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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
June 12th 1865
Dear Beloved Wife:
I take my pen in hand this morning to write to you letting you know that I am well and hearty hoping this letter may reach you and find you all to enjoy good health and buoyant spirits.
I will now tell you that I got three letters yesterday evening two from you and one from Ezra. They were all written in March but they all contained news. One of yours had 8 stamps in and the other had some thread. One was dated March 14 and the other the 19th. I was very glad to learn that you were well and enjoying yourselves on your visit. I am sorry to hear that C. Benham was sick. There are a good many of our boys getting sick. Most of them are getting the ague. I had a gathering on my left arm a week ago but it is well again. I have not written a letter since two weeks ago as I have been waiting to hear from you and now I get two with old news. You said you hoped I would not go away any farther, but now I am about twice as far as we were then and are not out of the world yet but we are in one of the worst secesh holes in the south. We moved since I wrote to you. We are now camped in the barracks just on the bank of the Chattahoochie River and it is a very pleasant place only lonesome as we get no news, but expect we will soon get mail more regular as the railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga is about completed.
I wrote to you in one of my previous letters that I thought I would be home to celebrate the 4th of July with you but now I give up all hopes of getting home by that time and will tell you as you told me to keep up good cheer. The war is now over and I am in no particular danger unless it would be from sickness but I will try and take care of my health as well as I can. We are on no particular expense as we get our board clothes and pay and have not much to do. The Reg. is pretty well scattered, some in one place and some in another. We have no horses to take care of. This morning we had a good mess of fish the first good mess that have had since in the service. Blackberries are so plenty that they are nearly a dead letter.
There are many houses of ill-fame in this place, which I despise, and it is contrary to orders to go to them. One of our men was in the habit of going there and the Provost Marshall ordered the women off and the man thought he would order them back and told them to stay there so they went with some guards and arrested him and put him in jail and kept him there 3 days, and then released him. Some others have got bad diseases, but shame on such men.
You say Met has got her pension and local bounty. Now if you have not got my local bounty yet, I think you are a little neglectful for it is due me and that certificate will show, there is now nearly 8 months pay due me and $240 bounty which will make 368.00,and if we can get that local bounty the whole will do us some good. There was a detail of six men the other day to go to Appalachicola Flor. on a steam boat as a pleasant trip. The reason that I did not get to go was that two men that would have come on guard before me were absent, so they detailed me for guard and could not go. They say there are many Alligators and snakes down this river and fish by the quantity.
I will now tell you that Ezra is married. He said he was married on the first of March to a French Lady named Louisa Miller. He wanted me to write to her. Her address was 641 Cascaloo St., New Orleans. He said she could speak French, German, and English. He said they were assigned to the 16th Army Corp. and that is at Montgomery, Ala. That is but a little way from here. I must write to him soon.
June 18th 1865
Dear Beloved Wife
With great pleasure I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines in answer to your most welcome letter of the 5th inst. which came to hand last Wednesday, but I did not get it till today. It found me in excellent health hoping these lines may reach you and our loved little girls in good health and fine spirits.
I will now tell you that last Monday three men of this detachment were detailed to go and guard a steam boat on a trip down the river and back and we just got back today. Our business was to gather up government property. We got some cotton an some tobacco and a lot of gun boat iron. It took us five days to make the trip, and now the boat has gone to Columbus ,Ga and is going to make another trip to Appalachicola, Fla. for another cargo. We were in Florida this trip and I saw five Alligators.
I am sorry that I told you that I expected to get home so soon, for it does not look as much like getting home now as it did six weeks ago but I hope you will be patient till the happy time will come. I would like to get home very much, but I am not so uneasy as the danger is over and we get our pay and have not half as hard work as I would if I was working on a farm. I am glad to hear that George is so well and that our old friend Mrs. Crosby comes to see you also Uncle Dan's folks. I forgot whether you told me about George Gunn, but I heard of his death long ago. Talking about writing short letters, I guess we had better write all the news we have or we may forget some before we meet. There is a great deal of our affairs that I am very anxious to know something about. There is that judgement of yours and some other things that local bounty affair should be settled for they may pass a law by and by not to pay those bounties and then we should be too late. We will find something to talk about when we meet.
