Center for Archival Collections
|Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage|
George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
Camp Shiloh, Tenn.
May 1st, 1862
Dear and beloved wife,
It is with great pleasure that I am seated beside an old log to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and rugged at present and hope these few lines may find you all well and in good spirits, as I feel first rate now, but have felt quite under the weather for about three weeks. I have wrote two letters to you that I have no answer for, so I thought I would write a few lines as Mr. Warner is going home tomorrow and will carry all the letters that we are a mind to send with him. In my last letter that I wrote to you I wished you to send me ten postage stamps as we cannot get them here at all.
We got our pay today I got two months pay 26 dollars and one of our generals said that he did not believe that there would be a volunteer in the service at the end of 60 days so I thought I would not send my money as I might want to buy some clothes on my way home, but if you need it I will send it to you, but I hope I can bring it myself soon. We are now within about 12 miles of Beauregards army and expect a battle every day. Night before last our Co were all out on picket guard and heard rebels fire 3 guns about 1/2 mile distant but we did not see them. The report is that there are five companies are going out tomorrow to drive the rebel pickets in, but which companies are going I have not heard. It is not likely that we will get in any fight as there is more cavalry than they really need.
I hardly know what to write, the weather is very fine. This is the poorest country I ever saw. If the whole southern confederacy was not worth more than it is here, I would not fight to keep it in the union, but it has some beautiful land down here.
Old Beauregard is here and I hope this 3rd O. cavalry have the honor of assisting in capturing that noted old villain that has caused so many of our noble soldiers to sleep their last sleep. But the day is coming fast when secesh is being played out. The health of the regiment is better than it was. I wrote to you in my last letter that Royal Syex had died of typhoid fever after being sick about 2 weeks, and there were a good many of measles on our march. Albert is pretty bad off yet with diarrhea but Henry is quite rugged again. Do not be lonesome dear wife for I fare better than I did when I wrote to you before as we got potatoes twice a week and other things that we can relish. We are now within a mile of the Mississippi line and we were in that state the other night when we were on picket. We have crossed the Tenn. River about 8 miles from Savannah and the next move we will make towards Corinth where the rebel army is fortified with about 175,000 men and we have over 200,000 two hundred thousand strong and I think that if we will whip them here, the fighting will be done.
I must fall in for roll call for the bugle has called.
Roll call is over and I must close this letter in hopes of hearing from you soon. Write as soon as you get this and give me all the particulars. You can write oftener than I can for I do not get all of your letters but some of them must come through.
To Elisabeth S. Kryder
Direct 3rd O.V.C. Co.I.
May 19th 1862
I am now seated to write to you in answer to your two letters one, of April 25th and the other of the 30th which give me the greatest pleasure in the world to hear that your health is so good and the children's also. But it makes the chills roll over my back when I read that you are writing with tears in your eyes. You must not be so downhearted. Keep up courage and live in hopes for the best you said that you had a letter from father stating that they were all well, but did not say who were all well. As I do not know where he is, so I do not know who you meant. When you write about father, let me know where he is, if you please. I am glad you have milk and butter to live on. I was glad Salome's family was well, but am very sorry to learn in this last letter that she is sick. You was writing that if we only could be where you could cook for us. I wish it might be so but if we only had the articles to cook and the dishes to cook in we would get along very well, but things are so dear. I will give you a few prices of different articles: eggs 30 cts, butter 40 cts, dried peaches 25, cheese 25, butter-crackers 25 cts, and l0 cts for a loaf of bread not larger than my two fists and these prices we have paid when our appetites failed us that we could not eat pork and beans and hard crackers, sugar our sutler sells for only 30 cts pr pound, lemons 2 for 25 cts. Sometimes we can buy them for ten cents apiece. Now I think them are very high prices but they are correct. Yet when men are not rugged they will have them as long as they have money.
