Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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[ca. September 23, 1863]Camp in the field near Culpepper VaMy dear Wife

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We are apparently on the eve of some great event. We lay here under marching orders with 8 days rations in our haversack which fact indicates a long march some where, and I improve a few moments to write to you not knowing when I shall have another chance. But be assured of one thing that I shall let no opportunity slip to write if we do move. It is barely possible that I may be sent to Washington with the sick of our Div. If so I shall have a chance to write from there. I have no news to write except the days are quite com-fortable but the nights are cold. Yes I have some news, I saw Capt Bartlett last night and this morning

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The Vt Brigade returned last night from NY. The men are all looking finely. It is thought more of their army other troops in the whole army. The Vt troops have won themselves a name that their state may well be proud of.

I must write a few words to the little "Childers". Remember me to our friends and kiss the children for me. God bless you my dear Wife

Your affectionate HusbandJ.C. RutherfordMy dear son Jacob,

I thought I would write a few words to you. I did intend to write you a long letter but we are all stired up here about moving. Our Regt has got a band now and we have lots of [     ] every day, and [   ] mass too. I wish you was here to see how we live. I guess y ou would not like to take the long marches and live on

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a piece of raw pork and hard tack and sometimes not got that. Do you go to school this fall and do you learn much? I hope so for Papa is very anxious that his little childers will learn all they can so they may be smart men and women. How does old Brave get along? I would like to see him. The little dog I have got out here is just the color of Brave but his hair is short and smooth. Have you learned to [     ] any yet? I want you to learn so when I come home you and I can have some [      ] of our own. Dont you think that will be nice? You must write and tell me all about the new house and every thing. I must write a few words to Kittie and Jovis. Be a good Boy to your mother.

Your affectionate Father,My dear little Kittie

I must write a few words to you dear little thing to tell you how much Papa loves his

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little girls and how much he wants to see you. I suppose you have nine times passing in the yard dont you? you and little Jovis. Wouldnt you like to have papa there to make you a little play house and losts of things? Papa will be home one of these days then how nice it will be. Be a good girl to your mother and take good care of Jovis.

Kiss maria for me. Your loving old Father.

My dear Jovis

What will yout hink to get a letter from Father, wont you feel prety smart? Now in your pride dont go and kick brave and tear your old rocking horse all to pieces. But my little boy you dont know how much I want to see you. When I do come home I guess you and Kittie and Jacob and I will have some good times. You will want to ride my little horse I suppose all the time. I know you will be a good boy & look after brave dont let him get lost nor hurt. That was a nice little letter you wrote me the other day, write again.

From Your Father