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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
Aug. 2nd, 1864.
Dear Beloved Wife:
I take my pen in hand this morning to let you know how I am getting along. About ten days ago, I was taken with the flux or dysentery and I got that stopped but the diarrhea still keeps on so that I am reduced quite low. I am not down sick but can walk around but am not able to ride so they sent me here to the Hospital to recruit up a little.
I will tell you that on the 2lst ult. we started on a raid, marched till about 1 o'clock in the morning then went in camp and lay till daylight. We were hurried out without our breakfast, went to the Rail Road burned two bridges and a train of cars and about two million dollars of cotton and started back without the loss of a man, but they did not give us time to cook so we had to eat dry crackers and eat our meat raw and drink so much water that it threw me into the dysentery and I endured some awful pain and I took some castor oil and laudanum and that stopped the blood but the diarrhea still continues.
Well, we came back from the first raid, drew rations and forage and next day we started on another raid to cut the Atlanta and Macon Rail Road and I tried to get excused from going along but the doctor thought I would be able to stand it and I was but I had to ride in the ambulance the last day; and when I will be fit to ride horseback I cannot tell but hope not long for it does not suit me to be away from the Co. But this is a very pleasant place for a hospital (that is it would be for a well person) but one that is sick does not take much pleasure anywhere and the report is they are going to send a lot of us back to Columbia, Tenn. and I would like that for there I could get some milk and things that would help me, but this is a poor country.
Well, I told you in those few pencil lines that I wrote to you that by the next mail I would send you a big letter which I did not do because we were on a raid and now I do not feel able to write much but hope you will excuse me if I do not write very much. I will now tell you that I rec'd. your kind 1etter of the 15th ult. yesterday which gave me much pleasure to learn that you are in pretty good health and spirits. I also rec'd. a letter from Salome and one from Sam. I had not heard from him since last May. He is well except his speech. He was near Vining Station, Ga. about 8 miles from here. Salome seemed to be in pretty good spirits. I will now tell you that I saw Solomon Bucher a new step brother. He saw my Reg pass and that evening he came to see me. He appears like a very smart boy. I also saw two of my old school mates and John Bliler, one of my cousin's boys. He was not larger than Lillie when I saw him last but now he is as tall as I am, and a fine looking young man. They belong to the 104 Ohio Vol. I.
Well, I do not think Lorenzo's letter amounts to much and I do not think he would have written half so much if your mother would not have helped him. Now all I have to say, do not mind them for the old saying is if you rub yourself on an old kettle you will get as black as the kettle itself. Now I do not want you to waste one drop of ink or one scrip of paper to correspond with them for you will surely get me into trouble and now I bid you for my sake to let it go and not take notice them. It will only hurt them, so bear it with patience and when they try to make you believe they are your friends, turn your back to them, for it is only a wolf in sheep skin. Now what you do let them alone. You said you send me the answer to his letter but I do not want it for I am sorry that you wrote. I showed that letter to Henry and he says it is Loe's [Lorenzo's] letter with your mother's assistance. I am glad you are not a man for there is nothing made lawing in a slander case. Let them go with their vile epithets. They will do themselves more harm than you and as for Ann you must overlook her too for she will com to her senses some day and may be to her sorrow. Yes Albert is gone and they can not quarrel with him, and if you had only taken my advice when I first enlisted that is never to go near them, but you give them a hold on you by going there and by writing to them and if they trouble you now you have no one to blame but yourself. And now I will tell you again that all they do this for is to get a clue on us. They want to get you mad so you will say or write something that they can get a hold of your home, which they envy you. Now if you want me to be your friend and protector I will again say let them alone for it drives me to impatience to have you meddle with them that seek your ruin. I could cry if it would help the case but it would be all the same. Now you ask me what I meant when I said Judge not that you may not be judged. Dear Wife I have forgotten what I alluded to when I wrote but I believe it was concerning your folks. I told Henry to write to you and he said he would but he has so many other places to write that it is doubtful.
We have had very hard fighting here for several days. Our army lays close to Atlanta and the Rebs have made two dashes on our men. The first was when we went on the first raid. They came in on our left but were repulsed with great loss and a few days ago they tried to drive our right and met the same fate. and now it is thought they are evacuating the place.