You thought that I was real sick and would not let you know, but it is not the case. I have just wrote to you how I was every time and will now tell you how I am. I am very weak. A week ago last Wednesday, our Company went out on picket-guard, and during the night it was very cold so that I got chilled through and took cold and did [not?] feel able to perform duty. So the orderly reported me on the sick list and I had to go to the doctors to be excused from duty, and the doctor gave me a dose of calomel which physicked me awful bad. And it run me into the diarrhea and I took medicine for nearly a week and it run me down so weak that I could scarcely walk. And I quit taking their drugs and I now feel pretty well only very weak, so I went and got me a quart bottle of bitters which cost two dollars but it gives me an appetite and I think in a week I will quite rugged again. Now this is the truth. You said if I could not come home to stay I should come on furlough but that will be impossible at present. But if I do not get home sometime this summer it is not as I expect for the war cannot last much longer in my opinion for they are losing every battle and this battle here at Corinth where Beaureguard has his whole force will tell the story if they are whipped here they will be likely to give it up.
You said that you was homesick or sick of home. I believe you but be as contented as you can Dear Elisabeth and I think the time will not be long when we shall meet each other again.
You stated that you lent Lorenzo six dollars, which I suppose he stood in need of, but I think when you will get your money you will know it and if you can get that of Read do not refuse it, for Albert thinks he is not any too honest. And when you lend money, do not take a note without security. Then you will be surer of getting your money again. You say that I must write often. I write as often as you do and have not half as good a chance to write. To sit on a blanket beside of a trunk is not a very good writing table but still I will scribble. You said you would be content with only a few words but I will give you quite a letter this time. I believe I got every letter that you have written. I think it is in misdirecting letters that they do not come but yours have always followed us up. You said that you would be willing to come and share pain and sorrow with us but I think you would not stand it a great while.
When you said that you think that I would not have enlisted if I would have known of the hard times you speak just as I think. I am sorry that the children have so much forgotten me but that will be all right for I know, Dear Wife, that you will not forget their Pa. You say that little Mary is so fat and pretty. I would like to have a kiss on her fat cheek and one from her Ma's cheek also. What's the use talking, but I feel like joking a little. I wish Lillie's health was good as Mary's so that you could say that she was pretty too. You again asked me to send you something from sunny south I do not find anything worth sending here among these sand hills but if I have the luck I may bring some things home.
I will not go to the hospital as long as I can walk. I do not think that it will hurt my constitution if they will not drug me too much, for I begin to feel quite rugged again. You stated that Angelia troubled herself so about Albert. You ought to talk to her and encourage her all you can. You also stated that I should write about the boys if any of them were sick or something of the kind I would write about it. Our whole company is out on picket again today and the boys are all gone out. I got this letter just before they started and gave it to Henry so he read it and started. You say that you feel like a new being. Now I tell you it makes me feel better to hear from home and hear that you are all well. You said that Sam was writing to father for money but I think all he will get he can put in his eye. The 48th Ind. Reg. is here in General Buel's army. That is where America (Fribley) is in but I do not know where it is so I could not find him very well. You ask me whether I would make a garden. I would if I was there, but I think it is foolish in you slaving yourself to clear other folks' land to try to make a garden. If it were your own land that you was to work on it would be different but I would say, buy your garden sauce rather than dig up the roots for someone else and if you hire your garden made it will cost you more than you could buy your things for. But I suppose before you get this you will have most of the hardest work done but use your own opinion and do as you think best. It will not pay for you to hire it done and I would say that you can earn a living easier than to dig in the roots and if Mariette does not do it, I would say that you should not do it for her.
I am glad that little Mary gives you so much pleasure. It would please me some to see her. You better believe I shall be glad to hear from you once a week as it makes me feel like a boy or a new man. We do not have as hard fares or as hard times as we did on our march, nor do we expect any more unless we will have to march again but think when they take us home they will take us on the boats.
You wanted to know how much I have paid to Albert for Lo [Lorenzo Sweetland]. I paid him the dollar that he owed us and he claims 75 cents more. You wanted to know the particulars. I have given you nearly all I can think but Henry had a letter from George. He was well when he wrote. I received six stamps which I am very thankful for. The boys have sent home for some and when they get theirs they can pay me back what they borrowed. We are expecting a battle here every day, but when it will come off is more than we can tell. But the pickets have skirmishes almost every day.
