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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
July 18th 1863
Dear Beloved Wife,
I take this present opportunity or writing a few lines to let you know that I enjoy very good health and hope these few lines may find you the same. I have had two letters from you since we left Murfreesboro, but I have had no chance to answer but one about a week after I got it and about two hours after I sent it I got the other one of the 28th June. Col. Parmour is dismissed from service [illegible]. We have been on the march nearly every day since we left Murfreesboro the 24th June, and it rained about two thirds of the time, but it was warm so we did not mind it and was not as bad as if it had been dry and dusty.
Now I will tell you about our march. First we went to Bradyville and from there to Manchester, from there to Tullahoma where we expected to have a big battle but the Rebs thought old Rosey would be too much for them and they ran like sheep across the mountains and across the Tenn. River. You will see by the map that Huntsville is about ten miles north of the River close to the line of Alabama and Tennessee. The other day we went to Pulaski and there were about fifty Rebels there and we took 21 of them prisoners, among them was a Chief Quartermaster of Gen. Cheatan's Division. Today the news came that Port Hudson is taken by our men and if that is true the whole Mississippi is open and the confederacy is cut in two and I think the Rebellion is nearly played out. But we cannot tell. Now I will tell you a little about our marching. We have not drawn any rations, for the roads were bad that our teams could not keep up with rations. So we would go to the secesh and get flour, meal, hams, bacon, sugar, molasses, honey, butter, eggs, and potatoes and everything we wanted that we could get our hands on. Day before yesterday we came to a place where they had about 100 lbs. sugar a barrel of molasses and a barrel about two thirds full of strained honey and we took two wooden pails and filled them and took about half their sugar. Pretty soon more soldiers came along and took all the sugar and honey and all the meal we wanted. You better believe we lived well. Yesterday we went out and brought another supply and found some of the nicest peaches you ever saw and our mess brought about half bushel. Now I will tell you what we had for supper. Pancakes and honey, boiled potatoes and ham and boiled eggs. That's the way we live. Our teams came up and we drew some crackers and sugar and coffee and now the report is that we will leave here day after tomorrow but where we do not know. The boys are all in good health and fine spirits. They all feel confident that the rebellion is nearly at an end.
This is Saturday evening and we are going to have inspection of arms and dress parade, so I will have to get ready.
Sunday morning July 19.
I thought I would write a little more this morning but have not much more to write of importance. But the talk that we will remain here sometime but how long we do not know but if you do not hear from me you must not feel alarmed about me for we do not have any chance to send letters very often and the report is now that the railroad between Louisville and Nashville is tore up so that the mail does not go through regular and please write to me often for I will write to you at every opportunity. I have no ink now so I have to write with a pencil but I guess you can read it. Henry says that he does not hear from George very regular. He has not heard from him for some time. Henry is not with us now. One day this week when we (our Co) went out to hunt for horses and mules he got separated from us with four or five others, and if they are not with the rest of the brigade, I do not know where they are. They may be captured but I think not, for it was reported that we the Reg. were going to the Brigade and I guess that is where they went. The Brigade is at Athens about 25 miles west of this. This is a beautiful place, the nicest springs I ever saw. One of our company came here from Gen. Turchins headquarters and he says he saw Henry and the other boys with the Brigade. They are at Athens, Ala.
You wrote that you have $25.00 for the lot in Attica. Now I will tell you that if you cannot get any more than that, take 25 dollars. That is, if he will pay the cash. You can let the money out and it will bring in something and the lot will be off our hands when we want to leave that part of the country. It will be better to have 25 dollars on interest than have that lot lay there on expense and useless.
General Banks took Post Hudson with l8,000 prisoners. HURRAH! for General Grant, General Banks and Genera1 Rosecrans! Rosecrans army has taken over nine thousand prisoners since we left Murfreesboro and they say we did not lose one thousand prisoners. I hardly know of anything more, but I guess that Father got miffed at me, the reason he does not write to me any more but I do not care for I do not want any of his disloyal letters.
I am sorry that America [Fribley, Catherine's husband] is so afflicted with cancer. Tell Joseph [Coxley, Salome's husband] not to come south but do his best to clean out all rebels in Ohio, for I know there are enough of them there and if he needs a gun and the government will not get him one, let him take mine for that purpose.
We can have green corn now, if we want. Oh, how I wish you could have some of these nice blackberries. I could pick a patent pail full in an hour. Lillie, if you had some of these blackberries you would have to bite them in two for one would make too big a mouthful, and some of the nice peaches.