I am sorry the frost killed our fruit. You did not say anything about the crops. It is always satisfactory to know whether we will have any wheat or not. We have had a very dry and hot time here till now about a week we have had plenty of rain. The river is very high. It is thundering now and appears like rain. I am very glad you hear from Mary Kryder. I think if nothing happens we will go to see them. You may sell our house and lot if you can get six hundred dollars and hold possession till I get home, but do not be too much in a hurry, but if we can get our money together we want to move west as soon as possible. It is raining powerful hard now. I will not finish my letter today for they say they expect mail this evening and I expect a letter. Since the rain is quite cool.
Since the train has come in but brought no mail, so I thought I would close. The company has nearly all gone to Millidgeville the capital of Georgia. You did not say whether you got that box of clothing I sent you. The sergeant that went to Louisville with them says he expressed them there. I have no more news as I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon again. No more this time but remain as ever your true and affectionate husband till death
To Elisabeth, Lillie and Mary
My love to all, my respect to all inquiring
So Good bye. Please write soon and direct to Co. I, 3rd OVC, Macon, Ga.
June 25th 1865
It is with sorrow that I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines in answer to Mrs. Wyrick's latter of the 11th inst. Which found me well and hearty today. The letter has been here three or four days but I have been down the river to the gulf and just got back a few hours ago. Dear Wife, I am very anxious to know what is the matter with you and am sorry to hear that you worry about me, for I am as well as I can be except that humor which was broke out on me but the medicine which I took has nearly cured it. The gathering which was on my arm got all well without breaking.
I had a very interesting trip down through Florida, but our time was too short for me to get any trophies. As soon as we got here, they told us that the whole detachment is ordered to go to Macon tomorrow. The cars leave here at 4 o'clock in the morning. There are different rumors what we are going back there for but I think it is for us to be mustered for the next two months' pay.
I am glad that Mrs. Wyrick favored you by writing to me for I always want to hear from you. I have not heard from Henry for some time but at last account he was well. I was glad to hear that George is doing well. I wrote you a letter last Sunday and gave you all the news I could htink of. This letter will not be mailed till we get to Macon as there is no mail from here to Macon.
Macon, June 26th. We started from Eufaula this morning at 5 o'clock and got to this place about 3 P.M. I am still well and hearty and hope and pray that ere this letter reaches you you may have regained your health and be in good spirits. If I had my money I would try to get a furlough but I am still in hopes they will discharge us before long. We are going to Milligeville day after tomorrow. They say our boys are having fine times there. There are several of our Co. sick with the fever.
Mrs. Wyrick has my sincere thanks for writing to ms as I always want to hear from you. My respects to Mr. and Mrs. Wyrick. I have no news so I will close in hopes of hearing from you soon again from your true affectionate Husband
To Elisabeth Lillie and Mary
My love to all so Good Bye
June 30th 1865
Dear Beloved Wife and affectionate Companion
I am now seated to write you a few lines in answer to your welcome letter of the 20th inst. (meaning of the present month) which just came to hand and found me well and hearty, and I was glad to see that it was written by your own hand, but it grieved me to know that your health is so feeble and I have to be here not earning my bread when there is so much for me to do at home. I asked the Captain this morning whether he would give me a furlough as you was sick and he told me there was no orders to give furloughs but if there was he would make one out for me. I have just been thinking that if you could bring the children you might come and see me, or if there was any one with whom we could entrust them. I wish you and the children were here. We could enjoy ourselves first rate. We have a beautiful camp in the Court House yard which is full of shade trees. The sun scarce gets through all day and our duty is not hard. Only six men a day and we have about 50 men for duty. We were mustered this afternoon and the talk is that the paymaster is at Macon ready to pay us off. Everything is cheap here. Butter from 15 to 25 just as people can catch it, eggs 10, potatoes $1.00 per bush. And people bring in green beans and cucumbers and suchlike to trade for surplus rations so that we can live pretty well.
