Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his mother, care of Mr. I.I. Yates of New York, New York, from Headquarters 97th Reg. N.Y.V. Mercerville, Maryland, October 14, 1862
D.C. (District of Columbia)
(Washington, District of Columbia)
OCT 17, 1862
The particulars of the late
successful rebel raid
into Pa. (Pennsylvania) (Pennsylvania) & their escape
through Md. (Maryland) (Maryland) Across the
Potomac (Potomac River) , which are today
rec'd, make it appear
a most disgraceful
affair. It was con-
fidently expected, that
they would all be
captured before they
could get back
into Va. (Virginia) (Virginia) Offi-
cers & men, ex-
press much dis-
at the result,
& inefficiency, in
the part of some
of our Camp's of-
R. C. (C., R.)
Will write again
in a day or two.
Headquarters 97th Reg. N.Y.V. (97th Regiment, New York)
Mercerville (Mercersville), Md. (Maryland) (Mercersville, Maryland) Oct. 14th ‘62Dear Mother (Cady, Daniel (Mrs., Fidelia W. Palmer)) (Palmer, Fidelia W. (Mrs. Daniel Cady)) , Evening –
As I commence writing, the Sergts
of each of the Co.s are calling the rolls, & the men
responding “here!” “here!”- “Tattoo” has just been
beaten all along the line. But it is only 8 o'c.-
It is required that there be three stated roll-calls
each day,- one of them at “tattoo”, which is thus
early to allow the men to retire seasonably.
Your letter & Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) ', of the 8th inst. were
received this forenoon. I had, for several days been
looking impatiently for letters from home. Our
mail arrangements are quite imperfect. The mail
is brought altogether – to Harpers FerryHarpers Ferry, West Virginia, from there to
Corps Headquarters, & thence to Division H'dq'rs, from
which each Brigade gets its own mail.
Last Sunday evening I wrote to Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , at
New=York (New York) (New York, New York) .- No change of consequence has
taken place since that time, except in the weather,
which today has been almost uncomfortably
warm. Yesterday & today we have had Bat-
talion Drills, which we had not had before
since leaving Waterloo, Va. (Virginia) (Waterloo, Virginia) - Of course Offi-
cers & men become pretty “rusty”, when so
long out of practice, but it doesn't take
long to recall the Drill.- In active service,
a Reg. may go for months perhaps, without
performing some movements, which might
be of vital importance in certain emergencies, un-
less practiced at regular Battalion Drills.
We feel the necessity of getting ourselves in
shape to make a good appearance before
the new recruits, which we expect to fill the
reg't, that is to set them a “good pattern,” & to
be prepared to drill them efficiently.
There has been another issue of clothing today,
in our Reg. It is of pretty good quality. The
men, of course, feel much better in their new
clothes, than when dirty, ragged & lousy in their
old ones.- The overcoat that I had last
winter,- the same that I brought home, must
have been burned up with a lot of clothing. Knap-
sacks, &c, when the army fell back from
Fairfax C.H. (Fairfax Court House) (Fairfax Court House, Virginia) - When I ret'd to the Reg. I succeeded in
getting another coat, though not a very good
one, which I today traded for a new & very
nice one, ( of felt cloth, heavy & well made) paying
$3.00 “to boot.” This I shall take good care
of, hoping to carry it home with me, “after
the war.” I have bought a very good
new uniform coat (frock) of one of our men- ( Hawkins (Hawkins) ,
from New-London (New London) (New London, New York) ) for $3.50 & a flask of brandy.
The jackets cost $5.43, & this coat is worth
considerably more. My best coat, which
is in excellent order, as good as new, I left
in Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , wearing my blouse. I am
now fully prepared with clothing for the winter,
with the exception of shirts, wrappers, drawers
& socks.- Tell Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) that he can buy a beautiful
sword, with steel scabbard, for $13. In
Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) . Capt. Parsons (Parsons (Captain)) has one. It is a “light
artillery” saber, similar to the Cavalry, only
shorter. Those best belts cost but 5 dolls.
I received a letter from Will Wright (Wright, William) ,
a few days ago. He was at the novitiate Hospi-
tal, Frederick City (Frederick, Maryland) , pretty sick, but improving.
He wanted his Descriptive List very much, so as to
draw some clothing. When he went away, he had
no pants on,- only drawers; & wrapped up in his
red blanket, he was at that time a “pitiful
looking object.”- I sent him several letters that
had come for him (once containing a silk handkerchief) & also
sent him $3, as he had no money, & didn't
know when he would get his pay.
Quite a no. of our men, absent in the Hos-
pitals, have sent for their Descriptive List, but as the Co.
Books are in Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , I cannot make them out.
Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) will have to attend to it when he comes
through. We shall probably not get
our pay before next month, it has run so long.
In 16 days more, we shall have to make out new
Pay Rolls, which will then be for 4 months.
The expenses of our mess- are very light:
about $2. per week, & we are living pretty well
too.- We have good bread & butter, tea, coffee, potatoes-
boiled & fried, fried eggs, fried onions, tomatoes,
boiled chickens, apple butter &c. “Apple but-
ter”, is a staple article in the South. It is very sim-
ilar to “boiled-cider-apple-sauce”, though stronger &
more like preserves. It is much used like butter.
presume Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) will have started for Washington (Washington, District of Columbia)
by the time you receive this. We shall all be glad
to welcome him back to the Reg. It is a good while since
I have heard from Eliza (Cady, Eliza) . Love to all.