Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp near Culpepper VaSept 28th 1863My dear Wife:-

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I have just received yours of the 24th. It is just the kind of letter I like to get from home, full of cheerfulness and love. I suppose I could sketch some of the scenery about here and have thought many times I would. But as I have not command why I have not accomplished any thing. As I sat in my tent after dinner to day looking at the Blue Ridge I did feel as I ought to make some drawings of the landscape beauties of this country, and if every thing is as favorable tomorrow as today I will devote a part of my time to the fine arts. I know the appearance of our thriving little villiage must have changed very much since I was home. The reason of our being in a line of battle is that when we came here we expected to have a fight, but after that, it was necessary to keep the line good as the enemy are in the same attitude and would take any advantage that might be offered to them

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the position now is merely a defensive one. What the commanders of our forces are waiting for is not known. We begin to feel that precious time is being lost while we lay here idle our troops are in the very best condition in mind and body, and if they could be led to battle it would be to Victory. You ask where my position is in time of action? I follow the regiment on to the field and as soon as action commences I fall to the rear out of range of shot and select a sheltered place - (Sheltered from Shot) and make prepara-tions to have the wounded brought to me, when I examine their wounds, dress them, and send them to the Hospital which has been already es-tablished some distance from the battle ground. The only danger that the Field Surgeon is in, is from chance shots, or in some cases when it is impossible for him to find a sheltered nook sufficiently near to protect lives. But this rarely happens. The fact that this does happen however makes the surgeons chances somewhat skitihish. But when there is no danger there is no honor.

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still I would forgo the honor if I could do it honorably, and meet the wants of the service just as well, to be shut of any chances of dangers.

The man who is anxious to go into a fight just for the sake of fight is a fool and a coward, this may look paradoxical, but it is true.

It is a little singular indeed, that all the new born babies should look so much like me. And as I do not believe in masking, it would would looks a little suspicious [   ] it not for the unimpeachable characters of the Mothers. Well I pity the children to say the least of the matter. Tell Mrs Sargent that I will not forget the boy nor his mama.

Mrs [    ] may thank herself for a great show of her troubles. If she did not, nor does not love her husband she has no right to widen the breach by improper intercourse with others. Now she has two enors to weigh her spirits down when there would have been but a feather weight in the first alone. He may be meaner than cat guts which I think he is but that does not warrant her in becoming a thousand times meaner. This is rather harsh

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but it seems to me just. I should have liked to see Jovis putting on airs because he could not have his own way, but I can imagine how he looked. It must have been a picture to see Jacob drilling the children a la Militan. How much I do want to see them no body knows, and I long for this War to close so I may once more rest in the bosom of my family. It is remarkable that [      ] should speak to the little boy much more to excuse himself for not helping him. Well, our rations change sometimes. I received your letter about 4 P.M. and I shall get this in the mail at about 8. So you see I do not wait long before answering your letters. We get a mail every day from Washington. I had a letter from George yesterday, his wife is going to join him this week. Dont fail to let me know when you receive the money. Give my regards to all our friends, and love to the children. Accept the love of the devoted heart of

Your HusbandJ.C. Rutherford

I wrote a letter to you yesterday Sept 27th