This is about all that I can think of at present, so I must come to a close in hopes of soon hearing from you and that I may see you this fall. No more this time but I remain as ever your true and affectionate Husband,
E. S. Kryder and all inquiring friends
write soon and direct to Huntsville Ala.
Camp near Fayetteville Tenn.
July 29th 1863
Dear and affectionate wife
I take this present opportunity of writing to you that I am still enjoying good health and hope this letter may reach you the same. I recd. your letter of the 19th and 20th last Sunday evening and I was much pleased to get an answer to my letter so quick, and that you were all well.
You will know by my last letter which I wrote last Sunday week that we were to Huntsville, Ala., but the next day we marched back to Salem Tenn. Last Monday morning we got our pay for four months and went on Picket and yesterday we came to this place so I had no time to write sooner. And we got a draft on the Norwalk Bank and Henry sent it to Mr. Trimmer to draw the money and give you yours. I sent $45.00. We have very warm weather at present but I suppose it is warm in Ohio, too. We have a nice breeze nearly every day so it is not so unpleasant as if it was sultry as it is in dog days in Ohio.
You say you are sorry that I am still going farther south. I should think you be glad that we are victorious and drive the Rebs farther off, for when they are once all whipped and we ready to come home it will not take long to go one or two hundred miles farther, so keep in good cheer as long as you hear that I am well for I never had better health than this summer. All the complaints I have had was jaw-ache. Last week my jaw commenced swelling and it gathered and broke Sunday night and now it is well again.
Do not feel alarmed about their having riots in the north for there are only a few lawless cowards, but the laws must be enforced.
I am out of stamps again. Please send me some in your next letter.
Henry and the boys are with us again. Henry is well but he has not heard from George for a long time, but he seen in a paper that the 34th just returned from a raid and perhaps he had no chance to write. We seen in a paper that Lorenzo was shot through the leg. They were in a hard fight. I think hard fighting is about done for all the big officers have gone to Washington and I think the war is about over.
I hope you and Mariette will agree for you can just as well live together as not and will not be so lonesome for you both. I am glad you have a good garden, for a good garden is half the living. I have very poor ink here. We can not buy any but fluid and it does not flow worth anything, but I guess you can read it. We are camped on the bank of Elk River and it is a nice place to swim and wash ourselves. We have a nice camp. I am glad you can draw money from the town for every little helps. Have you forgot to send me your and the children's likeness? I would like to have had them but if it is not convenient for you to have them taken, you need not mind. I have not heard from Samuel in a long time not since we left Murfreesboro, and I wrote Ezra a letter, but have not got an answer. He may be dead for all I know. I hope I can come home and help you eat some of your cherries and jellies. This is very pleasant weather for we have a nice breeze nearly all the time. I have given you about all the particulars I can think of, so I must close in hopes of hearing from you soon. No more this time. I still remain your true and devoted Husband
To Elisabeth Kryder
Camp Crook near Bridgeport Ala.
August 30, 1863
I take this present opportunity of writing to you that I am well and hearty and hope these few lines may find you all well and that you have recovered from your fall. I rec'd. your letter of the 16th in due time and was very sorry to hear of your accident, but hope it was not worse than your letter stated. I had thought I would wait till I would get a letter from your own hand again as I know by the handwriting it was not yours, but in it has not come yet and I will give you some of the news.
On the 19th we left at Winchester and the 20th we crossed mountains and on the 22nd we came to Stevenson and camped close by the Tenn. River and our pickets stood on the bank on this side and the Rebs on the bank opposite and they would talk with our pickets and ask one another to come over and some of them (our Men) took off their clothes and swam over and talked with them a while and then returned. Last Tuesday we moved our cam up the river within four miles of Bridgeport, and night before last fifty men of our Reg. Started across the river to capture the rebel pickets (our men were on foot). They got across all right by wading and surrounded the rebels and there were five on a post and our men charged on them and they all got away except one. This was done about midnight and at two o'clock 3 regiments of our brigade went on a three day scout.
