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George Kryder Papers - MS 163: Transcripts
[Continued from previous letter]
Jan 1st 1865. I wish you a happy New Year Dear Wife. I did not have a chance to send this letter so I opened it to write a few lines more.
We have been marching these two days and it is very cold weather here with about 3 inches of snow on the ground. Yesterday we marched from N. Haven to Elisabeth Town about 20 miles. This morning we drew rations and marched down the rail road to Sonora Station about 15 miles and the report is that we will lay over here tomorrow but I do not know I have no news at all.
The boys are all in fine spirits. I am writing by candle and I have beans over cooking for breakfast. Perhaps you wonder how we sleep these cold [nights]. We have straw hay or corn blades to spread down, then our Rubber Blankets and then two blankets to lay on and four to cover up with and we sleep warm.
Yesterday there was a Dr. and a Captain of the 7th Pa. cavalry went out about a mile from Bardstown where they were acquainted to get their dinner and while they were in the House a squad of bushwhackers rode up to the house and the officers surrendered to them but the villains shot them dead and robbed them and went off. We are on our way to Nashville but we will not get there in a week. We are now three days march from Louisville.
Well with these few lines I will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon again. Henry read your letter land he said it was too cold to write. No more this time. I am as ever your True and affectionate Husband
To Family, Please write soon and direct as before, so good night
Camp near Nashville Tenn.
Jan 9th 1865
Dear Beloved Wife
I take this present opportunity of writing a few lines to let you know that I am well and hearty hoping that this may reach you all the same. I will now tell you that we arrived here yesterday evening and got mail and I got three letters one from you of the 31st and was sorry to learn that your cold hangs on so long, but I felt happy to learn that you felt so cheerful and hope you remain so till I can come home to cheer you. The Co. is considerable down hearted from the news that three of C. Benham's children have died. Charlie takes it very hard. I had a letter from Elizabeth Shelt of the 22nd and they were all well and she censured me for not writing to her and I will try to answer it, and one from Salome C. They were all with the exception of herself had a bad cough and she sent me her photograph. It looks very natural.
I am afraid you look for the war to close soon for there are a few big things to be done yet. It is true our Army has been very victorious but we must have a few more decisive victories which will soon come. General Hood, Reb, got across the Tenn. River and is going to another stand at Corinth but I do not think it will amount to much.
I should like to go to church with you in that new dress. It is very nice. I think you are doing real well with the old cow. It is with me as you say. I have no news, but if I were there I could find lots to talk about. I am glad you take so much pleasure with our little girls.
We expect soon to go on another march towards the Tenn. River and if you should not hear from me in a long time I do not want you to be uneasy, for we may get where we can not get or send mail, but I will always write when I can. We have had some very cold weather since we have been on this march but it rained nearly all night and is raining this morning.
Salome said she had not heard from Joe since the 20th of Nov. Elisabeth said she saw Father weeks ago in Napoleon and he was well. With these few lines I'll close in hopes of soon hearing from you again. No more this time, but remain as ever your true and loving husband
To Elisabeth , Lillie, and Mary
Please write often and direct via Nashville, Tenn.
so Good Bye
Camp near Columbia Tenn.
Jan 18th 1865
Dear beloved Wife
I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well, hoping that this may reach you all well and in fine spirits. It is now eleven days since I had a letter from you. I rec'd. one the 7th which I answered right away and have been looking near1y ever since but have looked in vain. Dear wife, please do not forget me. Try and write often if it is but a few lines, it will relieve my anxiety, for I am always anxious to hear from you and our loved little ones.
I suppose you have heard the sad misfortune that Charles Benham's family had in losing three of their oldest children who were all buried in one grave. Charlie takes it awful hard, and I deeply sympathize with him in his bereavement. I got a letter from sister Elisabeth and she said that they were all well except herself had taken a bad cold and it settled on her lungs.
Now while I think of it, you will please send me a little thread, grey and black linen. Do not send much for I have no way of carrying much and it wears out in my pocket. I will try and send you my diary for 1864, which will amuse you some to look at and I wish you to take good care of it. I got me another for 1865 that I keep memorandum of events.