Well I have given you about all the news that I can think of so I will come to a close in hopes this may find you all well and in good spirits. I will be all right in a week. From your devoted
Elisabeth S. Kryder
Aug. 14th, 1864
Dear Beloved Wife:
I take my pen in hand again to communicate a few lines of my thoughts to you to let you know that I am getting along. I am getting quite stout again but sometimes I have severe pain through the flesh and cords of my legs but they are still getting better and I hope and trust these few lines may reach you all well and in good spirits, for I am afraid that you will fret and worry because I am in the hospital. But Dear wife I could not fare much better if I was at home, only with a few exceptions. But I am doing well. I have a good bed to sleep in and a house to stay in and have my victuals cooked. All I have to do at present is to eat and sleep and I can see that I am gaining strength and gaining flesh.
I will now tell you that our victuals consists of bread, coffee, and cold pickled pork boiled, but the pork I can't go as it is too fat for me. Co I mostly eat bread and coffee. For dinner we generally have potatoes, beef every day and good beef soup. The beef is either roast or boiled and generally well done and for supper we have coffee, bread, and part beef and part pork boiled. The dinner could not be better. At the extra diet table they get chicken, eggs, and applesauce and rice and milk and tea or coffee, just which they choose. This is the first time that I have been in the hospital, but with the good treatment I get I do not wish to get sick enough to go again. The Christian Commission furnishes us with paper and envelopes gratis and the Dr. will countersign the letters so that the men can write to their friends if they have no money or stamps.
We have just been to dinner. We had a nice shower and the sun has come out very pleasant. I forgot to tell you in my letter last Monday while we were eating dinner the alarm was spread that there was a fire and by looking out the window we could see a large house burning which was totally destroyed and I wished the whole town might burn down for it is the worst secesh harbor I have seen.
Well I am getting lonesome to hear from you as it will be two weeks tomorrow that I heard from you. But I wrote to Henry to send the letters here that go to the Co. But I have an excellent Dr. He seems to have some feelings for sick men and does everything he can to make the men comfortable. I believe I did not tell you that when I was in the hospital at Nashville the nurse inquired if there was any Ohio soldier in the tent. I told him that I was from Ohio and he handed a paper of pins on which was written, I am a little boy nearly 9 years Old. My P.O. is Roseville, Muskingum Co. Ohio, Pa says I am too young to be a soldier, but I think that I am old enough to do a little for our Brave Patriotic Men so I thought you would like a few pins and I have been picking all that I could find for a long time. When you use these remember that there is one boy that loves, honors and tries to pray for you, signed Robert G. Anderson. So I went at and wrote him a letter this week.
Well, with [this] I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon. No more this time but remain your true and affectionate Husband
Elisabeth S.Kryder, Lillie G. Kryder, Mary E. Kryder
August 21st 1864
Dear beloved Wife
I take my pen again this rainy Sunday morning to communicate with you by writing a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I am getting pretty hearty, all but my legs and hips are quite weak yet.
I will now tell you that on Monday they transferred about 60 men from hospital No. 7 to branch No. 3 and I was one of them. It is in the Methodist Church. They tore out all the seats and put in four rows of bunks which are all furnished with new beds a coarse linen straw tick, two linen sheets and a linen pillow case and a nice cotton coverlet all new. There are forty eight bunks on the lower, (or second floor) the lower is used for kitchen and dining room. I said there were 60 men brought over here but I believe there were but 36. There are three men here very sick with the fever not expected to live.
When I first came to this hospital the Drs. gave camphor and opium pills and yesterday he changed to tincture of iron, to strengthen me. Last Wednesday our wounded men's furloughs came and they started for home. There were three of my Co., C. Benham, M. Mc Master and Leonard Winkler, Ex. Captain Gaylord came back to this town day before yesterday. I went and seen him. His health has been very poor all summer. He was much pleased to see me and I had a long chat with him. He is on recruiting service.
Well Dear Wife, it will be three weeks tomorrow since I left my Reg. and since then I have not heard from you but hope and trust you have been all well and in good spirits and pray this letter may still find you to enjoy good health. I am looking for a letter from you daily, but I will write to you once a week if I do not hear from you.
We have had wet weather for about a week and it rained all last night. Well they just brought us clean shirt and drawers, and I just changed and it makes me think of home. This is going to be a lonesome day.
Peaches are now ripe and the people are bringing them to town by loads. Sometimes we reach for some as that is the only way that we can get them without money. Melons are also plenty and cheap but I do not care much for them as they are not good for me.