The reason that I did not go along is this. The day before I got orders that if the reg. moved I and two others should remain and report to division headquarters yesterday to attend to a Court Martial as witnessed against Homer Brooks. Perhaps you heard that he was Brigade Postmaster, and General Rosecrans issued an order prohibiting News Dealers to sell papers for more than five cents. But Homer did not regard the order and sold Nashville papers for ten cts. apiece and I bought a paper of him and gave him five cts and he wanted ten and I refused. Then he wanted me to take the money and give him the paper. I told him he could not have it and he said he would have it and got off his horse and came around to take it away from me. But by that time I had done it up small and he took hold of it and tried his best to take it away from me and then he told me he would have me up to headquarters. I told him that is just where I wanted to go. Then he let me go and told me the paper would not do me any good. He thought he had torn it, and I took the paper soiled as it was and went up to the Col. and he [had] Homer arrested and put under guard awaiting his court martial, and what his sentence will be for violating the order. I do not know but some say he will get a dishonorable discharge. I think the next time I write I will be able to tell you.
I sent you two papers the other day and you can see by them that prospects are pretty good for the war to end soon. Fort Sumter has been destroyed and I think Charleston is ours by this time and General Burnside is marching down through east Tenn. to form a junction with Gen. Rosecrans and Rosecrans will join Gen. Grant and then there will be a line from Chattanooga to the Gulf of Mexico to sweep the Country as they go and the Army of the Potomac is to be filled up with conscripts so as to be able to take Richmond.
We have been on half rations about 3 weeks but can get green corn and potatoes so we have enough to eat except meat, but we bought some. Tomorrow we will draw rations for five days. Our Brigade went into Georgia. This scout I would like to have gone along with them. We would have a chance to get lots of peaches. The soldiers have taken all the peaches in the vicinity.
I most forgot to tell you that when our men crossed the River yesterday morning some of the 2nd Kentucky got too far down where the water was deep and two of them drowned and three of their horses. The weather has been very cool for four or five days and the nights are most cold enough for frosts.
I wrote to you that I have sent $45.00 to you. Have you got it yet? I had several dollars left that I thought I could send you yet, but guess I will keep it for I will not go hungry when you can buy anything to eat.
This is about all that I can think of at present, so I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon. No more this time. I remain as ever your sincere and affectionate Husband,
Elisabeth S. Kryder
Lillie G. Kryder
Mary E. Kryder
I have a paper of the 27th that I will send you. I got them stamps you sent me.
Camp Crook Look Out Valley, Ala.
Sept. 7th, 1863
Dear and Beloved Wife:
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I still enjoy good health and am in tolerable good spirits and hope this letter may reach you all well.
I rec'd. your letter of the 27th Aug yesterday with much satisfaction, but am sorry that you are sick or are suffering from that fall that you got. I wish I could have been there to wait on you when you had that fever. I am glad that you had a good girl to wait on you. You say that you have money that you do not know what to do with. You can let it out in Government Bonds at six percent interest payable every six months. I think you can find an agent in Norwalk. Do not expose yourself to make yourself sick again by wading the Branch after the cow. Rather let her go unmilked, for I want to see you in good health if it be God's will to spare my life to see you and our loved ones.
Now I will tell you that on the 2nd we started to cross the Tenn. River and by ten o'clock we were all successfully across and we marched about ten miles and went into camp for the night. The next morning we went up Sand Mountain (but I almost forgot, at one o'clock that morning our company and Co. K were called up to go in search of some 25 bushwhackers. We saw where they had fed their horses, but they had gone) and that day we crossed Sand Mountain and day before yesterday we went on a reconnaissance on Lookout Mountain and saw the Rebs. on the other side. That evening we came back and yesterday we came to this camp and since I have been writing we got orders to march tomorrow morning with three days rations. The report is that the Rebs are evacuating Chattanooga and I think we are to cut them off. We were in the corner of the state of Georgia the other day.
You ask why I do not get a furlough and come home. The reason is this. They do not give furloughs in this army. They say that they will give us four months at the end of our three years and if that is the case we will not have to stay more than eight months more and they will soon slip around. It would be impossible for me to send Mary Ann Kryder my likeness because I could not get it taken. I have not seen Sam for some time. The prospects bid fair for a speedy termination of the war and I yet believe that we will be at home by Christmas.
We still have plenty of peaches and apples and plenty of sweet potatoes but we only draw half rations of meat and sugar and coffee and crackers, but there is plenty of green corn. The boys are all in fine spirits and are confident of victory. I must close this short letter in hopes of hearing from you soon. No more this time. I am ever your true and affectionate husband until death
To E. S. Kryder
I most forgot to write to Lillie and hardly know what to say. Tell her she must be good girl to Mary and her ma and we will all be together sometime. Good Bye for this time
Write soon and direct to Steveson, Ala.
