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 On picket near Fletcher's Chapel, Virginia, January 24, 1863

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Letter written by Rush P. Cady, lieutenant in the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, from near Fletcher's Chapel, Virginia, January 24, 1863, to his mother, Mrs. Daniel Cady (Fidelia W. Palmer), of Rome, New York


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through the earnest & faithful cooperation
of officers & men, we might deal them a
crushing blow.- You have, of course, read
the order. It was well received. The non-
payment of many of the troops was a cause of some
grumbling & dissatisfaction. That night,
soon after halting, which was some time after
dark, it commenced raining, & continued
most of the night. Alek (Alexander, George (Lieutenant)) & I had very lit-
tle shelter,- nothing but a couple of pieces of
tent spread upon the lowest limbs of a tree,
under which we laid our blankets, covering
them with rubber blankets; but the wind
blew very hard, so that our coverings availed
but little, & when we got up in the morning,
our blankets were sopping wet, & all the
more burdensome to carry. I had two of
them, & was pretty heavily loaded. Alek (Alexander, George (Lieutenant)) did
not sleep a wink that night, but I slept &
rested quite well, having a happy faculty
of sleeping in spite of discomfort & adverse
circumstances. On Wednesday morning the
march was resumed, through rain & mud;
PAGE IMAGE 5
& before I had time to get my breakfast,
but while jogging along, I proceeded to
eat some crackers, & bailed beans, in
a pail. We did not go more than three or
four miles, when we halted & encamped in
an oak wood, within about 2 miles of
the river, as before stated.- The Sixth Ar-
my (Army) Corps (6th Army Corps) (of Franklin's Grand Division (Grand Division of Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin) (Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin's "Grand Division")) as well
as one Div. of our Corps, were ahead of us.
It no sooner became understood that we
were to remain there during the day & night,
than the chopping of timber commenced,
& “whack”, & “crash” it contin-
ued throughout that & the succeeding day,
until when we left, there were compar-
atively few trees left standing.- Lieut.Car-
penter (Carpenter) (Carpenter (Lieutenant)) , had given out that morning, after the
rain, being suddenly & sorely afflicted with
rheumatism, though we all thought it was
pretended, so that he left the Reg. & went
to a private house. It was expected that
we would cross the river immediately, &
that a fight was about to take place, & his
PAGE IMAGE Resolution, “never to go into another fight”,
accounts for the proceeding referred to.
Gen. Taylor (Taylor, Nelson (General)) was taken sick, so that the
command of the Brigade devolved upon
Col. Wheelock (Wheelock, Charles (Colonel)) , who still retains it. Lt. Col.
Spofford (Spofford (Lieutenant Colonel)) was also taken sick on Wednesday,
& went to a private house, & that night
his house was stolen from him. The Chap-
lain's (Chaplain's)'s horse & accoutrements, were stolen
a few days after the battle of Fred (Fredericksburg) (Fredericksburg, Virginia) Battle of Fredericksburg (Virginia). While he
was at the Hosp. when Gustavus (Palmer, Gustavus M. (Captain)) was; but
on Tuesday, he was found, harnessed
to an ambulance, & there being a number
of our Reg. at hand, who identified the
horse, they unhitched, unharnessed &
led him off, almost “in a jiffy”, before
much opposition could be made.
The Chaplain was, of course, overjoyed.
Capt. Parsons (Parsons (Captain)) , Co. B. (Company B) did command the
Reg. but Col. Spofford (Spofford (Lieutenant Colonel)) has since returned.
You have no idea how terribly bad
the roads were. Six mule teams would
sometimes get set, with empty wagons.
PAGE IMAGE 7
Artillery could hardly be moved,
with 18 horses; the pontoons were
far behind, & could get no further.
It was almost impossible to get rations
to the men, taking very light loads; indeed
the army of the Potomac (Army of the Polomac) was literally
“stuck in the mud”. Those who went back, on
Wednesday, over the roads we had come, said they were
completely blocked up. We and horses & mules were all along.
In one instance, six mules, hitched to one wagon,
were every one dead, & half buried in the mud, with
their harness on.- The intention was to throw across
bridges at a point 5 miles above Falmouth (Falmouth, Virginia) , & at another
point about 10 miles above, called Kelley's Ford (Kelly's Ford, Virginia) .
Gen. Heintzelman (Heintzelman, Samuel Peter (General)) , with 40,000 troops from the de-
fenses of Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) , was to act in the Reserve, &
Sigel (Siegl) , Sumner (Sumner) , HookerHooker & FranklinFranklin, were all to
cross & advance at the same time. The rebels would
undoubtedly have been taken by surprise, as dem-
onstrations had been made, for a first, upon
the left, below Falmouth (Falmouth, Virginia) ; & might have been
crushed, almost by sheer force of numbers.
But doubtless the intervention of the weather, was
a Providential one, & intended for some wise
purpose.- Other plans must & will, soon be adop-
ted, as this one has been abandoned for the sea-
son. I presume that expeditions will be im-
mediately organized, so that good part of the
army of the Potomac (Army of the Potomac), may be made use of, before
it becomes reduced, by the expiration of the terms

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