Yesterday and the day before I chopped some wood for the cook room and it may be when I get my strength that I will be detailed for that work. It will not be very hard work but I do not know whether I would like it as it would be pretty confining. There would not be much leisure time. I suppose you wonder why I do not send you some of these white envelopes back which you sent me. I will tell you, that I carried Henry's paper and envelopes and he had some brown ones and wanted to change them for white ones as they suited his purpose better, as he was writing to some young lady and it would not make any difference to me.
Well, I must come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon, so no more but remain as ever your true and affectionate
To Elisabeth, Lillie and Mary Kryder
Please write as soon as this comes to hand and give me the news
Direct General Hospital, Columbia, Tenn.
When I come to look in my portfolio I found a white envelope which I will send
Sept. 1st 1864
Dear affectionate wife
I am now seated to write a few lines to let you know that I am reasonable well again and hope these few lines may find you in good health and spirits and that day before yesterday I got six letters, four from you and one from Sam and one from Robert G. Andersen, from Muskingum County. He said he was very much rejoiced to get such an unexpected letter from a volunteer soldier and he sent me seven postage stamps and said his father was going to Chillicothe to the Conference and said he would not be back before the middle of this month and then he wanted me to write them again. And I judge they are good folks and I think I will write to them again.
I wrote a letter to you last Friday and I have not much news to write more than there is some excitement here for fear of about twelve thousand Rebs making for this place under command of Gen. Wheeler but they have not made their appearance yet and it is not likely that they will. We have not got a very big force here but enough to smoke a good many Rebs.
In your letter Aug 7th. you said that Mariette wanted to come and live with you, which I am very sorry for, not on her account but on your mother's, for Mariette is a foolish or weak minded woman that will take the abuse of your mother and the next day be good friends again just to get another turn of her abuse. And if they meet there in your house, which will be the case, YOU will have to take some of her slang that will add anew to your troubles. I think you and Met could get along very well if you were far enough away from your folks so they could not interfere but I know the consequences, but you and her for it I would be pleased yes rejoiced to have her stay there if I thought you would agree for it would be a good comfortable home for you both and you would be company for one another. You may read this to her if you see proper to do so. You said you draw three dollars from the treasury. Is it three dollars per month or year?
I wish I was there to go to church with you that is if wishing would do any good.
In your letter of the 31st July which went I to the front, you mentioned about your nice grapes and thieves. Now I would say that if you get that bounty for you to buy yourself a revolver and shoot the first an that looks into your window after night.
You said Mr. Shamp told you that there were so many soldiers that were starving, but I think that is one of their northern copperhead lies, for our whole army was well fed through this whole campaign and if the eastern army was in a starving condition we would hear of it as soon as Mr. Shamp. You tell me not to fear about you doing wrong. That is the least of my trouble. In yours of July 28th you said you had a good old lady living with you for which I am glad. I cannot write with any satisfaction as there are a couple of men reading and talking politics and that confuses my mind.
You said that Mr. Wheeler's folks was there to see you but did not say which Wheeler. Henry opened your letters that went to the Co. and read them and he wrote a few lines and he said he took out them envelopes you sent me but the one of the 22nd August contained an envelope with stamp. Well I will tell you that we do not live as well as we did. We have not had anything but bread and coffee and boiled meat (fresh beef)and that not salted and they would not give us any of the beef broth and I tell you it would be dry living but we can get peaches and stew them and that makes good sauce and there is plenty of milk to sell for 5 cts per pt. After I got that money I went and bought two lbs. sugar from the commissary at 20 cts pr lb, and got a quire of letter paper and a package of envelopes which cost 75 cts a pocket knife for 1.25 and some other little notions, principally milk, but I have two dollars and forty cts yet. You said that you wrote two letters on the l6th but I did not get the first one, but lucky for me I got the one with the money.
Well, we have just been to dinner and found we had a new cook as we had good beef soup with onions and bread and the beef was well seasoned. Yesterday they were around taking names to muster for to pay us two months pay, but I do not know how they can pay us without descriptive list. I sent to the Co. when I first came here but it has not come yet.
