Dwight Henry Cory Letters and Diary
Camp of the 6th Ohio. Vol. Cavalry.
August 29th, 1864
My Dear Mother
We are now after so long a time in Camp with the pleasing prospect of rest before us and to make things more pleasant the mail brings our letters with more regularity than before. I received a letter from you this morning and hearten to the pleasant task of answering it. I also received one from Mary a short time ago but will wait for one from Sylvia before answering it. I have just sent to Sylvia all the letters that I have to be kept for my future reference with those given to her last winter. If they were to be kept here they might be lost and they are not designed for every ones perusal and they will be safest in her care rather than here with me. I am glad to hear that you are all living in Greene again. It is the best place there on the farm for our large family where you will not have to buy every thing you eat and more especially as Nell has enlisted. I hope he will be sent to this army for then we can see one another occasionally and I will try and give him good advice and take care of him and if he does get into mischief and there was no other way or remedy he might then be reported to Laura more readily. But what am I to do now for news from Burton for John and Emily are as slow as time about writing as might be seem by examining the bundle of letters sent to Libbie.
Sylvia might possibly suggest here that I will not be ignorant of affairs in that quarter but it seems bad that it is necessary to depend on others than my brothers and sisters for information concerning them but maybe they will sprunt up and write now that there is no one left to do it for them. Yes! Aunt Sylvia is as happy as a queen now that Lois is with her and Cousin George has returned home from the army and they are not slow to let me know of their happiness. She is a regular correspondent and is punctual for one who never saw me and knows no more of me than she does. Since my last letter I have been a spectator of a bloody fight on the Weldon R. R. and it was on Sunday the 21st of this month and we were the victors capturing 1200 prisoners and driving the rebels from the road and just after the fight was over Gen. Mead and Staff came to see what was going on and to congratulate the troops on their gallant conduct. We hold that road now, that is our infantry, and it will be almost impossible for the rebs to drive them away as they are very strongly fortified. The dust has at last "dried up" and the air is cooler and more like August weather at home but the rain has been so heavy that mud takes the place of the dust but it will not last long with the sky as clear as it is today. We have not yet been paid off and there is now six months pay due and every body is out of money (except me). I have 20. now having sold my watch for 22. It cost me last spring 20. and I had broken the spring to the front case so it was well disposed of I think. I will try and follow your good advice and when I come home will be as good a citizen as the times will admit of.
Please give my love to all. Kiss the baby for me and remember me as your loving Son
D. H. Cory
Camp of the 6th Ohio. Vol. Cavalry
September 11th, 1864
I wish that every soldier in the army had as good and punctual a female correspondent as Hattie is - then would he know that he was not entirely forgotten at home and this is what he needs, sympathy from those who were the friends of his boyhood and encouragement too.
It is Sunday today and all day so far I have had to attend to the duties of my place and give out to the regiment their rations for four days to come and there was preaching at the regiment adjoining ours which I would have been glad to have attended. It would not have seemed to me like a meeting in Greene but there is an influence for good in such meetings which I never realized fully until my soldier life was commenced.
How long will it be ere I attend a meeting at home again and see those Nieces of mine. Maybe you really thought you could plague me about the dignified title of Uncle but no, I feel proud of it and the only fault to be found is that one of them is not named after me. You ought to ask Jas. Braden which of the two classes are the least patriotic - the girls who won't encourage the boys to go to the field or the men who won't go but pay the cash when drafted. How is it that our thinned ranks cannot be filled without a draft now when success seems almost within our reach but instead are trying to stop the fighting merely to keep from going to the rescue themselves. There is a great sacrifice called for at the hands of this nation Our Country and who is to pay the forfeit? Will it be those who are of no use to society or will it be those who have been ornaments there? How is it with Greene has none of her best blood been spilt? Does she not feel to her very heart's core the deaths of such as Irwin, Kee, Jackson and others? And in view of these, can she call her sacrifice small? But it is the great law of Heaven that the noble and good must be given to cancel the sins of mankind.
But this was intended as a letter and not a lecture. today was set apart by the President as a day of thanksgiving for the victories of our armies and navy and no one feels more thankful than the soldier in the field. He thinks that in view of these victories the draft will not be opposed, that gold will gradually come to its natural level, and last but not least that Lincoln will be elected for four years to come to serve the nation as in the four years past. No Hattie, I do not think that you have no interest here in common with everyone else who holds their countries rights and existence dear and the very few in Northern Ohio who have no friends here although they may not be near relatives. But why should you "leave the answer untold."
There is now an offer of a furlough given to all soldiers who will go out in front of the earthworks and chop down the standing timber there for only one day but he is all the time exposed to sharp shooters who are entrenched near by. The object is to obstruct the approach to our lines by falling the timber so that in case the enemy should advance while there is only a few of our men in the trenches they could hold it with less danger to themselves and greater destruction to the foe. Some will go for this brave act and perhaps we will all have a chance but this is uncertain.
