Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]
I received a letter from you last saturday night, but have not had time to answer it, nor have I now. this is just to let you know where I am. We are laying here guarding the river. We took up our line of march on Sunday morning and went into camp yesterday. Then was fighting all night last night just below us, and we are edjusting an attack evry movement, but we have a very commanding position. We have arrested some 7 or 8 spys within the last 24 hours, but men are sharp and [ ]. We are 21 miles below Harpers ferry, and 6 miles from Point of Rock (below), by looking on the map you can see just where we lay.
The Rebs are gathering in from on the hills opposite of and we expect evry movement to hear the informal screach of shell flying over our heads, but we lay in such a position that they cannot throw any into our camp. We are in all 4000 strong. But with all the dangers ahead we are not going to be cheated out of our Christmas dinner. I foraged a large fat turkey yesterday from a bloody Reb.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and do not let any seeming dangers to me
distract from your happiness, for it there was no danger there would be no
honor. The Medical disaster at Washington has asked twice to have new detailed
to go into the medical corps of the army of the Potomac, but our Col has flatly
refused at my own regiment, and not only that he said we
could not part with me on no account.
Gov Holbrook was in Washington last Saturday and our Col saw him, and I did not suffer our might in reputation. The Col told me that the Gov was very much pleased with the amount of which the Col gave of me. I stand high in the regiment. (modest).
No time to write more. My health is very good can do more work than any other man in the regiment. Will write again immediately.
Love to all
Your affectionate husbandJ. C. Rutherford