Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Frederick Junction MDJuly 3d 1863My dear Wife

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This is the first time I have had a chance to send a letter to you since I wrote to you from Harpers Ferry We have had as rough a time as any one could wish. It has rained nearly all the time and we have had to lay out of doors most every night, and lay in puddles of water at that and march all day. Last night we came into this camp and for the first time for a week I have had a good nights sleep. We are now in the 3d army corps Genl French Comdo There are some 20,000 men in all and I can tell you it is a sight to look upon. We are some 60

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miles from Baltimore on the Bal & this R.R. We are here to defend the Bridge crossing the Manoray river. You may believe that is lunging times with us and we may have a fight at any moment.

I am writing this by the side of the R. R. track on a box in the boiling sun. Notwithstanding the fatique I have passed through I am enjoying the very best of health, and have had all the time.

I have a thousand things to tell you but I must wait till have a better chance to write I not had a letter from you since we left Poolville. But I some expect to get a mail tonight, but it is very uncertain, and we may be ordered to march in less than five minutes.

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I can tell you there are [       ] times. If we remain here any time I will write you a longer letter and better looking one, the wind blows my papers all over the lots.

It will be some satisfaction to you to know that I am well.

Keep of good cheer for I feel that there is a hight [        ] before us

Give my love to our dear children and tell them how much I want to see them all, and accept the devoted love of

Your loving HusbandJ. C. Rutherford
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Dr Childe has been sick for two weeks and the management of the machine has fell upon my shoulders for over 3000 men. So you can judge something shal my Cabours must be, and I have [      ] it successfuly too

4 P.M. A battle has just commenced a short distance from here, the roar of the cannons is rising in our ear distintly.