Letter, Robert Corry to Eliza Corry
Camp near Okolona, Miss.
Nov. 21, 1863
We arrived here yesterday (3 miles from town) and suppose we will remain at this place for several days unless we are ordered away for there is plenty of forage close by to last our little regiment for 12 months. The man on whose land we are camped says his tax corn will be fully 4000 bushels and is anxious for us to feed as much as possible and save him the trouble of shelling and hauling to Okalona for the government. So you see there will be no trouble about here on account of horse feed, and if the worst comes, men may live on corn bread for a long time and do good service. I think the chances for hog meat a slim one and cannot hear that there is even any beef to spare in this country, but I suppose can gather up a little here and there and make out. I think potatoes are tolerable plenty at $3 per bu. and as I am so fond of them will not suffer. There are three or four Negroes here now loaded down with collards at 25 cents but they don't sell a bu. and collards don't do well.
Captain Warren has just come in from town. He had a consultation with Gen. Forest, who says that our field of operations will be between Miss. and Tenn. Rivers, and that he doesn't want any man to go with him unwillingly, and that everything that will add to our comfort shall be supplied- blankets, shoes, and all that is necessary for a soldier and also that all we capture will be ours. Suppose all we capture from the Yankees and not from citizens. Being in the Yankee lines will license a great many to do meanness.
John Steel's company all left or deserted excepting four or five. Ernnie is here with us. John Steel and Billy Moore were put under arrest and ordered to report to Okalona to Gen. Forest. They came up with us this side of Russelville and were ordered to remain with the regiment, but they left that night and the probability is, that they will be cashiered and Gen. Forest says he will hunt up the deserters and send them to infantry.
If it was not being away from you and our dear little girls so long and not hearing from you, I would as soon be here as in Tennessee or N. Ala. If there was plenty there for the citizens and our cavalry, it would be different, but as it is, I can't see how the people up there are to make out especially the dear people down about B. Roost. I hope you, my own dear wife, and our innocent little children may get along better than I can ever hope for. I know you can manage to live in some way as long as Mother has anything, but the great trouble is that the Yanks may visit you all again and drain you of your all.
I wrote to you a short letter the day we started from Ala. left for Wm Robinson to send to you which he may not do for several days. I bought 10 gallons of molasses and had it sent to Tuscumbia in a cask with D. H. Halseys. You may meet up with some chance of sending for it, and had better send a keg if Mother has a spare one. It is home made, but said to be very good and only cost $4 for gallon.
I sent by Mr. Price where our wagons are and got my wallet with my shirts and socks, but I am in great distress about my new linsey drawers that you made with your own hands and fear that I shall very much need them before Ike brings them for I know he will remain at home just as long as possible, and may not bring them. If you see him anytime soon, tell him of my awful condition and charge him to send them by the first one passing unless he is coming soon.
We will move 7 miles beyond Okolona in the morning. Still getting farther away from you, my dear. If you meet up with any chance, send a note to old man Pennington to pack the lint cotton upstairs in the gin house as the pick room leaks so badly and be sure to nail it up and let no one have any. This is all we have and it may be some service to us yet.
Darling, wife, you must use every chance in sending me letters for I shall be constantly uneasy about you and the children. I do hope that you will all keep in good health and that you will keep in good spirits. Give my love to Mother, Jennie, and Hennie, also to Sister Mary. Shall be on lookout for her here before long for I know that Tom will move them to the bottom as soon as possible. Don't let the children forget father and kiss them often for me. I lost your picture when we were at Mr. Scrugg's place and Mars told me yesterday that Mr. Tompson has it. Had put it in my coat pocket and forgotten it - thinking that it was in the little oil cloth bag that you made me. Tell Ike if he comes by there to bring it to me or probably Mr. Scruggs will be passing. Good-bye, my own darling wife.
Your Affectionate Husband
R. E. Corry
PS I will send this by Mr. Orr in care of Johnie. R. E. Corry