Yesterday was the hottest day we have had but in the afternoon we had a fine shower and today it is not so hot. Some of my mess were out in the country and brought half a bushel of potatoes, and we are going to have some for supper. You say you have lots of cherries, and I would like to be home to get a pie. I am glad you have such good neighbors to help you along. You say you guess I must bring a darky girl, if I had a chance to look around a little I could get girls who have been slaves all their life time and are just as white and as handsome as anyone could wish to see. Some of them show negro features but many of them are as white a anybody.
You never told me before that you sold the cow but I think you done well with her. I am afraid you are getting lonesome or homesick but I cannot blame you for that. The war is over and it seems as if I should be at home. I wish I was there to hoe the garden. I think I would relish a chicken pie with you first rate but don't despair as you say we will hope for better times.
That itch on me is getting better, since I do not eat so much meat. I am writing a pretty fine hand so that I can hardly get enough to fill a sheet unless I should put in some nonsense, but I believe I have not given you the description of this town. It is the capital of Georgia and a poor looking place it is. The Court House was burned before the war and has never been rebuilt. Last winter when Gen. Sherman passed through here he burned the penitentiary, and the RR depot, the State House was not burned but was badly riddled. The citizens are nearly all rank secesh but are completely whipped.
I have not been long enough in this place to get much news, but will tell you that I got a letter from Salome written the 20th. They were all well and she had a letter from father's folks. They were all well. I forgot to tell you how heavy I weigh. I weighed myself and I could fetch up 178 lbs and that is more than I wish to weigh this hot weather. I will try to get Henry to write a little. With this I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon again and that this may reach you and find you well and in good spirits, so no more but remain as ever your true and affectionate husband
To his dear wife and children
My love to all, so good bye.
July 15th 1865
Dear beloved Wife:
I now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am reasonable well hoping this letter may find you all in good health and fine spirits. I will now tell you that I have been trying to be sick for about a week but have got nearly straight again. A week ago last Sunday I took fever and it lasted about six hours and on Tuesday the 4th I took it again and so every other day till a week ago I took some quinine and that threw me in a chill and fever but that was the last of it but I was getting pretty weak and my appetite failed me and we had nothing here that I could eat, so on Sunday evening I spoke to the Capt. and told him if there was demand for a soldier to go out in the country that I wanted to go so that I could get some good ripe fruits and vegetables, so on Monday there was a man by the name of Henry Stevens came in and the Capt. sent me out with him. He is an old Englishman and a very fine man and I stayed there till yesterday evening and fared like a bird in a hemp patch. My business was to keep the darkies at work. Every day him and I rode from one plantation to another and the negroes think what a Yankee says is all right and I would tell them what the orders were and then they would be satisfied and then the folks would give us their good things to drink wine cider and once in a while I would take a little Brandy, and it gave me an appetite and I begin to feel first rate again.
I was out 8 miles and a half right on the Rail Road and I had the understanding with the man that had charge of our mail if there were any letters for me he should leave them there for me and he said he would, so yesterday when the train came up he handed me a letter of the 2nd inst. which gave me much pleasure to learn that your health was improving, and I wil1 now tell you that there is an order from Gen. Thomas to muster our Regt. out immediately and so there is some prospects for us to get out of the service before our time is out. It would be very mean for them not to pay us our bounty but I can hardly believe that they would use us so mean.
I am glad you have plenty of rain for it will make vegetables plenty.
Well Elisabeth I think now without a doubt we will all be at home before the 1st of Sept. and maybe much sooner. The colored folks of this place and vicinity gave us a grand public dinner on the 4th of July, but I have not time to give you full details of now. I think I will e at home to get some of those grapes you say will have so plenty of.
Well, Dear wife, I will not detain you with too long a letter so that we will have the more to talk about when we get to meet.
You ask where Henry is and whether he is well. He is here and he is well. I believe one of my other letters I asked him if he did not want to write a few lines and he said he had no time then. Well, I will come to a close for want of space hoping this may reach you soon. From your affectionate Husband,
To Elisabeth, Lillie, and Mary my love to all
Please write soon and direct as before.
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