We left camp at Nashville on the 12th and came to this side the city where the late battle was fought and everything is badly torn to pieces. There is hardly a board or a rail to be seen from Nashville to this town and many houses are burned down. So much for rebel invasion. There is much talk in camp about peace but I do not look for it right away.
We have had most beautiful weather now for about a week. Today it put me in mind of spring. I went about in my shirtsleeves, but tonight it is quite cool. We marched about 3 miles today and have a beautiful camp and I was in hopes we would stay here a few days but they say we are going away in the morning, going to East Port on the Tenn. River. It is about 75 miles a from here.
Well, dear wife, as I have not heard from you for some time I have not much to say and will come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon. No more this time but remain as ever your true and devoted husband
To Elisabeth, Lillie and Mary
My love to all so good night
Please write often and direct via Nashville, Tenn.
Camp at Gravely Springs, Ala.
Jan. 29th, l865
Dear Beloved Wife
I am seated once more to pen you a few lines to let you know that I am still well and hearty hoping these few lines may reach you the same. I rec'd. your very welcome letter of the 10th yesterday and read it with the greatest pleasure to find that you were well. I had not rec'd a letter from you since the 7th and had not much news but I wrote you a short letter when we left Columbia and sent you my old Diary and since then we have had no mail. We now get our mail up the Tenn. River and it will take a letter 10 or 12 days to come, so I hope you will not delay to write as soon as you get my letter.
We have had very cold weather since we left Columbia and the worst road I most ever saw which made it very tedious marching as our teams could not move but a little way in a day. We drew 7 days rations at Columbia the l7th and when they run out we foraged for meat and flour and meal but we were passing through such a poor country that the people did not have much and of course we did not get a very big supply except meat. We got plenty and loaded our pack mule so that he fell down in the mud and our Commissary sergeant came up to us and told us and so five of my mess went back (we have three messes in the Co. and it was my mess mule).
That was a week ago last night and the Regt did not get in Camp till about midnight. We did not try to overtake the Regt. that night but the next morning we started early and marched about 12 miles and overtook the Regt. We laid there Tuesday and on Wednesday we started for this place which was l2 miles and our mule fell again and our sergeant threw nearly all our meat away so the old mule could get through the mud. And since we have been here we have only drawn a little corn meal and a little meat. Today we drew a little flour and made some nice pancakes and one of my partners bought 4 lbs crackers at 6O cts. pr lb. and we have not suffered any, but many of our boys hallow hardtack at our Brigade and Division Commanders as they pass along and this afternoon Major General Wilson (Chief of the Cavalry) passed and a few of our Reg. hallowed hardtack at him and the 4th Ohio (which is camped across the road from us) set such a hallowing that it made him mad and he ordered both Regt. out under arms to stand there til further orders. By and by an orderly came riding up to have us dismissed.
Well it is too cold to write with comfort and I will have to stop for tonight. We had orders to put up comfortable quarters and I have about the beet in the Co. when done but I have not got my fireplace done yet.
Jan. 31st. Well Dear Mate I will try and write some more today. This is a very beautiful day and we have got our chimney done and it is first rate. It is warmer so that I am in my shirt sleeves. It seems like spring. Well, Sunday evening just after dark the bugles all sounded to arms and every Regt. in the division fell in and had to stand in line till eleven o'clock and it was very cold, but it was borne with patience by most of the soldiers, but some swore vengeance.
Well, I have just been to dinner. We had beef and hominy and pancakes, and coffee, but we will draw rations this afternoon. I will now tell you that about two weeks ago I was kicked on the leg above the knee by a horse and it got nearly well but now working makes it feel quite stiff again. It was just bruised on the muscle. The orderly just found my discharge, which I will sand For you to take care of. It is of no use to me here.
I will now tell you that I recd. another letter yesterday evening of the 17th which gave me much pleasure to learn that you were still all in good health and enjoyment. You say you began to feel uneasy about me which I hope you may not soon again be but I hope you will remember that when we are on a march we have not the same chance for getting and sanding mail as we do when we are laying in camp but I hope we may not have to march any farther south, but I think as soon as the roads get good we will start again for the interior of the Confederacy for when we will start, this cavalry can where they please
[in top margin] Our Chaplain gave me this sheet and envelope "The U. S. Christian Commission sands this sheet as a messenger between the soldier and his home. Let it hasten those who wait for tidings" [The U. S. Christian Commission was the forerunner of the Red Cross]
Camp near Gravely Springs Ala.
