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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
Camp Denison, Jan. 18, 1862
My Dear and Beloved Wife:
I take this present opportunity to write a few lines to let you know where I am and how I am doing. We left Camp Worcester on Wednesday and got to Shelby about 3 o'clock that afternoon and we stayed there till Thursday 2 o'clock when we took the cars for the camp and we arrived here yesterday morning at 4 o'clock all safe and sound so we put our horses in the shed and about 8 o'clock we went to water our horses just with the halters, our bridles being yet in the car, I rode my horse along steady till some other horses came running up behind me and started my horse to run when he ran into a mud hole with his forefeet and fell, throwing me over his head on my left hand and left knee and sprained my left wrist and the horse coming up behind stepped on my arm at the elbow so that my left arm was quite lame and this morning my right side is quite sore.
Now I must give you some idea of our Camp. It is the most picturesque scene I ever beheld It is on the Little Miami River bottom, about two across and there are deep banks or bluffs with timber all around and yesterday I went to see the Artillery practicing at a target. They shot about three fourths of a mile at one of those banks and we could hear the balls whiz as they passed over us and we could see when and where the balls would strike the ground and one ball went over the hill and went through the woods so that we could see limbs drop.
Now I will give you some idea of our quarters[.] The building is about 120 or l30 feet long and 30 feet wide heated with two large stoves with drums on the pipe running from each stove to the center. Our bunks are on one side of the building about 18 inches from the floor, then there are two more above that about 3 feet 6 inches apart. The room is about 14 feet high. Charles Benham and I bunk together and we sleep very good[.] last we slept in the middle bunk[.] There was no snow here when we came but the ground was froze hard but last night it rained very hard with thundering[.] Our horses have good sheds with troughs to stand in. Each company has its own shed and quarters and each Company have their cook room and cook stove to cook in. We have fixed temporary tables in our hall to eat so that we do not have to eat outdoors[.] The railroad runs through this camp. They say there are 8000 soldiers encamped here[.] Our saddles and bridles we hang up on the opposite side from our bunks[.] We have good water here and have plenty to eat and drink. Our meat is pork. When we passed through Greenfield the people welcomed us with drums and fifes and when we got formed into line we were treated with every thing good to eat you could think of and when we got to New Haven it was the same. We ate and drank cider till we were quite refreshed and we filled our Haversacks with biscuit cakes pies roast chicken turkey apples and cheese and if you would have been there you could have got all you wanted (I should not have told you about the cheese but if you want some you must send to the grocery) When we got to Shelby we had a free supper which I never seen beat[.] Everything on the table you could imagine and the boys had a free dance and they enjoyed themselves first rate.
I think I have given you a pretty good sketch of affairs so I must close in order to send to the post office no more at present but hope this may find you in good health and spirits.
Co.I 3rd Reg. O.V.C. in care of
Camp Dennison Jan. 28, 1862
My Dear Elisabeth
It is with pleasure that I am now seated to write to you in reply to your letter of the 26th which I received today and was glad to hear from you but cannot tell you how it grieved me to learn how you suffered there all alone but hope you may have good health hereafter. I am very glad to learn that the that the children are well and that Lillie was so good when you was sick. A week ago I got a blouse and took off my jacket and I took an awful cold but it is getting better. My wrist is almost well so that I can ride again with it and my side does not hurt me any more.
It is very warm here. We have not had an inch of snow since we have been here. Last night it rained and today it is very muddy. We drilled today and we were nearly covered with mud though it is not deep and it is sandy and it rubs off easy, I would rather clean two dirty horse here than one at Camp Worcester as that is like wax towards this.
This evening some of the boys are playing cards, some checkers, some singing some swearing, some telling stories, some writing letters and so on. You would wonder how one could write at all with such confusion.
