Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp near Sulphur Springs VaSunday Aug 16th 1863My dear Wife:-

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I have received two letters from you since I have written to you. I have been rather neglected in this respect, but for the last week I have been so poorly that I did not have form enough to write. I have a very severe attack of diarrhea, and you may believe that it whettled me down "right smart". I am well again and do-ing my duties as usual. Dr Childe returned to the regiment yesterday, which fact is agoing to relieve me of a great deal of labor and [           ]. I have had nothing but a con-tinued sense of trials with the medical department since we came into the Army of the Potomac. Those in authority seem to take a delight in annoying those under them as much as they can and they think they can show their meaness of souls but by keeping us on a short allowance of medicines.

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I put up with it till forbaran was not vistor, then I went in head foremost and finally succeeded in getting [    ]- lots of medicines from day to day. This is but one of the many trials I have experienced. I am very much pleased with the little boys picture, he is a fine looking little fellow. The biting of his lip does not hurt the picture in the least. I like it.

To day Dr Childe and myself visit the much noted White Sulphur Springs, & drank of the water. It is strongly inpug-nated with sulphur but nonetheless very pleasent to drink. The plan was before this was one of magnificent splender, alas, now a mass of mines sad to behold. As a fashionable [     ] it was next to Saratoga. Now it is the camping ground of an army. One who never saw the place in the highest prosperity and could in looking upon its massive ruins form a very [     ] idea of its former splendor. The surrounding country exhibits the same sad features

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the people what are left are still in a deplorable condition. Living in one of the most fertile counties in the world with every thing to encourage industry and contentment, they have left all to the wasting hand of time to foolishly embark in the destruction of their county but of their homes and future prospects. Hardly a male inhab-itant is to be seen any where. You cannot meet a female but she is dressed in mourning, for some one that has paid the penalty of rebellion and treason. As strange as it may seem the majority are sadly in want of the common measures of life. Many are asking bread of our soldiers whom they hate with so choice a hatred, and there is not a day but I see boys whose parents to before there war broke out would not let their niggers do going round the camp getting up salt that has been poured outon the ground out of beef and pork [        ], and cary it home as a choise thing which in fact it is to them. But what are there

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- people going to do another winter? It is a question they do not seem to have asked themselves judging from appearances. There is not a crop of grain for miles and miles to be seen and only now and then a small patch of corn. And what little of this they have attempted to raise has been blighted as with a curse. Such is a faint picture of the physical effects of a civil war. Yet these poor deluded devils persist in their [        ] course and boast to us of their love for Secesh.

I have run on a long string here and forgot that I was writing a domestic letter, but perhaps it will not be uninteresting as it is.

This is not in reality an answer to your letter but I will write again in a day or two. We expect to move tomorrow. I will keep you posted if my location &c I am quite as well as ever now so you need borrow any trouble on my account. Give my love to our dear children and accept thousands for your dearself

Ever thineJ.C. Rutherford

Keep this till you get more take it. You will excuse this writing for I have broken my glasses