Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

Primary tabs

Page: of 5
Download: PDF (7.18 MiB)
Camp in the field near Snickers gap Va.July 19th 1863My dear Wife,

Page 1

It is some days since I wrote to you, for the reason that we have been on the march every day, after Lee. We are now camped on the ground where he camped yesterday. We are following him up very closely. We did not get a fight the day I wrote you that we expected to. When we got where he was he wasn't there. We have seen rough times the last fortnight and expect to see rougher, but we manage to live well most of the time. To day we had for dinner fried chicken and blackberries and sugar. Chickens some how have a way

Page 2

of getting fastened to our saddles as we go past the farm houses here in Virginia, and once in a while a hog will follow some of the soldiers off, and whenever a sheep bites the boys say that these Va sheep are timiable things to bite. We dont mean to suffer much while in this part of Va but when we get near Richmond we shall hard picking. Things are looking very promising now for the War to close soon. I must stop to say that Lute Piper ahs just bought me a [     ]of blackberries, and they are the largest and sweetest I ever saw in my life. I wish you could help me eat them. I have not heard from you for nearly two weeks, and I dont know how soon I shall get a letter from you or any one else. We are way up in the mountains east of the Shenandoah

Page 3

Valley. I am writing this bet have not the slightest idea when I shall even have a chance to send them.

I know you must feel anxious about me, but I am all right. I have been very well all the time until yesterday I was attack with a bowel com-plaint, but this P.M. I am quite well again though somewhat weak. The weather is very hot, but I stand it well. I ware thick woollen shirts and pants and sleep many nights on the ground without any shelter. Night before last we did not go into camp until 10 oclock. It had rained all day, and we had crossed the Potomac in the cover of night. Col Henry and I laid down together on the ground and the blanket covered us both. We were so wet that we could not get our boots off. In the morning when we got up I proposed to

Page 4

dress, and proceeded to put on my spurs, and announced to the Col that I was dressed. "Well" said he "that is so", and went to work and put on his and proclaimed that he was dressed and called for a look-ing glass to see if he was all right. Such little papers are simple but they relieve the dulness of our camp life. Since I command writing this letter I have seen 10 or 15 hogs killed by the soldiers. It is fun for the boys but rough on the pigs and their secesh owners. The officers dont see any thing of it. It is fun to see the boys from 100 to 200 take after one hog, the one that get him first claims him. One thing I can say with pride the 10th has not engaged in the pig business yet, they confine themselves to the chicken trade. It would fill a large volume to relate all the little incidents of our Camp life.

Page 5

I have just been laying on my back on the ground looking at yours and the childrens pictures, and my dear you not know what a source of comfort these little things are to me. But there is one picture still lacking, and I often try with a magnifying glass to see if I can see any thing of the little fellows likeness in the Photograph of the house

Upperville Va July 21st
Here we are close upon the Enemy, but a little ahead of here. We made a forced march yesterday of 15 miles. George and Eugene are both here and in excelent health. They will be likely to keep with us. They both came over from their camp last night to see me. I must be brief

Page 6

as we are tender orders to march immediately.

It is raining and will be nasty marching. George stands high as an officer has command of his company - is have and disnite.

love to the children
and your dear self
Ever thineJ.C. Rutherford

P.S. you would think we were very anxious that you should here from us if you could see how much pain we take to write. We lay on the grass with an old tin plate for a writing desk and the wind blowing our papers all round