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 near "Fitzhugh Mansion", Virginia, May 16, 1863
In Camp near “Fitzhugh Mansion”, Va. (Virginia) (Fitzhugh Mansion, Virginia)
Saturday, May 16th. 1863. Dear Mother (Cady, Daniel (Mrs., Fidelia W. Palmer)) :
I send you a small package
of documents, which I picked up in a de-
serted house, about three fourths of a mile
from our camp. They will be interesting as
mementoes of Secession. Some of them are pretty
old as you see; one of them dating “Feb. 1792”.
Please preserve them, for my cabinet.
The house was a very fine one, of bricks,
& ample size. The grounds immediately
surrounding are beautiful, though appa-
rently long neglected. Thousands of snow-
ball bushes were in bloom, as well as
horse chestnuts, honeysuckles, and the flow-
er which I enclose. I should call it a yellow
rose. Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , Maj. N- (Northrup, Charles (Major)) , Chaplain F. (F. (Chaplain)) Lieut. Murphy (Murphy (Lieutenant))
& I walked over there together this
morning, returning a few minutes ago.
It is a lovely day, the air be-
ing cool & the sky clear.
I received your letter of the 12th inst.
(inclosing one from Grandmother to Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) ) last
evening. You seem to think we have
again crossed the Rappahannock (Rappahannock River) , and
are advancing towards Richmond (Richmond, Virginia) , & per-
haps fighting battles, “the 1st Corps (1st Corps) being
in the advance”. You could not be more
wide of the mark; we have not been aware
of another movement of the Army of the Potomac (Army of the Potomac)
across the River, though we have
read the news in the papers,- as we get them
now about every day. When we do cross
again, there will be more hard fighting,
as the rebs have given evidence that they
will dispute our passage, to the last ex-
tremity. I think you will make
up your mind, that newspaper reports are
very unreliable, “before taken, to be well
shaken” (so as to separate the wheat from the chaff) and
then “cum grana salis”: with a grain of al-
lowance.- You say you have
not heard from me since the 1st inst.
But you probably received mine of the
10th by the 15th inst. (as I sent it to Eliza (Cady, Eliza) ,
to be forwarded to you) & Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) ' of the same
date – by the 14th. On Thursd. I wrote to
Grandmother & Ella (Cady, Ella ) (No. 23) & also to
Eliza (Cady, Eliza) . I have been more at leisure
within a few days, having time to read or
write, at my pleasure. We drill about
four hours a day; rise at daylight. First –
“police” the camp, then breakfast, then drill
from 6 ½ to 8 ½ A.M. Guard mounting at 9 &c.
Drill again from 4 to 6 P.M. Then Dress Pa-
rade.- I understand that a number
of heavy siege guns & mortars have been
brought from Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) – intended for
shelling the rebs out of their fortifica-
tions and off from the Heights.
We do not know when we shall
resume the agressive. All is “quiet along
the lines”, at present. Yesterday morning
at day light, we were again ordered to pack
up & be under arms, ready to march at
a moments warning. We did so, think-
ing, it must be a “sure thing” this time,
but we kept on waiting, & here we
still remain. It seems to have been
a false report, which gave rise to the
order, the pickets of Wadsworth (Wadsworth) s Div. (Wadsworths Division)
reporting that the rebs were crossing
below. Love to all.
Your Son, Rush P. Cady (Cady, Rush Palmer (Lieutenant)) .