail goes out, so I will have to be brief.
Well I have not much news of importance more than last Saturday afternoon we went out on reconnaisance to find where the Rebs were and in what force and after driving their pickets we ran on a whole division and had four men of our Co. wounded, Charles Benham in the leg, between the bone an sinews, Mark McMasters in the shoulder, John Schwab's wrist shattered, Richard Waggoner had a very light wound in the thigh, Leonard Winkler in the arm, John Banks is missing. Co. G had 4 men wounded and when we found them too strong we fell back. Some of them followed us a little ways but they did not know what force we had in the rear so they did not follow us far. There were only six companies out and it was not intended that we should fight them much. Coming back we had to cross a deep ravine and as my mare jumped across the ditch she ran against a tree and bushed my brushed my knee and a limb of the same tree took me in the eye and pulled my hat off and the Rebs were too close behind me to stop and fish it up so I am hatless at present.
We have had rain for nearly a week. Today it is fair and cool. We have been pretty short for crackers and meat for several but drew some this forenoon. Our pickets and the Rebs keep firing at each other nearly all the time. There will be a big battle between this and Atlanta, that is if the Rebs don't run. It is pretty hard to supply the army but we have got along very well since we have been to the front, and I think we will not have to stay very much longer.
You said in your letter that you was going to send me some stamps but I did not find any. I have not heard from the Virginia Army for about a week but hope they are doing well in besieging the Rebel Capital. We can take care of this army before us.
Well, I must close in hopes to hear from you soon, for it always cheers me up to get a letter from home. From you affectionate
Please write soon and direct as before
Henry is well and is busy answering some of his letters
So Good Bye.
Camp near Shanty Station Ga.
June 28th 1864
Dear Beloved Wife,
I take my pen in hand to write a few lines in answer to yours of the 18th (which I received about an hour ago with great pleasure) to let you know that I am wel1 and hearty and hope these few lines may find you the same. My health has been gradually improving ever since we left Columbia and I feel quite hearty now. My arm troubles me some yet but it will get well by and by.
I am like you, that is, looking for news, but I will try and give you a little. Well, last Friday I got a letter from you with Photograph and answered it and in the evening we got orders for 20 men to go on picket and we went to the rear had a good time. That is there was no danger. On the 25th there was cannonading in our front. The Rebs with 16 mortars which seemed to shake the ground but with what effect I have not heard.
I got a letter from Ezra. He is well and near New Orleans.
On Sunday we moved camp about 1 mile to the front. Yesterday the 27th we went out on foot about two miles built breast works and laid behind them till bout 4 o'clock we came back to camp awful tired and hungry. We did not take any rations with us. Then we came in and if I ever had an appetite for our crackers, coffee and pickled pork it was then, and today there is some fighting on our right and the report is that Gen. Hooker crossed the river and if that is so, the Rebs will have to get out of their present strong position in Lost Mountain and when they are once out of that we will get Atlanta which is about 20 miles from here and is one of the most important places in the south to the Rebs and I think by the 4th of July I think we will have Atlanta and perhaps Richmond and that will break their neck and backbone. All that I now fear is that some of their Cavalry will get in our rear and destroy the Rail Road so that we can not get our supplies. They have already tried that but were badly whipped. And I hope that will be their luck every time they try such a game.
I forgot to tell you I got some more stamps in this letter. I hope your cough may be well by the time you get this. You say you began to think that I was killed or sick because you did not hear from me. Now, Dear Wife, do not trouble about me till you hear such news for you must think that I have not got a chance to write every day as we are kept very busy and if we should go on a raid, you might not hear from me for a month, or perhaps longer. But rest assured I will write whenever I can or if I should not be able to write to you someone else will. You say some think there will be famine but that will not come yet. You need not fear. I feel sorry for Mariette but do not know as I can help her.
The weather has been very hot here for about a week. We have had a great deal of rain and that has kept it very pleasant as we have not suffered from dust this summer as we did last, but it may come yet.
Oh, I most forgot to tell you that yesterday evening we went to the station and drew about 30 Spencer Carbine that is the seven shooting gun that shoots those copper cartridges. Four companies are already armed with them and when the whole Regiment gets them then get out of the way, Rebs or you will get hurt.
Well I believe I told you in my other letter that I had a letter from Ezra. He was well and was near New Orleans.
Well, I believe I have given you about all the news that I can think of, so I will come to a close in hope of hearing from you again soon. So no more at present, from your ever loving
To Elisabeth Kryder and all inquiring
Henry is well.
Camp near Roseville, Ga.
July 15, 1864
Dear Beloved Wife
I take my pen in hand to write a few lines to let you know that I am well and hearty and hope these few lines may find you and the children as it leaves me.
I have not received any letter from you this week nor last week. The last letter I had was dated June 24th and I answered it the same day and was sorry that somebody was making you so much trouble but I hope you will carry your head up and not let it bother you for it is somebody that is envious in your present prosperous condition, and you must think that they are not the ones to look to for your support and therefore they are not worth minding. So keep up good spirits and think that I am your supporter and I will stand by you as long as I have no evidence of your guilt. So be true and honest and all will be right.