You wanted to know whether we have been paid off yet. We have not, but expect it every day as the Captain said that the paymaster came from Cincinnati Sunday evening and is in camp now but we don't know whether to believe it or not and the talk is still that we will be disbanded but it is no certainty yet; we got our sabers last Monday evening but I did not exercise much yet as my wrist was lame but when we will get our pistols and carbines we do not know. Henry's arm is not well yet where he fell on it by his horse falling and besides he is troubled with boils so that he can't ride. David Silence has thrown his crutches away and his leg is almost well. Last Sunday one of Co. D's boys run his horse to water and was thrown and almost killed but he was better today. Yesterday another got kicked on the kneepan and he will be a cripple for life. Just now Ed Niver upset the ink bottle on this sheet and makes it look bad but I guess you can read it.
Jan 29th. This morning it is raining and it rained almost all night. I cannot describe this camp to anything but a large city. In the morning, the News Boys come along bring[ing] morning papers, Cincinnati Morning paper all about the battle, women coming along crying pies, apples, and cakes, teams going to and fro six mule teams drawing wood, hay, corn, oats and everything you could think.
We will not leave here short of three weeks if we leave at all. Brigadier General Wade told some of our officers that he would do all he could to keep this Reg. so I think it is to be disbanded
You need not send me any money, as I have got some yet (about five shillings) but send Wilcox word that you are out and that you must have some and when I stand in need I will let you know. If we get our pay, I want to go to the city if I can get a pass and if I get pay for two months I will send you some.
Riding on drill yesterday makes my wrist feel quite lame this morning. There are about ten daily trains running through this camp.
When you get letters from our friends let me know about them. I wrote to Samuel, requested of him to write to you. When you write[,] direct Camp Denison Com. I. 34d Reg. O. V. C. in care of Capt. Gaylord.
(Now to Lillie) You must be a good girl and mind Ma and be good to little Mary and Alphy and Pa will always like you. Pa was glad when Ma said that you was a good girl. Pa is far from home but he will come home sometime.
I must close this and go take care of my horse as he is most covered with mud and I must try and wash some of my dirty clothes today and darn my stockings, so no more at present but remain your true and beloved Husband,
George Kryder, in hopes this may find you all well. Try and keep in good spirits as I expect to be home before long but may fail. So good bye and write soon as it gives me pleasure to hear from you and it only takes a little time and paper. Kiss Lillie and Mary for me.
Feb. 2nd 1862
It is with pleasure that I am seated to drop a few lines to let you know that I am yet alive and again most well of my cold.
I recd. your letter today about an hour ago which gave me much pleasure to learn that you was much better. I have not much to write today. This forenoon I was to meeting. We had preaching in Co. B's Quarters. Mr. Warner preached a good sermon, this afternoon there is Sabbath School and this evening prayer-meeting.
This morning it was very cold the ground was frozen hard but today it is quite muddy again. Last Wednesday it snowed the largest snowflakes I ever saw, they were some of them three inches in length would make most a handful of snow the ground being wet there did not much of it lay. Today it looks like snow again.
I stood Brigade guard this week and I took some bread and meat along but it was a cold and dry dinner so I bought some crackers and cheese and some tallow to grease my boots so I have but 26 cts left but Capt. was in our quarters last night and he bet three boxes of cigars that we would get our pay before next Saturday night. I hope it might be true. You need not fear about my playing cards as I don't think much of the play. You stated your mother was there which I am sorry for as she was there for no good as it is almost pay day and she wants to coax around you to get rid of paying you but I want you to give them no quarter. Use them as bitter enemies if you want to keep my affection as I don't claim them as friends but bitter enemies and anybody that is an enemy to me is one to you as you and I are one though a distance apart.
Now about your renting I would say this that you should not pay $l.50 pr month unless you can't do better but would say that if Father will not come to see you get some of the neighbors to look around. Go to Mr. Odell and see if you can get his house and if you can't get Motson to look around for a house. See whether you can get Mr. Syex's house rather than please old Pete. Mr. M. C. Johnston of Greenfield does our cooking. We pay him 30 cts pr month apiece. He cooks very good and most all the boys are satisfied. Many of the soldiers are getting dissatisfied about their pay. If you have no money, send to have Wilcox pay you. Write to father and find out what he will do for you, and see Mr. Beebe and have him pay the interest or give a new note which he will have to do if you demand it.