I must come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon as I have another letter written to you that you had not answered. We had our pay about the first of May we got 26 dollars and I had thought if I could come home before long I would rather bring the money than send it as there is some risk to run. I most forgot I sent my fine shirts home in Charles Benham's box. I suppose they will let you know when they come. No more at present but remain your true and devoted Husband until death.
To Elisabeth S. Kryder
Direct Co. I. O.V.C. Buel's Army
Pittsburgh Landing Tenn.
Camp near Corinth Miss.
May 25th, 1862
My Dear Wife,
It is with the greatest pleasure that I now take my pen to inform you that I am well again and hope these few lines may find you all well and in good spirits, as I am. I received your letter yesterday of the 11th which gave me much pleasure and satisfaction to learn that you were all well but sorry to learn that Salome was so afflicted. And it made me feel bad that you was so lonesome there, which I know very well is the case but we must not despair but keep up courage and hope for the better.
You say that I must not get discouraged which I don't. I feel confident enough that you will be true to me to the last hour, but you must not get discouraged and think that I have forgotten you, which is not the case. There is not an hour when I think, but I think of my loved ones at home. You say that you wish that I was at home again which I myself would not regret, but I hope the time is not far distant when we may again meet each other never to be parted on such an occasion as this. You say I do not know how lonesome it is there alone. I can well imagine, but no one can tell what a soldiers life is, only those that have tried it. But do not feel downhearted on my account for I feel quite well and we fare better than we did a while back.
You said that the weather was beautiful, so it is quite cool and pleasant now although we have had very hot weather for several weeks. I am glad that Edwin likes to go to school. Tell him that I said that he must be a good boy and learn as fast as he can and he will make a smart man. You say that little Mary is so fat and pretty and say that you wish I could see her, which I wish myself but it is out of the question at present. You said that I should tell Henry to write to you. I have told him but he don't write much to anybody. You ask me whether Albert is very sick. He is not but has a hard cold. He has written to Angelia a few days ago. Do not trouble yourself about me when you do not hear from me but write and always address to the last place I told you and it will follow the regiment where we go. I will write to you at every opportunity and tell you where and how I am so do not trouble or make yourself sick as Angelia does for it would not better the case one bit. Captain Gaylord is sick and is going home tomorrow on a sick furlough and Lieutenant Center has been home ever since we left Nashville and his health is very poor and Lieut. Goodnow is sick and is going to the hospital tomorrow so we are without a commissioned officer at present but hope they may return soon to their duty again. I think I can send my letter by the Captain. They say that the mail will not leave till after this battle which they say will be commenced tomorrow morning, but we do not know when it will commence. You stated about having your garden plowed and it being hard work to plant potatoes and make the garden. I wrote to you in my last letter that I thought it imprudent for you to slave yourself to make a garden among those roots, that you could buy a few vegetables and pay for them by sewing easier than dig among those roots. But I will now say that if you have a good beginning for a garden and have done a good deal of work, do not let this discourage you to lose the labor that you have done. There is in my opinion on that subject.
That bottle of bitters that I bought has helped me very much. It gave me an appetite so that I can eat almost anything. Perhaps you will get this letter before the one I wrote last Sunday. That is, if they have stopped the mails. You say that it relieved your troubled mind to write to me. It relieves my troubled mind to get the letter so I think you had better write pretty often but use your own time and you will suit me for I think you have been pretty faithful so far and I know that you will always write to me when you can. You say that you have so much on your mind and say that you wish I could help you carry some of it. I wish I could but I trust that you get along with the children as they are small and under subjection if you will only think so. You say that you must not complain but bear it patiently. You say that you cannot help crying which I am sorry for but do not trouble yourself. I am glad that you and Mariett get along well and hope it may continue on so long as you have to live together.
