Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his grandmother of Rome, New York, from Headquarters 97th Reg. N.Y.V. near Brooks' Station, Virginia, December 8, 1862
D.C. (District of Columbia)
(Washington, District of Columbia)
DE [date unclear]
Headquarters 97th Reg. N.Y.V. (97th Regiment, New York)
near Brooks' Station, Va. (Virginia) (Brooks' Station, Virginia) Dec. 8th 1862.
Having occasion to write so soon again, af-
ter writing to Mother, I will now write to you.- Today is Tuesday,
& one of the most beautiful days, we have had for a long time.
It was very cold yesterday, & last night, but now, though the ground
remains frozen & covered with snow, it is not so cold as to be
uncomfortable without overcoats. All last night, & during
the day, troops have been moving towards Fredericksburg (Fredericksburg, Virginia) , both
artillery & Infantry,- the road, which is in plain sight from
our camp, being constantly full. As we have before in-
formed you, we have been under orders to be in readiness
to march at several diff't times, within the past few days;
& now, we are ordered to move tomorrow morning, &
I have no doubt we shall do so. The distance we expect to
go, is about 20 miles, which will occupy us about two days.
We are now making a few – necessary preparations for
the anticipated movement; such as buying provisions,- Sugar
coffee, pork, beans, rice &c, at the commissary's.- For din-
ner today, we had boiled pork & beans, apple-sauce, & boiled
rice with sugar,- a “bill of fare”, such as no one, especially a
Soldier, need complain of. On account of the very cold
weather, of the past few days, making it very uncomfortable
cooking & eating out of doors, as we always have, our mess,
which contained all the officers of the Reg. 16 (16th Regiment) in no. & three
cooks, has split up into smaller ones, of three or four
each; so that we cook & eat in our tents, which is much
more pleasant & satisfactory. “Our mess”, now consists of
Chaplain Ferguson (Ferguson (Chaplain)) , Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , Lieut. Carpenter (Carpenter (Lieutenant)) , & myself: about
as “select” a quartelle,- we flatter ourselves, as could be
organized into a mess.- We are at present somewhat in-
convenienced, by the lack of certain cooking utensils, & tin-
ware, but can get along very well, until we receive such
things as we yesterday sent to Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) for, by the Sutler (Sutler) s.
I sent after my valise again, & such articles, of little bulk,
as I most need; not having a suitable satchel to carry my
things in, Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) ' old one, which I have been using, being
nearly worn out. We have plenty of transportation for our
baggage, such as valise, blankets, “mess-kits”, tents, &c.
Some time ago, a “General Order” was issued by
the War Department (United States, War Department) , restricting the officers baggage, to what
I have mentioned,- as a good many had large trunks, camp-
stools &c. It also limited them to the small shelter tents, that
the men have, instead of the large & roomy wall tents, which
they have heretofore had. According to this Order, but three wall
tents were to be allowed to a Reg., for the use of the “Field & Staff”,
( Col. Lieut. Col. Major; Chaplain, Adjutant, Surgeon, Assistant Surgeons,
Quartermaster, &c), the Line officers,- Capt's & Lieuts, to have one
Shelter tent each; but, in our Reg. we still retain our wall
tents, of which we have seven. In our tent (which is about
10 feet square & as high, in the centre) there are four,- two Lieut's
besides me, & Sg't Alexander (Alexander, George (Lieutenant)) .- Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) received a letter
from Maj. Northup (Northrup, Charles (Major)) last night. I presume he will not return
to the Reg. in sometime, but make is visit as long as possible,
for which he could hardly be blamed, having stuck to the Reg.
so faithfully, through all its hard fought battles, & hard-
ships;- & there being now two Field officers left, in com-
mand,- which, with so few men, is quite enough.
The “call” has just sounded, for Dress Parade, & I must go
out, for few minutes.- I have just returned. It is growing colder.
We must have a good pile of wood chopped, for tonight. Gus- tavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) & the Chaplain have just gone to take a ride.- Of the boys in
our Co. whom you know, Douglass (Douglass) , Frisbie (Frisbie) , & Steadman (Steadman) , still
remain, & are well, though the last mentioned is a most shift-
less & slovenly specimen of humanity. Briggs (Briggs) , Wright (Wright) , Fitz- gerald (Fitzgerald) & others – absent in the Hospitals, have not been heard
from lately.- Alexander (Alexander, George (Lieutenant)) wants a pair of black leather gloves,
(lined), a pocket handkerchief, & a flannel nightcap, to sleep in.
You might send Ella (Cady, Ella) up to his house, to tell his wife, to get
them so as to send them in our package. In addition,
to what I have already sent for, I want a night cap,
to sleep in these cold nights (perhaps made of heavy blue flan-
nel); & also a black felt hat, worth about $3, or
$3.50. Mr. Kinney (Kinney (Mr.)) knows my size – about 6 x 7/8. You
might also enclose 1# Saleratus, a paper of black pepper,
& a pepper-box. Let there be a list of all the articles in
the box, with the prices attached, so that I may know
how to charge them.- Love to Mother (Cady, Daniel (Mrs., Fidelia W. Palmer)) (Cady, Fidelia W. (Mrs. Daniel Cady)) , Father (Cady, Daniel) , & all
the children, & present my kind regards to Louise S. (Sturdevant, Louise)
& Gussie P (Perry, Gus) ,- also Collins (Collins) , Smith (Smith) , &c. Hoping to hear
from home again soon, & that you will all
remain well, I will close.
Affectionately your grandson,
Rush P Cady (Cady, Rush Palmer (Lieutenant)) .