Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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White Ford Md.Apr 6th 1863.My dear Wife.

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I have just received your letter of Mar. 30th. I blame myself very much for saying any-thing about the dangers that were threatening us. I ought to have known that it would have troubled you. But I think your fears are quieted before this. Let me say here that you must not feel so much alarm about me, because a surgeon is not exposed to the dangers that other officers are, and if taken prisoner they are not considered prisoners of War - therefore are not detained or harmed. The only dangers we are liable to are chance shots. I think when I write all the news next time I shall look out and not alarm you again. We have had some very pleasant weather for a few days past, but to day - Oh my! The wind commenced blowing last evening from the north, and I must say that I never saw it blow so hard, and what was worse we could not have a fire in our tent, the wind blew the smoke all down the pipe. When I got up this morning the Snow was 8 inches deep and snowing as hard as ever I saw it in Vermont. The storm has subsided but the wind has commen-ced blowing again, and shakes every thing in my tent so that it is difficult writing. You will

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see that some of the words look as if they had the shakes. As for news I have none. We are making things pass along as pleasantly as possible We devote our time mostly to reading singing playing chess and pitching quoits. Last evening Capt Frost came down from the night wing and we went into the Cols tent and sang till a late hour. We sang all the "Old Folks" tunes and I can tell you that it was not to be sunged at by folks what haint got no nous We were going to have preasting to day and sing some of these tunes but the storm has foiled us. Last Sunday we used the Hospital for a Chapel, and should do so to day, were it not for the winds blowing so hard. When we have a hard wind our tents make so much noise that we can hardly hear one another talk from the flaping of the canvas. We have a visitor in our camp, an elderly lady (a widdow) from Windser Vt who has a son in my department, and a very fine old lady she is too. We have extended to her the hospital-ity of our [    ], and we find it very pleasant to have a little refinement in the shape of an inteligent female at our board. It makes us think of our own homes and fire sides

Tuesday 7th. I did not get a chance to finish this yesterday, being away to the night wing and spent the night with Capt Frost.

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Col Henry had a brother come to see him yesterday who brought some new maple sugar, and last evening he (the Col) made a sugar party, and we had a big old time eating warm sugar. We did not get through till after eleven oclock. This morning I send 7 men to the Genl. Hospital, and I am glad to get rid of them, they have been all scabs long enough. I told you how it had snowed well Sunday night was a bitter cold night and yesterday it rained, to day it is a little warmer but cloudy the snow is not all gone yet. We expect to move to Poolsville just as soon as the wind dies up so we can travel.

You wanted a plan for the chambers. You must fix that as you think best only be sure of our thing, have a back way to go out of the chambers.

Be sure and have a good room for our little daughters. You must not do too much work your-self, hire some help.

You want some money, my dear we have not been paid off yet but some expect to be this week, and when I get my pay you shall have all I get except my bear expenses. I have now due me [    ] 600$ but I shall not get but 400. It would be nice just now if I could get it all, but we have to wait the moving of the waters.

Capt Steele has been restored to duty and his command, but I tell you it was a bitter pill

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for him. Cols Jewett-Luce (of the Maine Regt.) Henry and myself went down to [Comads Fery], where Capt S- is stationed and had a big talk with him. I took him first and talked an hour to him and told him some things he might expect if persued the present course &c &c &c. Then the Cols took him and were going to give particular fitts, but when they began to talk to him he just came down on them with honorable acknowledgements, and offered his inexperience and age as mitigating circumstances and a pledge to do his duty to the very best of his abilities and they let him off with a severe reprmand, and I can assure you that none of us sorry. We should felt bad to have an officer of the 10th dishonorably discharged. You must has in mind that this is stictly confidential.

My health is very good and I am fatting up faster than ever. How is that emption on little Jacob? has he got well? How many times I have seen him in imagination suffering from it. I [removed] the scabs.

Col Jewett has just come into camp to inspect and I must look after my department, and dinner for a good dinner for him. Give my love to the children. No letter from Helen yet.

Dont let Helen go to school to the injury of her health.

Much love to yourself.From your husband J. C. Rutherford