I have not much more to write but one thing I most forgot. I wrote to you that I sent my fine shirts home but the box did not go, so I have them here yet, but wish they were there as they are only a burden to carry as I do not wear them at all. And while they were packed in the box, they got wet and mildewed.
I went to Hamburg Landing on the Tennessee River about 15 miles and was quite tired when I got back. I went with a team and we lived pretty well while we were gone. Today Henry went down so he will not have a chance to write. He is well with the exception of a hard cold which he has had for most two weeks. James Benham is quite unwell. He is bodyguard for General Garfield. Charles Benham is bodyguard for Col. Waggoner. I must close my letter to go on dress parade or preaching we do not know which but I will find out. Write soon and direct 3rd O.V.C. CO.I. Woods Division Camp near Corinth Tenn.
So good bye, George Kryder
To Elisabeth Kryder
It is evening and I have been over to another Regiment to meeting and I heard a short but good sermon and this evening it looks like rain and I think that it will rain tonight. You have long asked me to send you something from the far south and I have some cotton seeds that I can send which I think will be some curiosity to you and many others. Henry received a letter from Centerton this evening but he is not here to open it so we do not know who it is from or what news. We have Company cooks at present in the regiment and do not cook by messes any more. The boys got so reckless that the cooking was not half done and the surgeon thought that was the reason there were so many sick, and he issued an order that they should not cook by messes any longer but should have Company Cooks detailed to cook twenty days to a time and they do pretty well. I believe I have given you nearly all the particulars. I must close now in hopes of hearing from you soon and that this may find you all well and in better spirits. Do not weep for me before I am in the ground for it will not relieve your mind much if any. Be of good cheer and hope for the best. No more at present but remain your true and devoted Husband until death.
To Elisabeth S. Kryder and all inquiring friends
Good bye. Write soon.
Camp near Corinth
June 10th 1862
It is with great pleasure that I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am reasonable well at present and hope these few lines may find you all to enjoy good health and good spirits as I am.
I am sorry to learn that you are discontented but I can not help you at present out of your difficulty. I received your letter [of] May 30 and 3l day before yesterday evening, which gave me much pleasure to learn that you were all well. I am sorry to think that you have so much trouble there but think that if you had went and hurried up Robinson to have that note paid you would not have been troubled much by them. I had a letter from Father last Wednesday and he was well. The same day I got his letter we were ordered to report at General Nelsons Headquarters and we followed up the enemy who left Corinth the 30th May and we have been on picket guard most ever since and yesterday at two o'clock we got orders to march back to camp, distance about 36 miles and got back here about 2 this morning, and now we have orders to pack up our things and move camp at two this afternoon.
You think that the war will not come to a close very soon because they are enlisting more soldiers now. I think different as their Capitol is taken at Richmond. I think they will never fight any more as they are giving themselves up every day and they are burying their cannons.
You must not be downhearted if you have enemies there for here is he that will always think of you in your hours of trouble with as true a heart as ever beat, and if anyone twits you of my jealousy toward you, you need not trouble yourself for it is not the case. You want to know what will become or the poor soldiers wives. I would like to see or know what will become of the poor soldiers that have it much harder than their wives. You say that you wished that I could help you eat your currant pies. I have had several good messes of stewed huckleberries and wild plums are now getting ripe. I have not much more to write at this time as I will have to get ready to move and I ought and must write to father yet today and it will keep me busy. The boys are well. No more at present but remain your true and devoted husband until death.
P.S. I most forgot--I will enclose this in an envelope that was taken out or a secesh knapsack and I will send you a Confederate postage stamp
Direct to Corinth Miss,
as our regiment is divided into three battalions
June 22, 1862
It is with the greatest pleasure that I take my pen to inform you that I am well and hearty I have not been so rugged as I am now since we crossed the Ohio River and I hope these few lines may find you in good health as I am also in good spirits. I will now tell you that I recd. your letter of the 4th today and was very glad to hear from you that you were all well. I will now tell you that Henry had a letter from George the day before yesterday and he said that he was well and in good spirits. He is in Camp Flattop on Flattop Mountain. He said that he was in a fight and he said that if they hadn't laid down they would have all been killed. There were three hundred for them and they lost 100 in killed, wounded, and prisoners, and of the rebels' 1500 and their loss was much heavier. Our boys lost everything they had.
