Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his father of Rome, New York, from Camp of the 97th Reg. N.Y.V. near Belle Plains, Virginia, April 4, 1863
Camp of the 97th Reg. N.Y.V. (97th Regiment, New York)
near Belle Plains, Va. (Virginia) (Belle Plains, Virginia)
April 4th, 1863. Dear Father (Cady, Daniel) ,
Since receiving your letter, I have written
once to Mother (Cady, Daniel (Mrs., Fidelia W. Palmer)) , & should have written again sooner,
had I not been so busy with military affairs.
Night before last I received letters from Mother (Cady, Daniel (Mrs., Fidelia W. Palmer)) & Gus- tavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) , which of course were very welcome.
I am well aware that your time is closely occupied
with business, & can readily excuse for not writing
oftener; indeed I have not expected you to do so;
though it always affords me sincere gratification to
receive letters from you, which I prize so highly.
I would have been glad to get
mustered out, in the event of consolidation, & made
a strong effort to have it so arranged. But my object
in so doing was not to leave the Service finally, but
rather for the purpose of returning home for a time, &
afterwards to secure a position, if possible, in some new
Reg. as I have before said. I have hardly felt wil-
ling to leave the Army without adequate cause, & sub-
ject myself to the chance of a draft. Now that I am
elected to stay, I feel well enough satisfied; the
more so, since both you & Mother (Cady, Daniel (Mrs., Fidelia W. Palmer)) have advised
me to remain, unless I could be content to come
home & stay.- Quite a number of the officers had
no choice, in regard to going or staying, as the Col.
insisted on their remaining with the Reg, saying that
their services could not well be dispensed with.
I am glad to know that the Col. considers
me faithful & efficient in the performance of my
duties, as he has repeatedly & in various ways
given me to understand that such is his opinion
of me. Being the only Collegian in the Reg. many
things pertaining to literature are referred to me,
and where there are resolutions to be gotten up,
or any thing of that nature called for, I am expected
to take a leading part. I do not speak of these
things boastingly, as I am conscious that there is no
occasion, but in order to give you an idea of my
pleasant circumstances & satisfactory relations in
the Reg. I am deeply sensible of my numerous deficiencies,
and must of course be thankful for whatever ability
I may possess, to render myself useful to the cause
in which I am engaged, & to gain the esteem &
good will of those with whom I am associated.
The consolidation of the 104th (104th Regiment, New York) with our Reg.
has not yet been effected, & to my mind, there is some
doubt of its being accomplished at all; as we rec'd
an order from the War Dep't (United States War Department) yesterday, requiring a Gen.
Muster of all the troops, to be made on the 10th insf.; the
Muster Rolls to be sent to the Provost Marshall Genl., thus
ascertaining the no. of men required to fill all the
Reg'ts up to their full complement.
Day before yesterday our Division was re-
viewed by Gen. Hooker (Hooker, Joseph (General)) . The day was rather an un-
favorable one, as the wind blew a perfect hur-
ricane, raising clouds of dust. I never had seen
Gen. Hooker (Hooker, Joseph (General)) before. He is a noble looking man, of
a very ruddy complexion, which item of his ap-
pearance, gave rise to the remark, that it must have
cost some money to get up such a color”, intimating
that he had been imbibing freely of expensive liquors.
Of course there are many stories told to the discredit
of Gen. Hooker (Hooker, Joseph (General)) , but they are as often contradicted,
& not much credited.
It is not generally believed that any definite time
is decided upon, for the movement of this army,
but that it is to be dependent upon circumstances. There
are rumors of the evacuation of Virginia (Virginia) by the rebels, &
their withdrawal to Chattanooga (Chattanooga, Tennessee) ; which would of course
necessitate a complete of our plans of campaign.
Last night & this morning a tremendous snow storm
(for this season) has been in progress,- the snow falling to
an average depth of 6 inches. At the same time there
has been considerable wind, & the weather quite cold.
The roads were yesterday in excellent condition,
& will soon be all right again, no doubt.
I am glad you find many encouraging
indications of an improvement in the popular feelings &
sentiments, regarding the prosecution of the war.
The feeling of the Army has been, & continues to be ex-
ceedingly bitter against the Copperheads, for their treasonable
utterances & actions; as witness the numerous resolutions
emanating from all parts of the army, unanimously
adopted by officers & men, having for their object, the strong-
est condemnation & abhorence of the course pursued by the Northern Copper-
I hope to be able to get a furlough, in the course of a
month or so, as the system has again been put in opera-
tion. Neither of the officers who first went away from our
Reg. on furlough, have yet ret'd, but one has forwarded
a med. Cert. which allows an opportunity for one other to go.
It is expected that the other officer will be dismissed,
as he deserves, if he has not already been.
I feel more than ever anxious for the speedy & success-
ful issue of the war, desiring as I do to return home & cooperate
with you in those plans, which I perceive you have formed, re-
specting myself; feeling answered, as I do, that a future of useful-
ness, & of high endeavor, is open before me, which can hardly
fail of its reallization, if I but prove myself worthy of the benefits
which you have conferred upon me, & profit by your example &