Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp Heintzelman near Poolville Md.May 4th 1863My dear Wife -

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I received your last letter on sunday morning. I was in Washington, and our mail carrier when to the Genl Post Office and got our Regimental mail and brought it to the Hotel where we were stoping, and we - Col Jewett Capt Frost Capt Dillingham & myself turned it on the floor and all squat round the pile and went to hunting for letters for ourselves. You would have laughed to have seen us. I was the only one that got a letter. I was as I am always glad to hear from you and to learn that you are all well. I have had much anxiety for the last three weeks in regard to our house. I was fearful that it would be impossible to get my pay so that we could meet the first pay-ment. You do not know with what relief of mind I underwent when I got hold of my money, and how happy I was when handed a package of $500.00 to the express company to take to you, and I feel that you will feel as much if not a greater [     ] of pleasure when you receive it. My greatest anxiety now is to see you and the children a house then if any thing should befall me. I could close my earthly career feeling that you will not be homeless and

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without a shelter to cover your dear heads. I hope I may be spared to share it with you, but life is uncertain and my position unders mine a greater uncertainity. Let me know when you receive the money. Saturday afternoon we all went and visited the 11th Regt and you may believe that the Newport boys were glad to see me. I did not stop long but a great deal was said in the time. They got hold of me and held on to me where ever we went. They were all well but Charley Preston he had been very sick but was getting better. The poor fellow shed tears when I went in to the Hospital to see him. The visit was a very pleasent one. We got home to Camp on Sunday night. We came up the Canal in a small boat and had a right many time. I think of going to Washington again tomorrow, I shall go down with one of my ambulances so I can bring my medicines back with me. It had rained all the afternoon and is raining very hard now.

When the house is finished I would like very much to have you get a photograph of it and sent it to me. You dont know how anxious I am to see how it looks, and how many times I picture it in my own mind. And I want little Jon's picture and I think I might have it.

I have see Camp [    ] to tell you only that just

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now we are having very easy times. I have just had a very pleasent visit from Dr Childe. He has taken a great liking to our children and most always want to see their pictures when he comes in to sit down. Last evening Capt Frost and myself went and called on Mrs Childe and had a very pleasent evening, had a social game of Euchre &c &c.

It is wonderful how fat I am getting. You know that the hand is about the last thing that goes fat well mine is so fat that my ring is fairly [     ] in the flesh, and so firmly that I cannot move it either way. You must [       ] how easy it would come off before I left home. I had to be very careful whenever I washed my hands or when I was doing anything lest I should loose it. No danger now I can tell you.

Are you going to have a garden this summer? I would if I could. I came very near forgetting about the barn. You may arrange that to suit yourself. I would consult Mr Boyington in the matter. If we dont like if it can be moved at any time with a trifling experience. Make some calculation about the drifting of snow in the winter. It is getting late and not having any thing particular to write I will just wind up. If I go to Washington tomorrow I shall mail it then, and if I find any thing worth adding to it I will do so. It still rains in a perfect sheet

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Washington May 7th. Here I am waiting to get my breakfast. I got here last night had a hard time of it draging through the mud. I have no news concerning myself. The War news are very conflicting. It is very evident that there has been some very hard fighting judging from the number of wounder brought into the City Hospitals. I am told that Georges regiment has gone to the front I was going to see him.

Remember me with much love and esteem to Mrs Parker, tell her that I appreciate her good wishes for my welfare.

Give my love to the children and tell them how much I want to see them. Accept much love from your -

loving HusbandJ.C. Rutherford