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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
Camp Gravely Springs Ala
March 6th 1865
Dear beloved wife
I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and hearty hoping this may reach you all well and in good spirits. I will tell you that I just now rec'd your letter or the 8th ult. (meaning preceding the current month) and I cannot tell you how rejoiced I was to learn that you were all well and getting along so well. I also got a letter from Ezra dated Feb. 6th. He was well and sent me his photograph but it was a very poor picture. It looks as if he had been sick. He said that they expected to go on a march soon. He thought they would go to Mobile Ala. We have just got the reports that Charleston and Wilmington are in our possession.
Well, the bugle is calling drill call and I expect the orderly will be here in a minute for us to saddle up. Yes here he comes.
Well, it is most evening and we have just got back from drill and I am a little nervous. This is a very beautiful day. I will tell you that we have had two wet spells and the Tenn. River is more than bank full. The water on the bottom land is about 12 feet deep and the steam boats run over the bottom. I wrote you a letter about a week ago and sent it by Charley Benham. He got a furlough for thirty days and in that letter I wrote to have you send me some stamps. I am very glad you have got the money and all you keep of it will draw interest at 7 percent and if you can I wish you would see some claim agent about that local bounty and they will collect it if you give them that certificate of the adjutant General of Ohio.
We had orders this week to send our extra clothing away but last evening orders came again to undo them as it is early in the season. I had my overcoat and two blankets done up and if I was sure they would get home I could I could buy some blankets cheap, but I do not know as it will pay.
We are under strict discipline. If a man misses roll call he is put on extra duty and if they disobey an order, he is made to carry a rail if a rail can be found and if no rail is handy they get a pole or chunk of wood. Now the bugle sounds for dress parade and I must soon fall in. We were inspected yesterday by Col. Mintie and Co. I had the praise of being the best Co. in the Reg.
Well, dress parade is over and the sun is down and I will try to write a little more. I am detailed to for horse guard tonight. We expected last week we would be on a march by this time but the high water and muddy roads may detain us a good while longer. I will try to write as often as once a week as long as we stay in this camp and after that I will not promise to write as often but will write as often as we have a chance to send mail. I hope you will not have to wait so long for letters hereafter.
You speak of women who have nothing to eat. Let me know who it is. Does Mrs. Smith live close to you. He is in this Co. and I guess I dare not say anything about him till I find out more about it. Please take good care or my old discharge papers. You speak about me getting a furlough but you will see my last letter about what chance there is.
That thread comes in very good as my clothes need mending nearly all the time. I need some grey or white thread to mend my drawers.
Well, it is getting too dark without a candle so I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon again. I think the old cow pays her way pretty well or you could not sell so much butter. No more this time but remain your true husband
To Elisabeth and children please write often and direct as before
Camp near Chickasaw, Ala.
March 19, 1865
Dear Beloved Wife,
I now take this last opportunity of writing a few hasty lines to let you know that I am well as usual hoping these few lines will find you all well.
We are going on a long march and will not get mail again for the next two months, so keep up good courage till you hear from me again, as I think the hardest fighting has been done in this war.
I sent my clothing to Centerton and did not pay the express. If you should happen to hear where we are please write to me. I will write again the first chance. Excuse this short letter for I am afraid I will not get it in the mail.
We expected our pay here but did not get it now.
March 20th. Before I got done writing yesterday the word came that we could not send any more mail and we thought we would leave yet last night, but we did not go, but think we will go early tomorrow morning. Now, Dear Wife, I do not want you to be uneasy about me if you will not hear from us for two months. I will write as soon as there is a chance to send mail. The word just came that we could send letters yet till night. We have no news of any kind and I hope you will keep cheerful till you hear from me again. I think as near as I can find out we will go to Selma, Ala. and from there to Montgomery the Capital.
My fervent love will not cease to burn while life remains. With these few hasty lines I will close, hoping this war is about played out. No more this time from your ever loving Husband
Camp near Macon Ga.