I am glad to hear that Joe is well and his family also. I should like to get a few lines from Salome if possible and I would write to her in reply. I did not get the letter that Warner brought till after I got your other letter and so I thought I would not answer that one as I had answered the other before I got that one.
Lillie wants me to write a whole lot to her. I have not much to write. Only if she was with her pa they could go blackberrying together. They are now ripe and we gathered some and have baked us some pies, which make me think of home. They are very good and I wish you and Lillie and little Mary could help me eat them. I am glad that little Mary has got so that she can talk.
You want to know whether you should send Lillie to school or not. I would say this. There is time yet for her to go to school as I think she is too young yet and if she didn't care for her book that is natural for any one to get tired of a book, especially one so young. By and by I will get her another book or as many as she wants or if I don't you can and that will be better than send her to school to learn mischief and all kind of miserable actions. I am glad that Edwin learns fast. You said that if I had money never to go hungry which I will not do if I can get anything. I bought 50 lemons for $l.50 and sold them at from 6 to 10 cts a piece and I made 1 dollar and twenty cts. clear besides having all the lemonade I wanted.
You said I should keep myself clean which is impossible to do, but I keep myself as clean as I can. I change shirts every week and wash as often as convenient. I will now tell you that we got orders to return our clothes except 1 extra pair drawers l shirt besides the one on and 1 pr of stockings besides the ones we have on and one blouse or jacket and coat and a single blanket. Now all we have is a single blanket and blouse and the nights are very cold here, almost cold for frost. We had too much to carry on our horses and they are going to ship our things somewhere while we are to go on a long march or go on scouting expeditions and we do not know which or either. Time will tell. I do not know whether I told you that I lost them fine shirts which saved me the trouble throwing them away, also two pr. drawers, 1 pr boots that I found. I lost them on a march one night.
You say that you have not much to write. If you have not much, write a little. I see a great deal to write but it would take me too long to write it. But I would say are the nicest springs here I ever saw. There are three springs here at Tuscumbia that makes a larger stream than the Huron River. It is just seems as if a river is running out of a hill. There are more blackberries here than I ever saw.
There are some reports that the war is about closed and we are going on a march home, but I think that is too good to be true. The wheat has been cut these two weeks, which is light crop, but peaches there is no end and they will be ripe in five or six weeks. When we are on a march and want fresh meat we shoot hogs by the dozen and once in a while a sheep and if the officers would let us go we would clean out the old secesh. You told me that I should tell how Ivan Benkan carried. I will leave that till I come home. There is nothing wrong about him at present. I do not see him once a week.
I wish I could divide my luscious berries with you and those little birds as I used to do when I was at home. I got about 2 quarts of the finest berries I ever saw. They are as sweet as sugar and I have some that would not drop through an inch hole. I think I will stew some for supper.
There are none of the Centerton boys in our mess but Albert and Henry, but I am not sorry that they left us as we have a more civil mess than before. Some of the men say that our Co. is ordered into Camp to go on a march to Decatur, Ala. But whether it is true I cannot tell. It is not likely that we will ever get in any fight for our Regiment is used for picket guard and scouting parties. We get all kinds of reports here that the south is trying to compromise, sometimes that Richmond is taken and once that General Wood said that we would all be at home in time to harvest, but I put very little confidence in such reports. But I do think that the war cannot last much longer for they have not much more territory to run over for we have armies all around them and they must soon either fish or cut bait. They must either fight surrender or disperse into small squads to the woods and mountains and get back of us. There are daily some of them giving themselves up to our pickets, so I think the fighting is about over.