7 o'clock p.m. I have no more to write at present and will close in hopes that this may find you all well and in good spirits. Do not trouble yourself about me as we have plenty to eat and drink and are a happy set. So good bye. Write soon again.
George now transfers his pen to me to write a few lines. I am well at present and in good spirits. I hope this will find you the same. I was on guard last night and did not feel very good, or else I should have written more. I can not think of anything more now, there is such a noise.
Yours truly, H. S.
More after a while. Good Bye Lib.
Camp Wright Jeffersonville Ind.
Feb. 13, 1862
My Dear Wife,
It is with great Pleasure that I am now taking this opportunity of informing you that I am well and hope this may find you all well. I have not heard from you for sometime. I have been looking for a letter from you but in vain and have been uneasy and fear that you have been sick but hope not.
I will now tell you that we rec'd order to march for Louisville, Kentucky. The next morning at 8 o'clock we started for Cincinnati and there took the steam boat we got to the city about 2 o'clock and then marched through nearly every street and about dark our we got our horses in the boat which was an elegant one but most of the men had to lay down on the floor or sit in chairs, but I had the good luck to get into a berth with a man of Co. K (who had his leg broken at Camp Worcester) and he had no blanket and I had so he let me lay down with him and I was tired and so I rested comfortable. I soon fell asleep and when I waked felt the boat was moving and quivering so she glided down the river and about 9 o'clock we arrived at this city which is opposite Louisville. If you look on the map you can see where this place is. We have our revolvers and some of our carbines, ten to a Co. We have not got our pay yet but they say we will get it soon, and they say as soon as we get it, we will be ordered to Kentucky. Just now there were two boatloads of soldiers came down the river to come in this camp. This is a beautiful place on the river bank and it is sandy and dry here, much nicer than Camp Dennison but we have to stay in our tents again. They say we will have Sibley tents tomorrow.
Feb.15,1862 I received your letter of the 8th yesterday which excites me so much that I hardly know what I am doing. It is very cold here so that it is almost impossible to write but I feel it a duty and must do it today as it is a little warmer. Night before last it snowed here to the depth of four inches and it was very cold yesterday. We have not got our Sibley [tents]yet and yesterday the paymaster clerk was here and they have not got our payrolls yet so we don't know when we will get our pay and I wish you would send me one dollar as I cannot get an opportunity to wash my clothes and my money is very near gone as it will take the last three cents to pay for this letter my paper and envelopes gone as I have lent till I have no more. I am on guard today so between times I get time to write. We have very favorable news from the South and I think we will be home before long as I think it is coming to a close very fast. I do not know what to say in regard to your troubles as it must be great but try and bear up as well as you can. If I ever get back which I think I will soon I will be by you again as true as ever but I am so confused that I cannot think what to say about it but I wish you had had my revolver and put six balls through that villain's heart and if he ever comes around there again take the ax and split his skull for him or show this letter wherein I intend if he ever molests you I [torn off] shoot him as quick as shoot a rebel.
If it were comfortable writing I could write all day, but it is so cold that I cannot write much. But the greatest curiosity I ever saw is green bunches growing on all kinds of trees which the people say will drop off when it comes warm weather. When the other leaves start the people call it mistletoe. I suppose you have heard of it.
Today we returned our first sabres and are now getting new ones with brass hilts. I have tried my revolver and it shoots first rate. I shot it forty paces and hit a paper four inches square. You wished we would all desert and come home. If it was not for the forfeiture of our pay I would desert as I don't believe we will ever get to fight. Hank Tibe deserted last Sunday and has not been heard of since.
Feb. 16. Today I was to church and heard Mr. Warner preach and this afternoon we went out on inspection and had a chilly time of it. We just got back. This morning there was heavy cannonading across the river. I suppose they heard some good news. We heard that our forces took a fort in Missouri. My dear Elisabeth I cannot express love to you as it is beyond my tongue or pen to express but have patience and trust in him who doeth all things well. You say your path is never strewn with roses but keep up courage and you will do well. Do not take trouble about what you wrote to me. If you should be bad off I think I can get a furlough and come home but I am [torn off] --not come at any time.
