Letter, ElizaCorry to Robert Corry
Friday Night, Dec. 4, 1863
My own dear husband,
Your dear good letter sent by Mr. Erwin I rec'd today. Mr. Rutland was at Allsboro yesterday and got it. And Ellen and Frank brought it out today. You can only imagine, my darling, what pleasure it was to have such recent news from you. Nothing save your own dear children could have exceeded it. And now that all three of the little ones are asleep and I can't work for thinking of you, I have concluded to have a nice chat with you although I have no prospect of sending you the letter soon.
Charlie Trimble came by today and said if he could he would call as he returned to the reg't so it may be I shall send this by him. I have rec'd none of the letters you've written but the one you wrote the day you left Okolona. Consequently I was unaware until today that you had lost my picture. I am afraid you did not guard it as carefully as I do yours. I might have told Ellen to try and get it from Mr. Thompson, but did not think of it.
The molasses you bought would indeed be acceptable if I could get it, but I have no possible way of sending to Tus'ia for it. Mother partly promised to let Sam go up with a cart for it, but now she says he is too busy so only chance to get it will be to wait until you come. I would like to get it for it always agreed with me, and the children would like it.
I wish I could write you that those old chills had left me, but I still have them and have not felt entirely well since you left. The last I had, last week daily, and suffered a good deal. I feared another billious attack. Took tin'us of iron which helped me considerably. Still today I have strong symptoms of a chill and fear one tomorrow. I don't know what I shall do, dear, if I get very sick or even feebler than I am now, and you away. The children are so accustomed to me that they won't allow anyone else to attend them tho there are not many others to do it for Mother and Hennie have had a chill every third day since you were home. And Isabella, Caroline, and Martha are sick nearly all the time. Mother is getting very much reduced and unless she is more prudent and has medical aid I am afraid will not be well all winter. We have been trying to get some whiskey for bitters. Charlie T. said he would see if Mr. Calvin Goodloe would let us have some.
There was a man here today by the name of Clark, a soldier in Mouland's Batt., who lives in Burnsville, and says he will buy our cotton if we have it ginned and packed. I wouldn't agree on the price until Charlie came and told me if he would pay me ten cts. in gold to take it. I will do so if can arrange the ginning. Tom Carr was here yesterday. We were speaking of the cotton and he said he thought he could have it done. If I can see him again, I will try and arrange it with him. If I can't, perhaps I will compromise with Mr. Clark and he can take the responsibility and risk himself. If, of course, the man could make a good profit to buy at that price, but I believe it the best I can do. If I was stout and able, I would go down myself to see about it, but as it is will have to trust to the kindness of others. The cotton is not safe where it is, and I am willing to sacrifice a good deal to get something for it.
I haven't seen Ike since you were here though I presume he hunts squirrels and birds and has a fine time generally. I have sent him word several times to send your drawers. I know you must want them. Did you get your other clothes? I know you will not fare so comfortably this winter as last, and I believe we will have a more severe season. State if you continue to keep your health. You must feel thankful and endure the privations as a line soldier should.
I try to cheer my spirits and think the trouble will soon be over, but that hope is quickly fled. And I fall into the "Slough of Despond" again. It was a bitter, bitter drop in the cup of my unhappiness, my husband, that you should be so far removed from me with such little means of communication between us. I know I have been a favored one among thousands of wives, but I don't believe I could endure what many do. I feel almost sure that your reg't will not come back to No. Ala., yet you must not hesitate in getting a furlough when your duties will permit. I have a faint hope that you will come Christmas. Oh, if you only can!
Sunday Morn- Now, "dear Robin," I shall endeavor to finish my letter begin Friday night. Mr. Erwin came up yesterday and will be by here today so will send this by him, though he will not be going directly to you. I wish he was for then I might send your drawers. As it is will keep them here until a better opportunity if Ike sends them. Mr. E went down to Mr. Goodloe's last night to hunt his clothes and will get your things and bring here.
I dare say you will have a lonely time while the regt. is away, but I feel much better satisfied that you did not go for I would have many uneasy thoughts about you. As to getting nice things for us, you need not do it. For I am very well off for clothing, and goods are so dear where you are that you must not think of such a thing. Make yourself comfortable, and I shall be satisfied with what I have. The children will all need some shoes before the winter is out, but I guess they will be provided for in some way. We forgot their measures the morning you started to Russellville. If you could get some hairpins, good steel or silver thimble, a paper or two of needles about no. 5, 6, & 7, some black flap, and silk thread. I wouldn't care for you to trouble about bringing anything else. You know we have little use only for the necessaries of life.
Mr. E told me you had a new horse and wanted to send it to me. Whatever you do, don't do that. I have no use at all for a horse, and Mother would be very unwilling to have it here on account of the scarcity of corn.
Bro. Tom hasn't come yet. Sister will not expect him for about ten days. Dr. Desprez was so late in starting that her letter has not more than reached him. She is making preparations to accompany him back if he thinks best.
Mr. Sam Aldridge went to Eastport about two weeks ago since with a bale or two of cotton and to buy groceries, but did not return. He has gone to Louisville. Emma and his sisters are here yet. They say he will be back in a few days.
You must not fear, dear father, that your little girls will ever forget you. Not if you should stay many months from them. There is scarcely an hour in the day they are not speaking of you in most endearing terms particularly little Hallie. She talks much plainer than when you were here and frequently says she wants to see and kiss her "sweet father." That he has gone to "Sippi bottom." They are all healthy except colds. I think they have all fattened since you saw them.
I hope that I shall be able to pick up a few of my scattered roses before you come. Yet these will be no tonic equal to your presence to make me feel well again. I have taken a most dreadful cold, but have had no chill for several days. Mother is quite unwell today. She appears to get weaker every day.
All send their love and the children a thousand kisses. As for myself, dear darling husband, you know that my whole undivided heart is with you always. My love increases daily. And I constantly feel that my future would indeed be a dreary blank if it were not so intimately connected with you. Heaven bless and guard you safely through all temptations and dangers, my dear, my noble husband!
I have written you a long letter, but I know it will do you much good in your lonely camp, for I know, dear Robert, you love to hear from your wife and little ones often. I wish I had more chances of writing, but this is the first since you left. And I doubt if this reaches you until it gets pretty old. Write to me by every possible opportunity. I forgot to mention that the letter sent care of Wm. R. came safely yesterday. It seems hard to stop writing, but now I must indeed bid you goodbye. Come by Christmas if you can.
Sincerely and Affectionately your
Own dear wife Eliza
Mr. Erwin has come back from Mr. G's and brought two pair of your pants,
your India rubber cloth, and saddle bags with nothing in them. Don't know
where your shirts, socks, and drawers are, but Mr. E said some of your
things were at Mr. G's.