I wish you could see the peaches that are here. I never saw the like for peaches. And if we stay down here a month or six weeks longer, we will have plenty of ripe peaches and apples. And where the boys are now they have all the wild plums and blackberries they can eat and when they want fresh meat they go to some secesh and take a hog, sheep or calf just such as they can get hold of and they can trade anything they have to spare for butter and milk so they live quite well. You say that you have nothing to write that is interesting to me. Whatever you write is interesting to me for it is news from home. I have not much more to write this time and I must close this in hopes of hearing from you soon. I most forgot but I wrote in my other letter that I had a letter from father and he gave me the Henry County news. I wrote a letter about [it?] to you. It was the same day that I got your letter and I hope you have got it. I answered your letters, all but the 1 sent by Warner and I think I got all you wrote lately. At least I will write to you every time I get a letter unless some of them would be delayed and come behind time.
No more at present but remain your true and devoted husband,
George S. Kryder
Write soon and direct to
Co. I. 3rd O.V.C.
June 28, 1862
Dear affectionate Wife,
It is with great pleasure I take this opportunity of writing to you to let you know that I am well and hearty and in good spirits and hope this may find you all to enjoy the same valuable Blessing for there is nothing like good health. I recd. your letter of the 5th yesterday and it gave me more pleasure to learn that you were all well at that time, but still it worries me some to think that you have your troubles, but hope for better times.
I hardly know what to write but we have moved our camp from one side of the town to the other. We are encamped within about sixty rods of the largest and nicest spring I ever saw. It is as large as the Huron river and as clear as crystal. Henry had a letter from George about a week ago which stated that he was in a fight a had a pretty narrow escape.
You wrote to me about that Needham affair. I think you had better send Robison word to push that Tight along for I don't want to pet old Iomy [illegible?] any longer, for they are mad so it will not make any difference. For I do not want to coax him at all for I have no sympathy for a knave as base as him. You say that you would like to see them come down to the lowest which I have no doubt but they will for their meanness.
You must not worry yourself so much about me being gone for I never should have enlisted if I thought it was not my duty to do so and I think so yet for the country wanted my service and if they give me privilege to go home once a year I will not complain. But I still think we will all be at home the end of a year, but it is hard telling for we have had no war news here for nearly two weeks.
You say you have twenty-five dollars to let out. Now if you do let it out, do not take a note without bail for we hardly know who to trust nowadays. I have almost 22 dollars yet and I would send the most of it home if I could get a chance. But Mr. Warner is going home but does not know yet when. We had orders to return our clothes all but 1 pr. boots or shoes, 1 pr. pants two pr drawers, two shirts, two pr socks, 1 hat or cap, 1 single blanket, the balance was to be done in a bundle and marked with the name and Co, and Reg. and it was sent someplace not known by us privates so I took my quilt 1 single blanket, overcoat, jacket and satchel with a lot of notions in it and rolled them all in one bundle and they were all sent someplace but I do not know where. You wanted to know how I was off for clothes. I drew three shirts, two when I enlisted and one at Camp Dennison and found one at Savannah and the other day I sold one for 75 cts by me waiting till pay day so I have all I am allowed to carry and neither of them have any holes yet, but my first pants are worn out and I have a new pr. When my old ones got holes I packed them. You need not fret about my clothes as I am better clothed than when I was at home. I would make a pretty good bachelor for I can sew a patch tolerable well.
I have just got back from picking blackberries. It has been very hot here for some time. Day before yesterday we had heavy thunder showers and [it] is thundering now and I think we will have another shower. I picked my berries in my hat and the sun gave me an awful headache. I still wear my old hat all the time but I cannot wear it much longer for it is in holes now. If I would have known of Ed Niver going home I would have sent for one. If I should send for one, I wear size 7 1/8, so you could buy one and set it and if you get this letter before Ed comes, try and send me a good durable one, and I will pay him well for his trouble, as it almost burns one's face and neck to wear a cap. The Co. is out on a scout now for nearly a week. I was on guard when they went or I would have gone with them. There is once in a few coming in with prisoners. They are out about 18 or 20 miles.
End of letter
Bowling Green State University | Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001 | Contact Us | Campus Map | Accessibility Policy