Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his brother Gustavus, from Camp near Belle Plain Landing, Virginia, April 25, 1863
Camp near Belle Plains, Va. (Virginia) (Belle Plains, Virginia)
April 25th 1863. Dear Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) ,
It is some time since I have heard
from you,- the last letter was brought by Lieut. Hall (Hall (Lieutenant)) ,
and I answered it almost immediately, writing
on the 16th & 18th instants, respectively. I had expected
you out here before now, as I had no doubt of
your being able to get a pass readily. It is not prob-
able that we shall move in several days yet, on
account of the recent heavy rains; and why cant
you start for the Reg. without delay, and make
us a visit; staying as long as circumstances will
permit. Lieut. Brennan (Brennan (Lieutenant)) was here for a short time, a
few days ago; all were glad to see him,
& tried to render his stay pleasant.
Nothing of importance has transpired with us,
since I last wrote you. All the general news,
you are of course familiar with. The soldiers
have been considerably encouraged and animated,
by the reports of the successes of the Union Arms,
in various parts of the country, and of our escapes
from threatened disasters.
The Reg. was inspected this morning, making
a very good appearance. Our military discipline
is becoming more and more strict. We are held
To a more and more strict accountability, for the
performance of all our duties. And consequently,
our efficiency has been increased.
It does not seem likely, just now, that
a consolidation of our Reg. with the 104th (104th Regiment, New York) will
take place, as a majority of our officers prefer
to await the action of the War Dep’t (United States War Deparmtment), in regard
to the disposition to be made of reduced regts.
We prefer to be filled up by recruits, re-
taining our separate and distinct organization,
and our officers.- The most interesting
subject now agitating the public mind in this
vicinity, is the immediate prospect of getting our
pay! The Pay Rolls were sent to us, this morning,
and are already signed. The Pay Master, Maj. Hapgood (Hapgood (Pay Master General))
is this afternoon paying off the 11th Pa. (11th Regiment, Pennsylvania)
and will pay us tomorrow morning. Our
newly promoted officers will not draw
pay from the date of their commissions, where
they have been mustered back, but only from
the date of their having acted in the capacity of
officers, and been so reported upon the Regimental
Returns. This decision disappoints the con-
fident expectations of a no. of officers, & throws
them out of considerable pay. Aleck (Alexander, George (Lieutenant)) is one
of them, drawing pay as 2d Lieut. only from the
1st Dec. instead of Sept. 24th as he expected.
We have had a good deal of rain farther (for the)
past ten or twelve days, but today it is quite
pleasant, though windy, the soil rapidly drying
Daly (Daly) and Carrall (Carrall)
were taken off to a Hosp. several days since.
Stephens (Stephens) escaped from the guard placed over
him, a few days ago, & no trace of him has
yet been found. His sentence was read on
Press Parade last eveg. He was found guilty
of all the charges and specifications, and was
sentenced : to forfeit all pay and allowances
due, or to become due from the U.S.; to be branded
upon the hip with the letter “D”, 2 ½ inches long,
to mark during the remainder of his time of
service, on the fortifications of Washington,
in charge of the Provost Marshall, and at
the expiration of his period of enlistment, to have
his head shaved, and be drowned out of
the service. But “the bird has flown”.
I received a very interesting letter from Joe (Joe)
Warren (Warren) , a short time since. He has called at the
Yates (Yates) ’ once or twice, and had engaged to take din-
ner there on last Tuesday morning I sent home
a letter for the citizen, in which I gave an account
of the presentation of the Caukling Banner, to our
Reg., of the review of the 1st A.C. (1st A.C.) by Pres. Lincoln (Lincoln, Abraham) ,
&c. I directed a copy to be sent Mrs. Menden- hall (Mendenhall (Mrs.)) , which you will see.
Hill (Hill (Mrs.)) will probably go to Washington tomorrow
as she would have gone sooner, had the weather
permitted. Lieut. Watters (Watters (Lieutenant)) ’ application for “Leave
of absence” was returned “disapproved,” I know
not shy (why). I must write a letter home
this afternoon, and will therefore close.
Give my regards to Mr. & Mrs.
Mendenhall (Mendenhall (Mrs.)) ,
and do not fail to come and see me, as
soon as possible; at any rate write.