Dwight Henry Cory Letters and Diary
Head Quarters 6th O. C. near Petersburg, Va
April 23rd 1865
Where are you today? At church or home writing letters to absent friends perhaps. You are more prompt than I and have your letters all answered in their proper time but right now the urgencies of the Service will not permit of my being very prompt. Maybe you would be willing to go with me to church in the city of Petersburg where you might look out in almost any direction through holes in the wall made by our shot or shell. Or perhaps your temper could be ruffled by the haughty looks of the female rebels and our prisoners who were paroled by the leniency of our noble leader. It is rather aggravating to see them parading the streets holding their heads so high and turning up their noses at us boys in blue. Still the more sensible of them feel that their forever enemies are a generous and noble class of men and treat us with the utmost kindness. But they have no "warm sugar" to offer us and consequently we don't get any. I have had a lump or two of cold sugar but that don't fill the bill. No doubt you are now rejoicing over the near approach of the day when it will be said Peace is now declared. You can scarcely conceive how our brave boys cheered and shouted when we first learned that Lee's army were our prisoners and when we thought that our fighting in Va. was done and so well done too. It far exceeded our expectations and on that account our joy was so much the greater. However we expect to move soon probably to join Sherman and help him in taming Johnson's army which is the only army of any size remaining to oppose us. May the 4th of July 1865 see all our brave boys at home enjoying the society which has so long been to us a thing of the past only.
You are not afraid to trust me with your photo of course and I would be just as faith with two of them as with one and had you sent me the new one with a request that one of them be returned it would have been a pleasure to comply with your request. I too have just received a dozen new pictures and they are ready to be distributed and you may have one by sending yours and you may keep the best one and I will do the same. Melissa sent me hers and I will enclose one of mine in this letter for her for fear I don't have another opportunity. The order has just come for us to move at 6 o'clock in the morning so I must hurry up my writing and prepare for all emergencies. Please excuse this short letter and write a long one in return
As ever Your Friend
Hattie D H Cory
Head Quarters 6th Ohio Vol Cavalry.
Near Petersburg, Va.
May 14th, 1865.
Having just returned from church and eaten my ration the rest of the afternoon is set apart for a visit with you. Would that it might be where the "feast of reason and flow of soul" would not be interrupted by the scratching of the pen. Conversing on paper is rather tedious compared with that where pen and paper are not required. The Thoughts you were kind enough to think for me were perused with profit and pleasure and I had just commenced thinking about writing in reply when your letter came. The picture looks well and it may be nearer like you than I imagine, at any rate it wouldn't return kisses in kind and whether that is like you I leave you to say, or time to tell. Our prospects of seeing home soon look rather discouraging at present for an order was promulgated in the papers that the Cavalry were all to be sent to Texas or at least to the west of the Mississippi river and there remain until the traitors there have learned to dread the sight of a saber and carbine and to fear the name of "Sheridan." Still I can't believe there will be any more fighting to do for there is not an army now in arms that can stand a moment before the cavalry under Sherman's command but before we go there all soldiers whose time expires before the first of October are to be mustered out and the fragments of regiments thus made are to be consolidated with others from the same state and same division. This will unite the 6th with the 13th as they are all the Ohio Cavalry in this division and then some of the Officers will be mustered out as there will be too many for one regiment and in fact any Officer can be discharged honorably now by making an application but so far as I am concerned it is as well for me to stay where I am until there is no more soldiers wanted in the field. Don't Hattie think so? I hear in rather of a roundabout way that I am to be married as soon as may be after my return home and even have been congratulated on my success. Now I had considered myself in the market until then and still hope that my final disposal may not be injured by these flying reports. I am going to church tonight and may join the choir as they are very destitute of bass singers. It would be very pleasant to attend the choir meetings while we stay here although they may be tinctured with rebel sentiments. How will this letter do for length? Very well I think for the kind.
I will send the picture as required hoping to hear from you soon again
Hattie Your Friend D. H. Cory.
At Orin Rice's
June 11th 1865
Another day's labor is performed and I am some what tired, just about tired enough to have a good visit with an old friend. I never get too tired for that. It is over a week since I rec'd your kind letter. there is nothing that I enjoy better than receiving and answering letters from "My Friends" and you know we read a soldier's letter very carefully now thinking perhaps we shall see written "We will be home soon." Surely those are very welcome words to "A friend of the Solders." Four of our boys have already come. Andrew Aaron Merit Joe, Ashley and Lauren Pesey they all look well and healthy. I think Andrew grows old. The people have been looking very anxiously to see the boys of the 126th but we hear they are to go toward Texas which I hope may be false. Jason Case has come home and Write Sutin too. Andrew says it is rather provoking that the girls don't care much about him now he has come home. That they are waiting to see the younger ones come. We oughn't be content until we see them all home again. I should think home would seem good to a returning soldier and will not their home seem much more pleasant when made cheerful by their presence? Liberty has come home again and hardly knows me. I have seen him only once and then he would not have spoken if I had not spoken first, perhaps it was my place to do so but he would hardly give me a chance. I do not want him to be offended at me. I am very sorry that he is, but how can I help it. Did I do wrong in doing as I did? Ought I to have continued going with him when I knew his object? Or ought I to have sacrificed all for his sake. Perhaps I show myself rather weak minded to be worrying about it, but it does trouble me to think that I have been the cause of paining anyone or that anyone is offended at me. The truth if it is that I like Lib too well to have him mad at me but I doubt that this is very interesting to you and I will change the subject and tell you what I did the other night. There the little girl has just brought me some nice strawberries. How I would like to send you one in this letter, but I will eat it for you. Won't that do just as well? But I didn't tell you what I did, did I. Well one week ago tonight, Mrs. Clark Rice and I went to the office. We met your sister Eva. She told me she had a letter from Dwight, that it was open. Charley had read it. I asked her if I might read it and so you see, I read your father's letter before he did. Wasn't I in great business. I expect he will give me a scolding the next time I see him and maybe you will too. I know I had no business to read it but I wanted to and so I did. You won't scold me hard will you? My Grandfather Rice was buried last Sunday. He was 86 years old, quite an old man. He was buried but a little way down from my mother and can it be that she lies in the silent grave. My mother. No it is only that cold tenement of clay that lies there. The soul has long since fled to its Maker, freed from this world of care and responsibility and dwells were only peace and happiness are known and may it be my happy lot when my work shall be done here to join with my sainted mother. no singing praised to that God who rules heaven and earth.
You had better look out about associating with the rebels or perhaps they will poison you as they have many others under pretense of cooking something good for them. We never know when to trust them. We are having a literary society here but I have not joined yet. They have them Friday nights and those are the nights I go home and I am too tired to go after having been in school all the week. I had no business to have taught this summer but I wanted to try it again and see if I had forgotten how. If would be much better for me if I were at home milking 6 cows morning and night than in the schoolrooms. Yes Dwight, I have heard who you were to be married to. The scholars were talking about the boys the other noon and they said that Dwight and Emma Logan were going to be married. How does that suit your taste? Sue is in Mecca at her father Irwin's. Wonder if the hemming in that handkerchief has worn well. But it is so dark that I cannot see to keep the time so I think I had better stop. Why didn't you tell me you was Capt. I saw it in the Chronicle so that I hardly know how to direct. I shall look for another letter before many weeks. Yours as ever
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Questions or comments welcome.