Camp near Chattanooga, Tenn.
Sept. 25th, 1863.
I take this opportunity of writing to you to let you know that I am well and hearty and hope these few lines may find you the same. I rec'd. a letter from you dated Aug.27 and answered it right off but have no answer on it yet but have been looking for some time. I have been some uneasy about you as you said you had been sick.
I will now tell you there barn been a very hard battle going on here for nearly a week. Last Sunday our Cavalry were engaged and they met us with Cavalry and infantry and repulsed us with a loss of about 40 in the Brigade that is in killed and wounded and prisoners. We have one man missing in our company. Suppose he is a prisoner.
The battle was about 12 miles from Chattanooga and our army has fell back [sic] to the town and we are getting reinforcements and if the Rebs will not leave there will be a bard battle fought here but it is a poor place for cavalry to fight so I think we will not get in much. The 101st Ohio is all cut to pieces. Wilson Hamilton is killed. One Company of that Reg. had only one man left. The Brigade that Sam is in suffered awful and I fear he's injured but have not heard. We are on the north side of the Tenn. River and if any of the Rebel Cavalry come across we will whip them that they will not know where they are. We can whip nearly double our number of cavalry because we have better arms than they do. Last night about 10 o'clock the Rebs made an attack on our men and the fight lasted about two hours, but I have not learned particulars but they (the Rebs) did not gain any ground.
Please send me a few coarse needles and some black thread and some more stamps. I had to borrow stamps and I have but one left but I got a few stamped envelopes.
I think this will be the hardest battle of the rebellion and the last one if we come out victorious and the men all have full confidence in our noble leader, General Rosecrans. Day before yesterday he made a speech to his men and he told them that it would take the whole Confederacy to drive him away from this place. Our men are in good health and fine spirits. Well I believe I must close this short letter in hopes of hearing from you soon. No more this time but remain as ever your true end affectionate Husband until death
to Elisabeth S Kryder and enquiring friends
Write soon and direct to Stevenson, Ala.
Nov 2nd 1865
Dear and Beloved wife
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and hearty and hope this may find you the same. I is a long time since I have had a chance to write to you till now. I have come here after horses and there are none here so we have to wait till they come.
I received two letters from you since I wrote to you. The first one contained the children's pictures and they are very nice. Oh if you could think how I felt when I got them.
We were just then after old Gen. Wheeler (Reb) and were having the hardest times that we have had since we were soldiers. Sometimes we had nothing to eat but parched corn and roasted squashes without salt and had to march forty or fifty miles a day. We overtook him twice and had hard fights with him both times.
The second time our Reg. was in front and we went in with our sabres and our Reg took 250 prisoners and killed and wounded a great many. We had but a few killed in our regiment. In our Co we had two wounded, Thomas Heap in the breast and Lieutenant Watson in left shoulder. The reason we had no more men hurt was we did not give the Rebs time to form a line. We drove them about five miles as fast as our horses could run, taking prisoners every jump and at Farmington they made a stand to fight us but we had a Brigade of mounted infantry along and they are armed with seven shooting rifles and they done the fighting. There they captured four pieces of their artillery and about 50 prisoners and then we went into camp for the night and the next day we did not see them but the second day the 5th Iowa Cavalry was in advance and they took about 50 prisoners killing three and did not lose a man.
The next day they crossed the Tenn. and we did not follow them further. Then we went into camp and went out after prisoners. We were ordered to take anything we could find. Then we lived well again.
Nov 3rd. Well we were in camp one day and then we took up our march back toward Winchester marching 20 miles a day and I have too much to tell on this paper, but from Winchester we were ordered to Marysville, Ala. and there I would have had time to answer your letters but had no paper. After we were there about a week we were ordered to Woodville and my horse got such a sore back that I could not ride him and I had to walk. The distance was about 12 miles. That evening we got orders for all dismounted men to go after horses so we started afoot for Stevenson. Walked it in two days. The distance was 35 miles and there we took the cars for this place and here we are waiting and how long we will have to wait we do not know.
You want to know if I do not want my clothes sent to me. I will tell you that I don't because I bought an overcoat for six dollars. It is better than the one I sent home and for blankets I will try and get along as Henry and I bunk together and he had the good luck to pick up a couple that day we chased the Rebs. I should have sent home for them but I did not know where to have them sent to and I was afraid they would get lost. If I would have bad them sent to Stevenson I might have been a hundred miles from there before they would reach me.