Write soon and let me know where father is and whether you have heard from any of the other friends. I am very lonesome since I got your letter but I try not to think of it but it is in my mind all the time so I hardly know what to do.
The boys are all well, have very good victuals here good bread fresh beef potatoes hominy coffee sugar in abundance. I must close as supper is most ready and it is cold writing. Direct Co. I, 3rd 0.V.C. Jeffersonville Ind.
No more at present but hope this may find you all well and in good spirits as it grieves me to hear that you are in distress. Keep up courage as there is a better time coming. No more at present but remain your true and affectionate husband until death.
To Elisabeth Kryder
Truly yours so good bye
Feb 25th 1862
It is with pleasure that I am well and hope these lines may find you all well. I rec'd your letter of the 16th yesterday which gave me much pleasure but was sorry to learn that you had not got my letter in answer to yours of the 8th but I rec'd it and wrote to you right away. I was sorry that Mary was ill but hope for the better. I wrote to you in my last letter in reply to your statement of Moore's villainy and will not say anything about it more than that you done right and thank you for your sincerity and true heart for me. You may rest assured that I think of home as there are but few moments that I do not think of home and my loved ones you must not think that I am mad at you for doing right.
You stated of having a letter from father and George but did not say where they were so I could write to them. I wrote you in my other letter to let me know where father was but you did not wait long enough to get it. If you get this answer it immediately and if you got my other letter and have wrote again I will not answer that one as it makes a bother. We do not know which letter to answer. It takes a letter about a week to come here I was sorry to hear of the death of dear cousin Howard and the sickness through Homer. Our Regiment is very healthy there have none died since we left camp Worcester. I was glad to hear that Salome's family was well. I think you had better stay where you are than go to live with Met as you will not live in peace and you would soon get tired of living there. If Peter will let you have wheat you can give him credit on that account of fifteen dollars and if you cannot get a better place, you had better stay where you are. But I would say in reference to going to your mother (that if you want to lose them fifty dollars) you can soon lose them by going there a few times. That is what she wants you to come there for, as you can judge from how she used Mariet. I would say that you had better not go to her for assistance; if you do you will pay dear for it.
There is a states prison at this town and last week I went to see it, and there are 203 convicts in it. It is a very lonesome and dreary place. We went through the cell departments and through the cooper shop and the cabinet shop and their dining room which was very neat and clean.
We have got our Sibley tents last week we got them and put them up and the next day it rained all day. They are very good. There are fifteen men in a tent only three of us are in this mess, Albert and Henry and myself. The other Centerville boys are all in other messes. I was to church last Sunday evening and heard a very good sermon preached. There is no snow here and the weather is very fine and pleasant. Last Sunday, it was very warm and pleasant like May and Monday evening it lightened in the north but did not rain and some time in the night the wind commenced blowing and we thought it would blow the tent down, but by morning it nearly stopped blowing and yesterday and today it has been very pleasant and prospects for fair weather. They say that the paymaster is here and that we will get our pay tomorrow or next day and if that is so I think I can send you some money. I borrowed .25 cts from the Capt. to pay some washing. Some of our boys have given a good shirt for washing two other shirts. Some of the men think that we will leave here soon but the governor of Tennessee has ordered all troops in that state to lay down arms but I guess that is mere Talk. Henry just now [said?] that the governor, Harris, of Tennessee has declared that Nashville shall be burned before it shall fall into the hands of the federal troops. I have not been across the river yet since I have been here. Louisville is right opposite of Jeffersonville. I think if we do not move from here in a few days, I do not think that we will leave here at all till we will leave for home and if we do not get too far from here I will be home on furlough sometime in the summer. But I think we will come home to stay.
I have just been to supper and we had sauerkraut which we got in exchange for hominy. We get hominy nearly every day. We live well here as we have good bread as ever I ate and beef potatoes hominy rice coffee sugar molasses twice a week. I believe I have given you most of the news and must bring this letter to a close in hopes that this may find you all well. Write soon again and keep in good cheer. I remain as ever your true and sincere husband
To E. S. Kryder, Goodbye
Direct to Camp Wright, Jeffersonville, Ind. OVC Co. I
in care of Capt. Gaylord
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