Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his mother of Rome, New York, from Camp near West Mountain, Culpepper C. W?. Virginia, August 13, 1862
Headquarters 97th Reg. N.Y.V. (97th Regiment, New York)
Camp near West Mountain (West Mountain, Virginia)
(5 ½ miles S.W. of Culpepper C.H.Va. (Virginia)Culpepper Courthouse, Virginia
Aug. 13th 1862.
I have time to write only
a few lines, but will not miss the oppor-
tunity. We have been here since Saturday
night, when we came up, expecting to en-
gage in the battle. We expect to move
today. Our wagons just came up last
night, with tents & baggage. Until then,
since last Friday we had been lying
upon the ground, without blankets or cov-
erings; a little straw to lie upon, is at
such times a great luxury.- The
battle of Cedar Mountain (Cedar Mountain, Culpepper County, Virginia) , on Sat.
was one of the most Sanguinary of
the war, in comparison to the number
engaged. The losses on both sides
were very heavy,- variously estimated
at from 1000 to 2500, in killed
wounded & missing, on our side.
But you will see accounts of the battle.
The rebels had the advantage of posi-
tion, being posted upon higher ground
than our troops. They held the battle
ground, granting a flag of truce on
Monday, for us to bury our dead.
I was over a portion of the field
early in the afternoon. It was a
horrible sight, to see the dead laying
strewn over the ground, as they
fell; now bloated & discolored,
from exposure to the sun.
Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , in his letter spoke
of the artillery engagement in
the evening, after we came up.
The shells & solid shot flew close
over our heads; one man in our
Reg. was struck by a piece of a shell,
& several others in regiments close
by us. But the rebel battery which
fired on us was soon silenced
by Capt. Thomson (Thomson (Captain)) 's Rhode Island (Rhode Island)
Battery, which our Brigade sup-
ported.- Eleven horses of the
rebel battery were killed, as I my-
self saw, on Monday, also a good
many men & some officers, as we
were informed by the rebels them-
selves that there were two Brigades
of the rebels just in rear of it.
I conversed with a number of
the rebels, while the flag of truce
lasted, as our men & theirs, while
burying the dead, conversed freely
with each other.- Gen's SiegelSigel, Franz (General)'s,
Ranks & MacDowell (McDowell, Irvin (General)) 's forces are about
here, altogether forming a very large
army,- perhaps 100,000 men. Troops
are moving in all directions constantly,
I never saw so many before.
back to the Shenandoah valley (Shenandoah Valley) , but
our Cavalry followed them up & held
them back. It is said that Burn- sideBurnside is in their rear & has cut off
their retreat. I hope that we shall
soon have him completely whipped
& disposed of. Then Richmond (Richmond, Virginia)
will soon be ours & the greater part
of the fighting will be over. How
glad we will all be to get home
again. This is an exceedingly hard
life. A great part of the time
the men have nothing but hard
crackers & coffee & the officers
frequently have to fare like the
men.- When we left Waterloo (Waterloo, Virginia)
Joe Warren (Warren, Joe) was sick & we had
to leave him behind. He has since
resigned.- I will try to write
for the Citizen & send a little tomorrow.
But it is time for the mail to
close. Love to all the folks.
Your affectionate son
Rush P. Cady (Cady, Rush Palmer (Lieutenant)) .