April 26th 1865
Dear Beloved Wife
I once more take my pen in hand to write to you to let you know that I am well and hearty and have been since we left Tenn. River and hope when this letter reaches you it may find you all in good health and fine spirits. Although it has been a long time since you have heard from me, I hope you have not [worried?] about my safety as I told you in my last letter that it would be a long time till you would hear from me again and we have no mail communications yet but I think we will have before long and as I have time now I thought I would write so that when the mail does go I will have a letter ready to send.
Well, I will now tell you that we left Chickasaw landing the 22nd ult, that is the whole Cavalry Corps, consisting of the 1st, 2nd, and the 4th Division. We marched over a hundred miles before we met any opposition when the advance had some skirmishing but drove the Rebs. Sheep [?] and took many prisoners. We had very bad roads and made it very tedious for our train to get along but we had a good force of prisoners who would corduroy the bad places. We struck a new Rail Road which was partly completed and destroyed it and burned several large furnaces and a coal mine, and an immense quantity of cotton.
When we got to a small river, where there was a R.R. Bridge across our advance did not give the Rebs. time to burn it and we cross over and followed them and on the 1st they tried to make a stand at Montevello but our advance cleaned them out in short meter, and took over 100 prisoners and two pieces Artillery. That night we camped in an open field and drove stakes to hitch our horses.
On the 2nd we started early had about 30 to Selma, Ala. on the Alabama River where the Rebs. made great preparations to defeat us and drive us back. We did not go more than about two miles till our Battalion was ordered to go to the right and take a road four miles from the main running parallel and we were ordered to go to Selma on if we could but we did not get to the road till we saw a few Rebs. but they kept falling back as we advanced till we run into a whole Brigade of Rebs, Gen. Chalmer's Division. We had a little fight in which we had several men wounded and 7 taken prisoners in this skirmish. Henry was slightly wounded on the top of his head just cutting the depth of the skin.
Well, finding too many Jonnies for us we fell back to the main road and marched towards Selma. As we got within 6 or 8 miles of the place we heard hard fighting with Artillery and small arms. The place was strongly fortified and Forrest's whole command was there besides about 5,000 citizens. The fight lasted about two hours when our men charged the forts and took them with 2,500 prisoners. The balance of the Rebs barely got away by scattering in every direction. We took in all 248 pieces artillery about 25,000 small arms and an immense amount or ammunition and supplies and an immense amount of cotton which was all burned. This was one of the most important places. The Rebels had a large arsenal for manufacturing cannon and small arms and other implements of war. This was all done in 12 days [we] marched nearly 500 miles over bad roads.
Then the Rebs were in a study to where we would go next. We scouted the country several days then crossed the river and marched on Montgomery the Capital. There were about 3,000 Rebs there, but they left the place without firing a gun and the citizens met us and surrendered the city. Here were many union people and all private property was respected and even the state house was not burned but all the cotton and public stores. This was on the 13th. On the 14th, we started towards Columbus, Ga. where the Rebs had gone, and on the 16th our men took the place. This was the largest capture of all but I never found out precisely, but it was immense.
I have not heard from Samuel in a long time and do not know where to write to him. I have written Salome a letter but have no answer yet. Not getting any letters from you I have no ambition to write to anyone else. It has been very hot and dry here for three or four weeks but it is thundering and looks much like rain. They must have had heavy rains north of this for the river has risen about 5 feet in the last 24 hours and is still rising.
Well I have given you about all then news that I can think of so I will come to a close in hopes or hearing from you soon. I would like to be at home to go to church with you. I would like to see our girls. I suppose they have grown so I would not know them. No more at present, but remain as ever, your true and affectionate Husband,
To Elisabeth, Lillie and Mary Kryder my love to all.
Please write soon and direct Co. I, 3rd O.V.V.C. Macon, Ga.
