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 Belle Plain Landing, Virginia, December 24, 1862

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Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, from camp near Belle Plain Landing, Virginia, December 24, 1862, to his mother, Fidelia W. Cady (Mrs. Daniel Cady) of Rome, New York

PAGE IMAGECamp near Belle Plain Landing, Va. (Virginia) (Belle Plains, Virginia)
Dec. 24. 1862. Dear Mother (Cady, Daniel (Mrs., Fidelia W. Palmer)) (Cady, Fidelia W. (Mrs. Daniel Cady)) ,

Since Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) left for Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , I
have written to Eliza (Cady, Eliza) , & also to him, but haven't had time to
write home before now.- Last Friday we came to this place,
which is about 3 miles from Belle Plain Landing (Belle Plains, Virginia) , march-
ing about 10 miles. The roads in some places being quite
bad, our wagons did not get up with the Brigade that
night, so that we found ourselves without tents or blankets,
that is the officers.- It being quite cold, having hovered
around a fire until 9.30 P.M. Dr. Little (Little (Dr.)) & I started off to
find the wagons, going back about 2 miles, where we met
them, got out our blankets, & staid all night.- We hardly ex-
pected to remain here so long as we have, thinking that per-
haps we were destined to cross the Rappahannock (Rappahannock River, Virginia) at some point
lower down. But here we are, with immense bodies of
troops encamped about us in all directions, & all mak-
ing preparations for Winter Quarters. It doesn't seem as
if our Reg. or Brigade, or Div. or in fact, a large part of
the army was in a condition to make another advance,
& fight more battles this season, though we would cheer-
fully do so, with a good prospect of success, but the
failure of the present campaign, will render new plans
necessary, which will again necessitate a compara-
tively new organization, to accomplish which, would

PAGE IMAGE consume more time than now remains, before the bad,
rainy Season sets in. I presume we shall soon return
to the vicinity of Alexandria (Alexandria, Virginia) , as it would hardly be
necessary to remain at this distance from the great
Supply Depots, during the winter.- During three days past,
the weather has been quite moderate, being comfortable
without overcoats. Today I am sitting in my tent, writing,
without a fire. But there is a prospect of snow, & it
is growing colder.- We are getting along quite
well, in our mess, which now consist of Dr. Little (Little (Dr.)) ,
Lt. Col. Spoffard (Spofford (Lieutenant Colonel)) , Lt. Carpenter (Carpenter (Lieutenant)) & myself,- also Chaplain F. (F. (Chaplain)) when
he returns to the Reg. He has been at the Hospital assisting in
the care of the wounded, since the battle. I have
been out several times, among the neighbors, both
alone & in company with Lt. C. (C. (Lieutenant)) , exchanging coffee, su-
gar, molasses & c, for potatoes, turnips, chickens, meal,
milk &c. So that we have succeeded in obtaining quite
a variety of provisions, thus being enabled to “live up-
on the top shelf”, as we have an excellent cook.

While on the march, & perhaps bivouacking
for several days without tents & baggage, our fare
is often meager, & we content ourselves with raw
salt pork, & a cracker, with or without coffee; but
while in camp, we intend to live as well as possi-
ble, & generally do. A large share of the comfort &
satisfaction of camp life, is derived from this source.

Quite a number of promotions have lately
been made in the Reg., on the recommendations of

PAGE IMAGE Maj. Northup (Northrup, Charles (Major)) , before we left Md. (Maryland) (Maryland) - I supposed that
Col. Wheelock (Wheelock, Charles (Colonel)) had sent for my commission as 1st Lieut.
But he had not yet done so. He is now about to,
& also one for Alexander (Alexander, George (Lieutenant)) as 2d Lieut. to date
back to Sept. 25 the date of Warren (Warren) 's discharge.

My package has not come from Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) ,
- expect our Sutlers daily.- Christmas Eve.
Is at hand, with its tender & pleasant associations,
& happy home memories. Never before, I think,
have we been separated as now, on this oc-
casion.- It is a fruitful subject for contempla-
tion. Would that I were home again, as in former
years, to enjoy the Holiday Festivities. I see by
the Citizen, that they are to have a Christmas tree &
Exercises, as usual, at the M.E. Church, this evening.
Of course the occasion will be replete with interest
& pleasure; but if I were at home now, I should
prefer to remain at our own fireside. But
I must close, as it is supper time (we are to have
“pudding & milk) & the mail goes out in a few min.
Will send letter for the Citizen tomorrow. Write
soon & often. Love to Father (Cady, Daniel) , Grandmother & all
the children.

Your affectionate son Rush P. Cady (Cady, Rush Palmer (Lieutenant)) .


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