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Civil War Collection

Identifier: yhm-arc-2023-017

Scope and Contents

Contains personal correspondence, diaries, and biographical information on Civil War soldiers Rush P. Cady, William Walling, Charles S. Hoyt, and Talmon and Henry D. Frost. Of special note are the diaries of Rush Cady and the newspaper Young America he created during the Antebellum period. Researchers will gain insight on Cady and Walling's experiences in the infantry and Hoyt's experiences as a surgeon.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1804-1870
  • Creation: 2010


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions governing access to this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Lieutenant Rush P. Cady was born in Rome, New York on December 1, 1841. He was the eldest son of 6, born to parents Daniel Cady and Fidelia Webster (Palmer) Cady. Cady was reportedly respected and loved in his home town for his many virtues and self-sacrificing patriotism. Both of his grandfathers, Asa Cady and Asher H. Palmer served in the war of 1812. From 1857 to 1858, Cady was a co-editor and proprietor (along with W. A. Cobb) for a local newspaper, Young America. He attended Hamilton College starting in the spring of 1859, where he maintained a fine order of scholarship. He was even a founding member of the school’s fitness club. In 1861, the Civil War disrupted his education and he decided to leave the college to volunteer for his country’s defense. At first, he was turned away (as many men were eager to enlist at this time in New York City). Following the Battle of Bull Run in July of 1861, however, the Union Army was in need of more men. Cady attempted to enlist once again, but fell ill and needed time to recover. He decided at this point that he would not return to school. Soon after regaining his strength, Cady was able to join the 97th Regiment of the New York Infantry. Although his uncle, Gustavus Palmer, was named captain of Company K, Cady had no intentions of becoming an officer. However, he was still commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of the regiment. Over the course of his young adulthood, Cady kept a collection of diaries that described his experiences before and during his time in service. Additionally, when he was not at the battlefield, he wrote many letters to his parents and family describing the progress of the war and his experiences as a soldier. Following the Battle of Cedar Mountain, the 1st Lieutenant of Company K, Joseph Warren, was discharged. Cady was promoted to take his place. As the war carried on, the tone in Cady’s letters shifted from optimistic and patriotic to uncertainty. Yet, he never considered desertion. Cady was wounded in the arm and side during the Battle of Gettysburg. He then died three weeks later, on July 24th, 1863 at the age of 21. His parents made sure to emphasize in later writings that their son never complained about his pain. He had no wife or children when he died. His body was buried in Rome, NY.


Jennifer Cady. “Rush Palmer Cady (1841-1863).” WikiTree. September 16, 2023. Accessed October 9, 2023.

Jeffrey Martin. “Cady, 97th New York Infantry.” Killed at Gettysburg. Accessed October 9, 2023.

Biographical / Historical

Information on Charles S. Hoyt (1822-1898), of Potter, N.Y., focuses on the typescript of the Civil War Surgeon’s journal who served under the 126th NY volunteers and the 39th regiment in combat in Maryland and Virginia. Charles would later serve as a New York State Assemblyman from Yates County (1853, 1867) and as secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Charities (1869 - ?). The diary was transcribed by Jean Hoyt Smith, his daughter, of Bristol Road, Clinton. Original is part of the Hoyt Family Papers at Cornell University: (printout of Guide to the Hoyt Family Papers, 1828-1956, included). Information on Hoyt is followed by papers related to the Frost family: mostly deeds, receipts, and bills. They pertained to Talmon Frost (April 14, 1803 - ?) who resided in Flint, Michigan; Talmon Frost’s son Henry Dwight Frost (August 26, 1825 - August 27 - 1875), of Burton, Genesee County, Michigan who also received Internal Revenue Taxes from Flint, Michigan; Henry D. Frost’s daughter Alice C. Frost (September 13, 1857 - ?), of Rochester N.Y. William H. Walling (September 3, 1830 Hartford, New York – June 16, 1912 Potsdam, New York) was an American soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for actions at First Battle of Fort Fisher, North Carolina during the American Civil War. The medal was earned while serving with the 142nd New York Volunteer Infantry as a captain For his extraordinary heroism on 25 December 1864, in action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina. During the bombardment of the fort by the fleet, Captain Walling captured and brought the flag of the fort, the flagstaff having been shot down. By the end of the war he had achieved a rank of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel. The medal of honor was issued March 28, 1892. In 1889, Waling graduated from Medico-Chirurgical College, achieving his medical degree. He taught gynecology at Eastern College and Medico-Chirurgical College, both in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also was an editor for the Philadelphia Medical Times and Register and a member of the Medical Society of New Jersey. Walling studied sexual health and wellness, electrotherapy, women’s reproductive medicine, urology, and rectal diseases. Walling published Sexology in 1904, a family medicine reference book that guided married couples and singles of all ages warning to conform to “gender expectations.” He discussed masturbation, abortion, pregnancy, labor, and marriage. He posed limited scientific explanation for his claims, but Sexology was still sold by Puritan Publishing Company. His work received many positive reviews and endorsements from physicians, college presidents, politicians, and world leaders. Today, Walling’s claims are considered by many to be sexist and oppressive toward women. Following his death in 1912, Walling is buried at Bayside Cemetery in Potsdam, New York.


New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. "39th Infantry Regiment." New York State. Accessed October 9, 2023.

Thomas G. Frost, Ph.D., LL.D. and Edward L. Frost, M.D.. "The Frost Family in England and America With Special Reference to Edmund Frost and Some of His Descendants." Buffalo Russel Printing Company. 1909. Accessed October 9, 2023.

Rainey Horwitz. "Sexology (1904) by William Henry Walling." Arizona State University. July 12, 2021. Accessed October 10, 2023.

Sightline Media Group. "William Henry Walling." The Hall of Valor Project. 2023. Accessed October 9, 2023.


1.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The Civil War Collection includes the Rush Cady Papers (0000-185, 2010-018, 2019-022), William Walling Papers (0000-185), and Charles Hoyt Papers (0000-185).


Lydia Barber '27, Frank Jones '25
Fall 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hamilton College Archives Repository

198 College Hill Road
Clinton NY United States