I will now tell you that on the evening of the 2nd we got orders to go on picket (that is Co). I and all the other Cavalry had orders to be ready to march at a moment's notice and at ten o'clock P.M. it was found that the rebels were evacuating their strong position on Kenessaw Mountains and our entire army started in pursuit except the cavalry. We were called in of picket about midnight and marched towards the right till daylight and then went on picket again and about 9 o'clock we were called again. It was right in Shanty Station. We drew two days' corn for our horses and marched back again to the left and front, marched through Marietta and some of the infantry overtook some of the Rebs' rear and there was some skirmishing that day. We went into camp the next morning had reveille at two o'clock. But I forgot. Wilder's Brigade had the advance the day before and had a small brush with the Reb's rear.
I will tell you how we celebrated the Fourth. We got breakfast and saddled up and about 6 o'clock we marched out about 2 miles and dismounted to fight on foot. No's l, 2, and 3 dismounted and no. 4 held horses. We went out about a mile and threw out skirmishers and drove the rebel pickets in and they had a good position on a hill across a creek and when we had formed a line of battle, our Artillery (two pieces) opened on the Rebels in the woods with shell and grape and canister and our skirmishers advanced several times but had to fall back. Co. B had one man shot through the lungs and he died that night and they had another wounded in the hand. How many of the rebs were hurt we could not tell and that night we were reinforced by a corps of Infantry and we (the Cavalry) moved farther to the left and have not had any fighting since. We have had pretty good times since, are in a pretty good country and we draw full rations for ourselves and we go out foraging nearly every day.
Yesterday our battalion went out and got some Rebel scouts and killed two and took two prisoners and we have potatoes, onions and pancakes and honey and we had some eggs for supper and some of the Co. got some hams but my mess did not get any, but we live well enough as it is. I almost forgot that when we came in off our scout yesterday the Reg had gone and we had orders to follow but our horses had gone from 35 to 40 miles so but few of us went out and just now some of them are coming in. Besides all the good living I told you about are blackberries which beats all I ever saw. The bushes bend with their load. The boys that just came say they did not see any Rebs so I am glad that I did not go.
We had the hardest thunder and lightning last night that I ever heard. It struck an artillery casson with shells which exploded and killed and wounded 16 men.
Well, I have given you about all the news that I can think of so I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon. No more at present but remain your true and devoted husband,
To Elisabeth and all inquiring friends
please write soon so good bye.
Camp near Macafee's Bridge
July 18, 1864
Dear beloved Wife:
I take my pen in hand again to write a few lines to let you know that I still enjoy very good health and hope this may reach you the same. I just now received your letter of the 6th which gave me much pleasure to hear from you that you was better and hope your health may continue to get better till it is quite restored. I was quite anxious to hear from you, so I wrote you a letter last Friday giving you about all the news that I could think of, so I will try and answer this one of yours as well as I can.
I believe I wrote you in a previous letter to get anything that you need for your health. You fear that I do not enjoy myself as well as I say. If it was not for being absent from you, I could not take more pleasure than what I do here, for we have plenty (July 19th) and our duty is not very hard at present. We have potatoes nearly all the time and draw beef often but the flies are so bad that they will blow it before it gets cold, so sometimes we will not draw it and all the blackberries and apples that we can make use of.
I am very glad that you have such a good garden. I would enjoy myself first rate to be there and help you eat your peas and beans, but when I have some here I will think of you when I eat them. I am glad you got a pig. I do not think that pork is as dear as you say but I know it is very high, but do not fret or worry as long as we can keep the boat floating that is make a living without going in debt. You say you have only a little over $40.00. That is all right, if it will only last you till I can send you more but I do not know when we will get our pay again. I hope you will get that bounty soon. That will help us along quite a good way. I would have you buy anything you need to get along with.
Well, I will now tell you that last Saturday evening we moved crossed the Chattahoochie River and it is reported that the rebels have fell back. Yesterday afternoon our Co. got orders to go on picket and we had a good time. I was on patrol from our pickets to the 4th Ohio pickets and I stopped and dug some potatoes and got some apples and after we were relieved I got your letter and nice envelopes and when I get out of paper I will have you send me some by mail for it is very dear. They charge 50 cts, a quire and 50 cts. per package for envelopes.
Henry had a letter from Lorenzo and he said they heard that I was killed, but I guess their news did not start far from home for I believe they would say or do anything to distress you or that will give you trouble. Now I would give you a bit of advice in reference to writing to them. Do not write to them at all or say anything that they can get hold of us for. That is just what they are trying to do. They would sue us for slander and law with us until we would lose our nice little home. So if you know when you are well off you must have nothing to do with them. I believe I wrote to you about this once before but maybe you have forgotten.
This is a cloudy morning and it looks like rain. They say we are going out foraging this morning. I bought me a gold pen and silver holder for two dollars and have been offered $3.00 for it, and I believe I had better sold it, but my steel pens rust so that I cannot write with them.
Well, I must come to a close in hopes of hearing from you again. No more this time but am still as ever your true and devoted
To Elisabeth S. Kryder and children
Camp near Atlanta Ga.
July 25, 1864.
Dear beloved wife
I am seated to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am still alive but not quite as well as I have been on account of the diarrhea. I have only a few minutes to write, so I must do it quick.
I have a great deal of news to write to you but have not time now but will before the next mail goes out. Maybe I will be too late for this mail. We have just been on a raid and had a good time, did not have to fight any.
Well will have to tell you that I just received your letter of the 15th and was glad to hear from you but am sorry that your mother makes you so much trouble but I have wrote to you in a previous letter what to do.
Well I must come to a close in hope this may find you all well. No more this time.
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