Feb l3th, l865
Honored and affectionate Wife:
I now taking pen in hand to write a few lines to let you know that I am still in the enjoyment of good health and have been in very buoyant spirits till today. I received your welcome letter of the 31st. Was very glad to hear that you were all well and had such a good visit, and found the friends all well. But when I saw that you had not got the money yet, I can not tell you how I felt. I almost felt as if I should censure you for not going to see about it sooner but then again I thought of the inconvenience you had to go but if you knew the anxiety and uneasiness that I felt about it I believe you would have gone to see about it before this but I can hardly think yet that it is lost but I will sand you the receipt and if you have not got it yet, leave the receipt with some lawyer in Norwalk and have him prosecute the Express Co. and I think they will hunt it up for $140.00 is not picked up every day and I will spend 25 or fifty dollars more to find out whether it cannot be collected, You will see on the receipt that I paid $1.00 for sending it. I am very glad that you draw so much money from the Township that will be nearly enough to keep you but I wish you had the $140.00. You would not have to skimp yourself.
We do not get much news now but the most we hear now is concerning peace which I believe is not very far distant for I think them Peace Commissioners will do something in settling the war.
There is nothing going on of importance. We have not been on picket since we came here only once since we left Louisville, that was at Bardstown, Ky.
I will now tell you that I got a letter from sister Catherine about a week ago. She was well and said that she had a letter from Sam's wife stating that she had not heard from him in ten weeks. America [Fribley] was at Savannah, Ga. And was well. I am looking for a letter from Elisabeth again. I have not heard from Ezra for some time. We have had some pretty tough times for rations, since we have been here. They have not issued any pork to us for over a week and only three days ration of poor beef, but as luck would have it my squad has not got out yet. There are four of us mess together and we saved ours and now while others have no meat we still have a little. We get first rate crackers, coffee, sugar, and a few beans and salt and soap but no candles but we can get along very well as we have a good fire place in our tent. We are busy nearly all the time building stables for our horses, but I do not think that of much use for who knows how soon we will get orders to leave from here. I would not care if I could serve the remainder or my time here for I have marched and fought enough to suit me but should we get orders to leave I am content. But how rejoicing it would be if the war was over and we could march towards home, to join our friends once more without the dread of war.
The command is very healthy. There are scarcely any sick but I will tell you that a week before last Frank Cobban or my Co. took sick with fever and by Saturday evening he was a corpse and was buried in honors of war a week ago today. He was a young man of about 20 years old and was a very poor soldier. I do not think he was ever was in a fight except Stone River and then he run back to Nashville. We have very strict orders hers we have Roll Call six times a day, drill once a day. With this I will close in hopes that I may hear from you soon again,
From your affectionate Husband,
Please write soon and direct Co. I, 3rd O. V. V. C. Eastport, Miss. Please send me a little more thread as I used nearly half that you sent today as my pants and jacket were badly ripped.
So Good Bye
Camp Gravely Springs, Ala.
Feb. 22nd, 1865.
Dear Beloved Wife:
I am now seated this rainy morning to let you know that I am still well and hearty and hope this may reach you all as well as it leaves me. I received your very kind letter of the 9th last night and read it with much satisfaction but was sorry to learn that you were not well and I hope that rash on Mary may not terminate in that dreadful disease the Small Pox.
About our letters getting lost is no wonder. There are so many changes and if a letter is not directed right which is too often the case they are very apt to get lost. Well you want me to send you a lot of blankets which I will try and do as soon as the weather gets a little warmer. We have had very cold weather here till about a week ago it clouded and now it is raining. I expected yesterday to be on Camp guard today but for one man I will be the next man on detail. I have been very lucky about getting on guard I have not been on more than once since we left Louisville. I always had some duty to do during the day so I did not have to be up at night.
I am very glad you have got that money for I began to feel quite uneasy about it. Now for the advice you ask. I hardly know what to say about it but you might have done just as you should see fit and I would have been satisfied. And by the way you write I guess you think it would be the best to take $300.00 and I do not know myself but it would. If you get that you will be sure of it. Do the best you see proper and it will be all right.