You say you feel quite anxious about me which I have no doubt and I am sorry that you had to wait so long for a letter but do no despair for I will write as often as I can. I had a letter from Sam the other day. He was not very well then. He was in the fight two days at the big Battle. He said his folks were well and doing well.
I have not bed a letter from father since March and I do not care if I do not get another till next March for I guess be is one of those democrat copperheads and I do not want anything to do with them till this war is over.
You was telling about your dream. It must have been very near the time that we had that fight and you must always take a dream to the reverse for I have not been injured.
This sheet of paper and envelope cost 5 cents. I have plenty of paper with our wagons but I do not know where that is. I have not much more to write this time. Henry is well and hearty. I told him that you wanted him to write and he said he would. We have a great deal of wet weather here. We are drawing clothes here today and I need a jacket, a pair of pants, a pair of gloves, and a rubber blanket, which things I am going to draw. I hardly know what to write to the little girls but I wish I could see them and get the kiss that Mary has for me.
I believe I have given you about all the particulars that I can think of so I must bring this letter to a close in hopes of soon hearing from you. No more this time, this is from your true and devoted husband until death
To E. S. Kryder
Write as soon as this comes to hand and direct to Woodville, Ala.
Paint Rock, Ala.
Dec. 15, 1863
Dear and beloved Wife,
I take my pen in hand this morning to inform you that I am well and hearty and hope these few lines may find you all well and in good spirits. I rec'd. your long looked for letter last night. You could not imagine the satisfaction it gave me to hear from you after waiting so long. I wrote you three letters and no answer came and I began to think that you was sick but if you should get sick you could get someone to write for you, and then I did not know what to think. Sometimes I would think that you had forgotten me, but I could not believe it and then I came to the conclusion that you had not got my letters, but hope you got them before this time.
We drew four months pay about a month ago and I sent you $45. by draft to Mrs. Trimmer and we have not heard of it yet but expect it will be all right.
You say that the times are so hard. I expect they are but I suppose money is plenty, so as long has you have money you can live, and buy what you need. Let it cost what it will, for we have but one life to live so what is the use to suffer if we can prevent it. Fifteen dollars is a big price to winter a cow, but if it is the best you could do, there is no use fretting about it. I am sorry that you are still troubled with the sick headache. I am glad that your neighbors will turn out to get up wood for you. It seems like a pretty hard pull for Mariette to lose $40.
I have not written to uncle Jonas folks yet but I ought to. I have not written to father since last March and I guess the Old Gent is mad, but I must open correspondence with him again by writing to him and perhaps he will answer it by this time.
When I went to Nashville I expected to see the 55th but they had left Stevenson the day before we got there. I should like to see Uncle Dan very much. I should think Mariette will take care of her money herself after this. Since we are here I have the best times that I have bad since I have been in the service. They say the Reg. is in Virginia but I look for them back before long. I have no horse to take care of and no roll call and we have plenty to eat and not much duty to do. We have to go out foraging about every fourth day to load corn but that is not hard work and then we stand a chance to get some country produce. We draw flour and we have Biscuits every day when we want to bake them, but we have to pay 50 cts a lb for soda or saleratus.
The Reg had considerable fighting at Cleveland, Tenn. They burned a rebel wagon train of forty wagons. We have a lot of new recruits in our Co. from Defiance County and one of them says he wants me to go in and help buy eighty acres of land 6 miles from Defiance for $500 and he says it is most splendid land and he seems like a fine man. His name is Jeremiah Bell. But I shall look around before I shall buy. There are 5 acres cleared on it.
Some of our officers are trying to get our Reg to go home to recruit and give the old soldiers furloughs and get as many to reenlist as they can, but I will wait a while before I reenlist.
Our men caught a Bushwhacker and they took him out to a tree and tied him up and shot him dead.
I have given you all the news that I can think of so I will stop awhile.
Dec. l6th We have most beautiful weather. We have had no snow yet. It is middling cold this morning and it looks like rain. The train comes down from Stevenson every other day and this is the day for it again. Henry is well. I must write Lillie a letter as I found a portfolio with about 40 sheets of paper and as many envelopes and some small ones which will perhaps please her.
With this I will come to a close in hopes of soon hearing from you. No more this time, but I remain as ever your true and affectionate husband,
To E. S. Kryder
Now please write as soon as this comes to hand and direct as before, Woodville, Ala. Now good bye.
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