Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his parents of Rome, New York, from Washington, District of Columbia, August 28, 1862

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Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his parents of Rome, New York, from Washington, District of Columbia, August 28, 1862

PAGE IMAGE WASHINGTOND. C. (District of Columbia) (Washington, District of Columbia)   Aug. 28 '62. Dear Parents,

I know you will be somewhat
surprised to receive a letter from me, dated at
Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) . I have been here a week now, having
been sick with the Jaundice,- my whole body
for some time being as yellow as saffron.

For a couple of weeks before I left the
Reg. (which was on Wed. the 19th, since which time
I have neither seen Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , nor heard from
him.) I had the diarrhea very badly, & it
was very fatiguing for me to march. For the
space of about a week before I left, I had
no appetite to eat anything, except perhaps oc-
casionally a little beef or veal broth, which
we did not often have. So that, with lying
on the ground, exposed to heavy dews, & with
no covering, perhaps having a single blanket &
perhaps not, you will not be surprised that
I became sick. Joe (Joe) had been taken sick
nearly two weeks before, at the time we left


PAGE IMAGEWaterloo (Waterloo, Virginia) , & we knew nothing of his whereabouts.
So it seemed very hard for me to be obliged
to leave Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , with so much on his hands,
But he was in pretty good health & spirits.

I believe I wrote you of affairs up to Tuesday
morning after the battle of Cedar  Mountain. We then marched 4 or 5 miles
further, as the rebels had fallen back, &
pitched our camp within about ¾ of a mile
from the Rapidan River. This was on Thurs-
day, I think. Here we remained till Mon-
day, when that famous retreat commenced.
I was entirely unable to march, but rode
in an ambulance all the way.- On Tues-
day night, at a late hour, we crossed
the Rapahannock  bridge. It is a tremen-
dous bridge, very large & very high.
Within a short distance of the river they
encamped. The next day (Wed.) early
in the afternoon, orders came to pack
up & be ready to march, as the rebels were
close by. All who were sick & unable
to march were taken in ambulances


PAGE IMAGE about a mile & a half to the rear, where
we slept in an old house, on the floor,
that night. The next day, (Thurs.) There was
heavy artillery firing along the Rappahannock (Rappahannock River)
we could plainly see the smoke, & sometimes
could hear the hum of the shells. The
sound of the firing, of course was plain.
Early in the afternoon the sick, after un-
dergoing a thorough medical examination, some were
sent back to their regiments, & the rest
taken to Bealmont Station (Belmont Station, Virginia) , about 4 miles
from the Rapahannock  bridge, to be brought
to Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) . We started that night, lying
on the floor of a dirty freight car, jolting
all night, & arriving at Washington> (Washington, District of Columbia) about
9 oc. A.M. Frid. Crossing the Potomac (Potomac River) by the
Long  bridge. Several officers were aboard
the train;- officers & privates were a dirty,
rough looking set of fellows, all of whom
had seen a good deal of exposure & hard-
ship.- Soon after our arrival, a good
many ladies, from private houses near
PAGE IMAGE 4
by, came to the cars, & furnished all the soldiers
with refreshments, consisting of biscuits, & bread &
butter, cheese, tea, coffee, milk &c. free
of charge. They were very kind indeed.
I accepted an invitation, with three other
officers, to go to a private house, & be taken
care of, as we did not wish to go to a
hospital. I was attended by a private phys-
ician, four or five days, but got out on
Monday, & came down town to see if
I could find Joe (Joe) , at Mrs. Bannerman (Bannerman (Mrs.)) 's
Boarding House, 447 Pa. Av., where the of-
ficers of our Reg. (97th Regiment, New York) have always stopped.
I did find him, & day before yesterday,
(Wed.) I came here myself to stay. Joe (Joe)
had been pretty sick, but when I first
saw him, & now he is getting along nicely.
Both he & Capt. Hutchinson (Hutchinson (Captain)) (of our Reg.) who staid (stayed)
with him, had the Yellow Jaundice.

I was pretty sick for a short time,
but soon rallied, & am now steadily on
the gain, though my back is very weak,
& I am very much reduced in flesh.


PAGE IMAGE It may be three weeks before I get strong
enough to return to the Reg. & may be, if
I am careful I can go in two.-

You must have been anxious to
hear from us for the past week, there
has been so much fighting going on.-
I cant tell you anything about Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) ,
having heard nothing at all from the
Reg.- As soon as I do hear, I will let you
know. I presume they have been fighting.
I am at a loss to account for the suc-
cess of the late rebel raids upon Cat-
lett's (Catletts, Virginia), Manassass (Manassas) (Manassas, Virginia) & Centreville (Centreville) . The rebels
have destroyed the R.R. & telegraph about
Manassas (Manassas, Virginia) , so that Gen. Pope (Pope, John (General)) 's supplies
must have been cut off & we get
little or no news except through couriers.
Last night, a cavalry captain reported
that Jackson (Jackson) had got between Manassas (Manassas, Virginia)
& Fairfax C. H. (Fairfax Court House, Virginia) with 20,000 men, & had
sworn he would take dinner in Washington (Washington, District of Columbia)
on Sunday. Rebel guerilla parties were


PAGE IMAGE 6 reported to have been within 14 miles of Alexandria (Alexandria, Virginia)
But we dont know what to believe, reports are
so confused & contradictory. No mail has
gone to our Reg. for some days now. I be-
lieve there is no direct communication between
here & there. So direct your letters & papers
to me & I can send them by the mail car-
rier, (who is now here) as soon as he goes.
I am very anxious to hear from home, to
know how you all are, & what is going on.
I saw the U. Heralds of Mond. & Tuesday, from
which I learn that the excitement in Rome (Rome, New York)
& Utica (Utica, New York) is very great. Jesse Armstrong (Armstrong, Jesse) & Vern Jewell (Jewell, Vern)
getting up Co.s. Ed. Wardwell – Lieut. (Wardwell, Edward)
with Capt. H. H. Curran (Curran, H.H. (Captain)) .   Bailey (Bailey) at Wampsville (Wampsville, New York) ,
at a meeting addressed away others, by
Rev. Mr. Mikels (Mikels (Reverend Mr.)) , “speaking at some length, ex-
pecting the young men to go with him to the
defense of the country”, & enlisting several on
the spot. All these items were fraught with
the greatest interest to we, & spoke volumes
of the intense enthusiasm reigning. Is Bailey (Bailey)
raising a Co., & does Ben (Ben) . Or Dan (Dan) . leady start?
& who has enlisted in Rome (Rome, New York) ? Please send
me the U. Herald, while I remain in Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) ;
let Eliza (Cady, Eliza) get some of the self-sealing stamped

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