We live pretty well here. We are going to have some pancakes and molasses made out of sugar for supper. We drew some flour which was the first for about a month. No more this time
My love and respects to all
So Good Bye
Camp Stanley near Murfreesboro, Tenn.
May 5th 65
Dear and Beloved Wife
I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and hearty again and I hope these few lines may reach you all in good health as it leaves me. I received your letter of the 28 April yesterday and it gave me much pleasure to hear that you were all well. I wrote you two letters a short time ago which I think you had not got.
We were paid about two or three weeks ago and I sent you $30.00 which I sent with Charles Benham to Mrs.Benham's as it would not cost more to express it all in one than it would to express $30.00 alone. I wrote to you that Capt. Gaylord was going to Nashville and sent it from there but Lieutenant Livermore went home on sick leave and the Capt. gave it to him to take it all the way so there will be no express to pay on it. And I had my picture taken on the 24th and sent that to you. They would not let me have it unless I would buy a case and it cost me two dollars but wish I would have waited now for I am healthier now than I was then but I have not done much duty lately for when I was unable to go on a scout one of our boys rode my horse and got his back sore with the saddle so that he was not fit to ride so I turned him over and now I have no horse and have nothing to do but camp duty which is not very hard. Yesterday I was detailed to go to town and all I had to do was to load three wagons with corn (25 sacks in each).
I sent you three newspapers a few days ago which I thought would be interesting to you. We have to pay ten cts apiece for them but for all that we are bound to have the news and so I thought it would only cost one cent apiece to send them to you and if you think they are worth that I will send you some more and I would write a few lines and send them in the papers but it is contrary to law. You say they are going to draft again for which I am glad. Then some or them will have to come that before hung back when the volunteers came out.
I wish I was home to get some of old boss milk to drink. You say that you got new neighbors all around and my hope is that they are good neighbors. You think that I will not come home very soon and want to know what I think about it. I still am in hope of getting a furlough this summer, for I spoke to Col. Murray about it and he said that he thought we would get a chance to go home. He said there was an order given to give furloughs but he had not got them yet. You say that you ought to get a letter more often, as often as one a week. I think so too for I write every time I get one. You wanted to know what I done with my quilt. I turned it over with my other clothes last summer at Tuscumbia and it was lost.
Our Co. is out on picket today and the Regiment is to go out on review this Afternoon at three o'clock and they are all to have blouses on. I have none and I will not draw one to turn over for I have more clothes now than I can take care of this summer, but I think Henry and I will box up some of our clothes and send them home. I would have sent them before this but I thought I would wait and take them if I would come myself.
I would like to have been to dinner with you to get some of your nice greens, but if I wanted some very bad I could gather them here. There is dock and some dandelions here. It must be pretty hard for you to chop your own wood. You think this or yours a pretty dry letter, but dry or not it is always welcome for I want to hear from you whether you have much to write or not. Henry is well at present.
I hope will have plenty of fruit this season. It appears as if there will be any quantity of apples and peaches here this season but I hope we will not be here to eat them for I would rather come home do without than be here and have plenty but if we should have to stay the apples peaches and blackberries will be nice. Last year we grew fat on fruit, peaches are as large as hickory nuts when we go out on picket we can have all the walnuts we want they kept good all winter in the woods, but I dare not eat many for they physic me. I must stop and eat dinner.
Dinner is over and I ate hearty of pork beans and hard crackers. The war news are favorable on our side. Yesterday eve and last night it rained a little and now the wind blows as if to blow up rain. We have had the nicest weather here this spring that I ever saw but it is getting pretty hot here some days. I have not much to write anymore. When you write let me know whether you got that money and likeness and them newspapers that I sent you and the news generally.
I must stop for the want or anything more to write so no more at present but remain as ever your true and loving Husband.
I have not written anything to the children this time and I do not know what to write that would be interesting but if I was at home I could help them gather flowers in the woods. No more this time. Good bye. Write soon as you get this and direct as before
Oh I most forgot I wrote to you in the last to send me some stamps if you have not got my letter but I suppose you have sent them ere this but they have not come yet.