We have very pleasant weather. It is pretty warm but we stay in the shade and there is a cool breeze. Well the mail just came in and brought me four letters, two from you one from Ezra and one from Salome. They were all well. Her letter was written the 14th. Ezra said he was well and he expected to go home on recruiting service. Well, Dear Wife, I have too many letters before me to write you a good letter but beg pardon for this time and hope these few lines may find you all well and in good spirits. I would have gone to Franklin before this time for the detachment of the 3rd 0hio dismount men are there and they say they have a good camp and plenty of rations but I get along here pretty well. Now I have four letters yet to answer besides yours, Sams, Ezras, Salomes and that letter from Muskingum County. Well I must come to a close in hopes of hearing from you often. No more this time but am ever your true and affectionate Husband
To Elisabeth and all inquiring friends
Oh yes, I have made several rings and intend to make a few more and I intent when I get them done to send them in a little box.
Sept. 23rd, 1864
Dear beloved wife:
I take my pen in hand to write to you to let you know that I am well and hearty with the exception of a very bad cold which makes my head feel so dumb and stopped up that I can hardly think of anything. So if I do not write you an interesting letter, you will please excuse but I will try and do the best I can.
First I will tell you that I just now received your letter of the 28th ult. which was welcomed with the greatest pleasure to learn that you were all well. I was waiting a long time with patience and almost got impatient but at last the long looked for messenger came. I am glad you got my letters. I wrote you a letter on the 16th and gave you about all the particulars but I will try to find a little news. I got the money and stamps you sent me and the money is nearly all gone but I am glad that I am so that I do not need much.
You think I would rather chop wood than go to the front but I would not, for it is very lonesome away from the Co. here with the detachment we have about as good times as any soldiers need have. There is plenty of duty but it is not hard on picket about every other night, but we have good living we draw full rations of everything and we have sugar, coffee and bacon to spare and the citizens bring milk and butter and apples and potatoes and such things for to trade. We have had about all the apples peaches and melons that we could make use of but peaches are gone and people are beginning to gather their apples so that they will soon be scarce. We have a good cook that understands all kinds of cooking. There are nine of us in a mess and only two of my Co. The balance are of three or four different Cos. We have just been to supper and we had good biscuits and potatoes and thickened gravy and coffee and meat and the cook is fixing to bake some apple pies.
You say you have cool and a great deal of rain. Here we have cool and dry. I am very glad you have such a good garden. It will help you along a great deal. I would like to be there to eat some of your garden sauce and go to church with you. I am glad there is some prospect to get that bounty but I do not see how it comes that they will pay two hundred dollars, but the more the better. You ask shall you sell the cow. Yes I think I have told you in a previous letter to sell her or have her killed for Will Vanhorn told me that hay would be $30.00 per ton and at that rate she would eat her own head off. So I would say, dispose of her to the best advantage you can and it will be right if you will only get pay for her hide. About the house roof, you may do the best you know, for if it leaks you will certainly want a new roof, if you have money enough to get it put on. I am sorry you have such pain in your side and I think if you have no cow to take care of your work will not be so hard. I do not know whether I told you about getting some pins that were picked up by a little boy when I was at Nashville in the hospital. I sent him a letter and he answered it and sent me seven stamps and wants me to answer his letter which I must do and I will send you the letter by and by after I answer it and I will also send you a song that Ezra sent me.
One of my Co. who was married last spring and just cams away the same day is here and day before yesterday she came from Pennsylvania to see him. She brought a lot of canned fruit. They board at the hotel (or she does) and he brought some nice cherries over here. They are excellent with our biscuits. I have not seen her yet but I saw her photograph and that looks very well.
It looks very much like rain this evening and I expect to be on picket again tomorrow. I must try and finish my letter tonight. I am writing by candlelight. I am writing out of a bottle of ink that I bought in Nashville last spring but it is about all gone. I had my gold pen spoiled at Columbia and the other day I got it fixed again. I heard just now that there is an order for us to go to the front to join our Reg. but I do not put much dependence in it. Our troops gained a great victory over the Rebs in western Virginia and they are going to make another strike at Richmond and try and take that before the election. I suppose you have heard that Gen. Sherman took Atlanta with 13 pieces artillery.
Well I believe I have given you about all the particulars that I can think of. I would like to write a little letter to the girls, but hardly know what, but I hope they are good girls and learn to read and write so that they can write me a letter. I have made several rings for you and the girls which I intend to send before long. You have not said anything about Mariette, where is she or what is she doing.
With this I will come to a close in hopes this may reach you all well and in good spirits and that I may hear from you soon again. No more this time from your true and affectionate
To Elisabeth and all inquiring friends
My respects to all
Please write soon as you get this and direct
in care of Lieutenant Brewster
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