Those of Co. A. who did not re-enlist start for home on the 4th of October and among them is Liberty Raymond, a gentleman and a good soldier. Soon after the other Companies of our regiment will go. Then we who remain will be consolidated into Six or Eight Companies. I am sorry that Chaplain Logan feels so bad but at the time his hopes took to the downward I was at their house and was much surprised to see him return from his midday walk so soon and looking so pale too, but he no doubt attributes his ill success to the general depravity of the human race and hard heartedness and want of judgment in his charmer and I know from bitter experience that a No sir is sometimes given when a yes Sir would have been much more agreeable.
My eyes are very sore so that at night I can scarcely see to read and where blots are small and mistakes imaginary I can't see them. I only ask that you continue my friend and kind correspondent as heretofore and you shall have the best wishes of Your friend
Home Sept 27th /64
Ever Remembered Friend
I am feeling rather sad and lonely tonight and thought I could employ my time in nothing better than in penning a few of my many thoughts as in other words just having a kind of social chat with that old friend who gave me the privilege of riding home on his horse one stormy night from a little sing. I was almost a little girl then wasn't I. Little thought I that such a war as this could ever be, as that our best friends would be called to leave home and old associates to defend the rights of this nation. But time makes many changes. Yes we may look at this town's people and see what great changes have been wrought by the war within even a few months. Three years ago we could claim many noble sons which are no more. But I will not complain, our lives are in the hands of that all wise Being who has a just claim upon our whole being and guides all things according to his will. But Dwight, I won't preach a sermon to you this time. I wish I was good enough to preach. I do preach politics, it just does me good to tell the copperheads what I think of them. Why is it that their mouths here at the north are allowed to be always open? Their mouths ought to be filled with hot lead and ears too and I feel just as though I would like to do it. I can't keep still when I think of our boys and then hear that Morris or any other one says, "Down with Lincoln and up with McClellan, Hurrah!" Had it not been for the traitors at the north this war would have been done away with ere this.
William Pelton, one of our last volunteers is dead. He was buried one week ago yesterday in Gustavus. He had Diphtheria and suffered almost beyond endurance. He died at home. Your mother has been quite sick but is about again. Well Dwight I must bid you good night for it is getting late and you know sleep is necessary to us farmers. Pleasant dreams to you.
[Same letter continued]
Saturday, Oct. 1st
A very rainy day this dark and dismal and it is almost cold enough to be winter. James Braden had volunteered and gone as far as Clev. But I hear he is very homesick. He said if he was sure he would not be drafted he would not go but money would not save him again. There, father has just killed two chickens and calls on me to dress them for eating. Please come in time tomorrow morning and have some with us and maybe we can find a wishbone. Well Dwight, I have obeyed orders and now will finish this badly written as well as badly composed letter. I have been to Burton and seen that niece of yours and it is a very pretty child. I think John took a very sudden start when he enlisted, but I suppose it will be all right.
Our last news has been very favorable. Every patriotic person cannot but rejoice over the victory which Sheridan's army has gained. Butter has fallen 10 c and cheese 05 and some say cotton has fallen some too. Gold has fallen too and I hope it will come down where it ought to be. Now Dwight, you wrote one thing that I did not fully understand and did not get your meaning. What answers did you mean that I had left untold. Please tell me won't you? Today is the first of Oct. and I suppose Liberty is thinking of home. I don't think he will be contented to stay at home when he gets here. You seem to speak of Liberty as though you have an idea that I have some particular interest in him, but such is not the case. We are friends merely, nothing more and never will be. Please don't show him this. Our soldier boys that went last have orders to leave Clev. tomorrow, Sunday, but I suppose war does not stop for any day. Some of them were home this week. George Allen has got home. He has served three years and feels as though he has done his share of fighting. Mr. Samuel Shin's wife met with quite an accident today. Her husband is one of the last soldiers. He sent for her to come to Clev, and she started today and her horse got scared and nearly killed her. Dr. Kee happened to meet her and took her home with him - she is sister to the Dr.'s wife. My brother Lester is sick and has been for about three weeks with the bowel complaint. He does not seem to gain and I am afraid it will amount to something before we are aware how bad he is. Sue is here. She says to tell you she is well and all the rest of the folks are too. I received a letter from Lib. the same time that yours came and I hardly know w3hether to answer it or not. He will soon be home. Yes I expect he is a good boy and there are a great many other good ones too. Well I hope our boys will get home safe. Chester Tuttle is wounded pretty bad. He was not wounded in a skirmish. they were about half a mile from the rebel lines. He was rolling his blanket up when a ball struck him between the 4th and 5th ribs within about three or four inches of the spine. They got a letter the first of this week stating that he was coming home and may be he would be here this week but has not come. Some think he will never get well but we cannot spare any more of our boys. But we must all keep up good courage and hope for the best and we will all come out right yet.
Uncle Sam is not very old yet and I rather think he will out live the rebs too. Well I will not try your patience by writing you more this time. I have written this just as it happened a little at a time. Lesters being sick, I have to take a great many steps and have stopped a great many times and so you must excuse this bad writing and blots. Write soon for I always wait almost impatiently for the answers. I wonder if the soldiers like to get letters as well as I do.
From your old friend
Hattie To Dwight
I do like to get good long letters just like yours
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Questions or comments welcome.