You say you want me to write often which I do and hope you will do the same. You say I shall try to get a furlough and I will tell you that there were some furloughs made out in our Regt. and sent to Brigade Headquarters for to be approved and they wrote on them do not send up any more furloughs at present and were sent back unapproved. So you see about how much use it would be for me to apply. I am glad they are drafting. Perhaps they will get some of them old cowards who are not a whit better to fight the battles for the union than I am. They will claim as big a right to the Union as I will so let them come and help finish the work which we have so far carried on with success.
Well, we are still laying in camp and are put under very strict discipline. We have 7 roll calls per day and if a man does not answer to his name he is put on extra duty and some companies make them carry rails for punishment, but we have got a good Captain and he thinks a good deal of this co. Day before yesterday we had Brigade inspection and the inspector told our Col. that Co. I was the best Co. he inspected in the Brigade. We also have the best horses in the Brigade. We are here in such an out of the way place that we do not get much news, but there was a report here that the Rebels are evacuating Richmond and another that Gen. Grant was repulsed with great loss. If we should be successful there the rebellion cannot last much longer.
This is a very rainy day and we have no drill today. The mail comes up very irregular. We had no mail since last Friday till last night.
I believe I have given you about all the news that I can think of so I will come to a close in hopes or hearing from you soon again. No more this time from your True and affectionate
Husband, George Kryder
To Elisabeth and children
Please write often and direct as before. Co. I, 3rd OVVI, Eastport, Miss. If we should leave here it might be you would not hear from me in two months but I hope not. I want you to keep good courage and live in hopes, so Good Bye
Camp Gravely Springs, Ala.
Feb. 27th, 1865
Dear Beloved Wife affectionate Companion
I now take this present opportunity or writing a few lines to you to let you know that I am still in the very best of health and fine spirits hoping these few hasty lines may reach you soon and find you all well.
I will now tell you my object in writing today. It is this. We expect to go on a march and do not know where our destination will be and do not know when we will have another opportunity to send out letters or get mail again. But it looks to me now as if I should not have to write as many letters for the next year as I have done for the past year as prospects for the war to end are better than ever before as our brave General Sherman has taken Charleston or caused the Rebs to evacuate and has taken Columbia, the capital of the hotbed of secession (South Carolina) and many other important places. And the report is that the Rebs have left Richmond and are marching along towards East Tenn. where it is supposed we are going.
We had three days rain which raised the streams very high and the roads will be very bad to march. I have not much news of importance to write but will tell you that Charles Benham got a furlough for 30 days and our Captain one for 20 days yesterday evening and will start for home tomorrow. Mat Wilcox had a furlough made out but it came back respectfully disapproved. Poor fellow. It is a pity he could not go home for I will tell you how much he deserved a furlough. He has never carried a gun farther than from Nashville to Columbia about 45 miles then went clerking for the Captain, was about two weeks making out our pay rolls and then did not get them right and then was detailed clerk in the quartermasters Department where he has been ever since and consequently has never stood picket.
I expect there will be a hard fight somewhere in east Tennessee or West Virginia and that will be about the last hard fighting as we have three armies either of which will be able to whip the Rebs separately, but the Indians have been troublesome of late on the western frontier and it may be we may go there Before very long but that would just suit me for I want to see the west sometime and if I could go there while I am a soldier I could save a good deal money in going and could see the country too.
If you have that Certificate yet from the adjutant General of Ohio, I wish you would give it to some claim agent to collect that local bounty and try to get as much of our money together as possible for if I should be fortunate to get home I would like to invest in land in the great west.
I would like to write some to our little girls but hardly know what but hope they will be good girls and mind Ma and I expect it will not be long till I can come home to read to you and learn you to write.
Well Dear Wife I must come to a close in hopes of hearing from you soon. Elisabeth, do not feel uneasy if you should not hear from me in a long while, but I will write at every opportunity and hope you will write me at least once a week. So no more this time, but remain as ever Your True and affectionate
Please write often and direct via Nashville, Tenn.
I most forgot to tell you that I am about out of stamps and wish you would send me some in your next letter
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