May 18, 1865.
Dear beloved Wife:
It is with great pleasure that I write a few lines to let you know that I am still in the enjoyment of very good health hoping these lines may find you all well. I would have written sooner or sent this but we have just been on a ten day scout catching old Jeff and we captured him a week ago Wednesday and on Friday I saw the old traitor who I hope may soon pay the penalty of his crimes by stretching some twisted hemp. Well I will now tell you that the communications are opened and we got mail, but am sorry to say that I did not get a letter.
Elisabeth, Dear Wife, the war is over and I expect to celebrate the 4th of July in Ohio, and hope to find you and the children well to have a gay time. I could find something to write all day but will not detain you with a long letter for I would not have so much news to talk about when we meet. Henry is well and hearty. He got a letter from George and Lo. They are going to College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. I weighed myself a few days ago and I weigh 2 lbs. heavier than ever before (186 lbs.). Well my Dear Wife, I will close this time hoping this may reach you soon and find you in good spirits. Please write to me as soon as you receive this and direct via Nashville, Tenn. No more this time from your truly loving Husband
To Elisabeth, Lillie, and Mary
So Good Bye
May 29th, 1865
Dear Beloved Wife:
I am now seated to communicate to you on paper what I was in hopes I could do on paper to let you know that I am reasonable well at present hoping these few lines may reach you and our loved ones all well and in good spirits as it leaves me. I am very lonesome here as I have not heard from you for about eleven weeks and I have great anxiety to know how you are all getting along. I have written only one letter in that time and that was about two weeks ago. We got some mail but I failed to get a letter but hope you have answered that one long ago. We have had very irregular mails since the war closed and I cannot the reason why it is. If you got my other letter you saw that we were at Macon, Ga. where the Regt. now is and we do not know how long we will have to remain here.
I will now tell you that day before yesterday a week there came an order for 50 men out of our Regt. to come to this place in command of our 1st Lieut. Stimson to guard some Govt. corn and ship it to Macon. We have very easy times as the guard duty is not hard and we make the make the negroes do the work. This is a very hot climate but now for a week it has been quite cool. Perhaps you will wonder why I say that I am reasonable well. I will tell you that my health generally is good but my blood is in very [poor?] condition, as I have the itch but that does not seem to be very bad but now for nearly a week there has been a gathering coming on the underside of my left arm just above the elbow, which I think will be a carbuncle. We have no Dr. here or I would have had something done for it but there are some Rebel Drs. in this place and if I had money I would apply to them. And I am just out of stamps too and I want you to send me some in your next letter and if I knew we would not get our pay soon I would have you send me some as we have to live on corn but if we could get some milk and eggs we could make it good. We could buy thing cheap. Eggs 10 cts per doz. and milk 5 cts. per qt. Blackberries are ripe and there are plenty of them. We are on the Chattahoochie River and the steam boats are passing up and down nearly every day.
I tried to fish the other day but did not catch any. The Rebel Soldiers all seem to be satisfied or nearly all but the Rebel citizens seem to frown upon us. They seem to think we are taking the slaves away from them. Well Dear Wife to my last letter I wrote to you that I thought we would be home by the 4th of July but I have given up the idea and will make no more calculations till I get on the way home and I hope they will make arrangements soon to get us out of this God forsaken country as I would like to see Gods Country again. We are here almost out of the world and get no news of any kind. I have been waiting patiently for a letter from you but all in vain. Well I have written about all I can think of at present and will close this sheet may reach you soon and bring me an answer telling me that you are well. That is my prayer and wish and will bid you an affectionate Adieu. No more at present but remain as ever your true and affectionate Husband
Elisabeth, Lillie and Mary, Please write soon and often and give me the news that transpire in our place. Now Good Bye.
Mailed from Chattanooga, Tenn.
June 10, 65.
Mrs. George Kryder
Huron County, Ohio.
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