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 of the 97th Reg. N.Y.V. near Belle Plains, Virginia, April 14, 1863
Camp of the 97th Reg. N.Y.V. (97th Regiment, New York Volunteers)
near Belle Plains, Va. (Virginia) (Belle Plain, Virginia)
April 14th 1863. Dear Mother,
It is several days since I have rec'd any
letters from home; I expected one tonight. Your last was
dated the 5th inst.- Today we received orders to be ready
to march at 8 o'c. A.M. tomorrow, though we hardly ex-
pect to go at that time. This morning we packed
up all superfluous clothing (the men being allowed
to carry but one shirt, one pr. Drawers, 2 prs. socks,
& one blanket in their knapsacks) in boxes, which are
to be sent to Alexandria (Alexandria, Virginia) .
Orders were received today, requiring the men
to carry three days rations in Haversack, & five days rations
in their knapsacks, in all eight days rations, besides
60 round of cartridges, which will make a heavy
load. The officers have been buying provisions
this afternoon, which are to be carried on the mules.
We expect to be away from the wagons for the
next eight days at least.
Officers must carry everything they require for
that length of time, the same as the men, with
the exception of small rations & shelter tents.
The intention is, doubtless to cross the
river as soon as possible, & press on to Richmond (Richmond, Virginia) ;
desperate fighting is expected. It was re-
ported at Div. Hdqrs towards night, that the 6th Army Corps (6th Army Corps)
crossed today above Kelley's Ford (Kelly's Ford, Virginia) , and
that there had been hard fighting up there.
A general Hospital has been es-
tablished today, at or near Acquia Creek Landing (Aquia Creek, Stafford County, Virginia) ,
& tomorrow morning, all that cannot
march are to be taken away,- those not likely
to recover within three weeks, to be sent to Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) ,
the rest to the Acquia Hops.
The orders are very strict, for the pre-
vention of Straggling,- officers to be held
strictly accountable, men to be promptly & severe-
ly punished.- Those Reg.ts, in which straggling
is tolerated, shall not have leaves of absence
Hill (Hill (Mrs.)) came from
Washington (Washington, District
day, bringing my coat with her. She had some
trouble with the man Pratt (Pratt, Nathaniel) ; took him along
with her to Philada (Philadelphia) (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) , but there he became sep-
arated form her, & she could not find
him. He had her satchel, containing a good
many things. She kept his papers (Discharge
papers, without which, a soldier is liable to be ar-
rested as a deserter.) not trusting him with
them. This aft. I received notice “that $2.60
had been paid, for fare to Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) of Nathaniel Pratt (Pratt, Nathaniel) , a
Straggler from your Co.” This is provoking.
Mrs. Hill (Hill (Mrs.)) will try to find him, when she re-
turns to Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) . I think I told
you that I had sent my valise & some ar-
ticles to Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , & had got a small satchel,
in its stead.
You will remember that I lost two shirts
awhile ago, & you sent me another. That
one was stolen just before dark, tonight, while
hanging out to dry. It is very unfortu-
nate, as it was an excellent shirt, large
& nice, & the only home-made one I had
left. I am now reduced to tow (two) miserable
gov't shirts. Tonight I received a
letter from Mrs. Mendenhall (Mendenhall (Mrs.)) , written this
morning. She says the report is there, that
the army of the Potomac (Army of the Potomac) is to move tomorrow;
that the news from Gen. Foster (Foster, John Gray (General)) , in N.C (North Carolina) (North Carolina) seems
very unfavorable (the reinforcements sent
to him having been driven back) & that the peo-
ple are depressed and anxious. She says
Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus) will try to come to the Reg. soon,
but thinks it doubtful about his being able
to get a pass, as they are very strict.
The order come today, for the con-
solidation of the Reg. into 5 Co.s, which will
probably be effected in short order. If
I though (thought) there was a reasonable prospect
of my being mustered out, I would make
An effort to that end, but it will be no
use. Not that I am tired of a military life,
war that I am anxious to escape the perils of the
coming campaign, though I know it will
be a bloody one. If I can be of more ser-
vice than some other one who may be mus-
tered out instead of me, then I am content to
remain, & do my best; but as long as several
officers are to be mustered out at any rate, I
feel that I would like to be of the number.
However, I ought to be thankful, that I am count-
ed worthy to continue in the glorious work
And I am no better than others, that I should
not participate in the hardships & sufferings & per-
ils, which are involved in its accomplishment.
I must write to
Eliza (Cady, Eliza)
& Gus- tavus (Palmer, Gustavus) – early
in the morning (as I rise at 6) so good
night, dear Mother, and may God grant us a
happy re-union, ere long. Love to Father, Grand-
mother & all the children.I answered your
last letter, a the 11th I think,- will write again soon.
I intend to write a short letter to the Citizen in a day or
two- tomorrow, if we do not move.