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 of the 97th Reg. N.Y.V. near Belle Plains, Virginia, April 10, 1863
Camp of the 97th Reg. N.Y.V. (97th Regiment, New York Volunteers)
near Belle Plains, Va. (Virginia) (Belle Plains, Virginia)
April 10th 1863. Dear Mother,
I received your letter of the 5th inst.
inclosing Grandmothers, by last evening's mail. Its words
of good cheer were very encouraging; and although
I do not allow myself to become down hearted or de-
spondent, my inward spirit and satisfaction is al-
ways strengthened by the counsels & tidings from home.
You hope that I will form no bad hab-
its while in the Army, and that I may return home
no worse morally, at least, than when I came away.
I have endeavored to bear in mind your admonitions,
& have neither become profane nor intemperate.
There is little danger of my becoming addicted to the use
of profane language, I think, as a detest the habit.
I have just written to Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , thinking he
must be in Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , as you said he would probably
start from New York (New York) for Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , on Tuesday. Unless he can
come to the Reg. I shall not be able to see him, as there is
no hope of getting a leave of absence just now, there being
no chance open. I should be sorry to miss seeing him.
Yesterday our Corps was reviewed by the President (Lincoln, Abraham (President of the United States)) , on
a large plain, upon the River, about a mile below the
Landing, & about 4 miles from our camp. We started
about 7 o'c. A.M. taking with us dinner rations, & ar-
riving upon the ground at about 10 o'c; but it was
some time longer before the other Brigades had formed
upon the lines. The Review itself commenced at 2 o'c.
a salute of 21 guns being fired. The Corps, composed
of 12 Brigades, and three Divisions, was formed
in two lines, the regts being in close column of
divisions (presenting a front of only two Co.s) & about 12 paces
apart. The Pres. (Lincoln, Abraham (President of the United States)) accompanied by Gen. Hooker (Hooker, Joseph (General)) & his Staff,
rode up to the right & down in front of the first line,
the bands playing, colors dipping, and each Brigade in
turn presenting arms, then riding back in the rear,
and in like manner down in front & up in rear
of the second line; afterwards taking his place in front
of the lines, all the troops passed in Review, marching
in close column of divisions. They were at least an
hour in marching past, there being from 15 to 20.000
troops. Pres. Lincoln (Lincoln, Abraham (President of the United States)) was accompanied by his wife
and son, the former riding in a carriage, & the
latter upon horseback. The Pres. (Lincoln, Abraham (President of the United States)) was plainly dressed,
but appeared quite dignified. He looked much jaded
and careworn, though his eye was clear, & seemed
to take in everything. Ours was the first Brigade
to pass in Review, & of course the whole immense col-
umn was in our rear. Crossing a hill, which over-
looked the entire field, what an imposing & magnificent
spectacle was presented! All these thousands of troops
upon the march; bands playing, ensigns floating upon
the breeze, & their burnished weapons glistening in
the sunlight! It was a sight to be long remembered.
The weather was very fine, & exceedingly favorable
for the occasion. Day before yesterday, the Pres. (Lincoln, Abraham (President of the United States))
reviewed four Corps together, near Falmouth (Falmouth, Virginia) , there
being in all more than 50.000 men, some say 60.000.
Several of our officers witnessed it, & upon their re-
turn, gave glowing accounts thereof.
Our Reg. was “mustered” this morning, in com-
pliance with the order for a Gen. Muster of all the troops
on the 10th inst.-
An order came this afternoon, for the consolidation of all
Regts of less than 500 men, into 5 Co.s, Col's, Maj's &
one Ass't Surg. to be mustered out, as also the super-
numerary Line officers, those to be retained having been
selected by Corps and Div. Commander's, for their effic-
iency. Whether this order will prevent our con-
solidation with the 104th (104th Regiment) , we do not yet know, but rather
think it will.- The health of our men is very good
and their spirits excellent. I think the discipline
of this whole army, was never at so high a point
as now. The mail has just now come, bring-
ing a letter from Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , at Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , where
he arrived on Monday last. His letter is dated the
7th inst. He has obtained a Med. Cert. for 15 days long-
er. Says he will try to visit the Reg. I hope he will,
as I shall not be able to see him otherwise.
That fellow who robbed the mails, has
not yet been punished, but he must be, or there
will be great complaint made. Col. Wheelock (Wheelock, Charles (Colonel) ) is now
absent, but when he returns, the case must be proper-
ly attended to. Was sorry to learn of Grandmoth-
er's ill health, & of Collins (Collins) severe sickness. There is little
sickness here now. As for shelter tents, when we
come to march I am sure I shall get along very
well with them, having had considerable experience,
in bivouacking without any tents whatever.
We are pretty busy now, with Inspections, Re-
views, Drills &c, besides making out Returns, Rolls, &c.
I have about all the work of the Co. to do, that is the
drilling & account keeping. Lieut. Alexander (Alexander, George (Lieutenant)) having been
unwell for several days; but my health is good, & I like
to work. It is becoming late & I must close. With love
to all, I remain
I enclosed a brief letter to Willie (Cady, William G.) , as I know that he
has long expected one.