Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp near Culpepper VaOct 1st 1863My dear Wife:-

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I have this hour received your very welcome letter of the 27th ult. Perhaps I think more of the past than you do, as I am here far far from those I love and have more to need the past. There are many things to regret in the past but after all I think we can say that our past life has been as pleasant as usually falls to the lot of human beings. Were it not for the trials and sorrows of life we would not know how to appreciate their pleasances. We have every reason to be thankful for the blessings that are bestowed upon us, and I think we are. Today I am only think? 45 years old. Can it be possible? I can hardly realize it. I do not

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have the appearance of being so old nor do I feel as [    ] generally appear to feel at this age. I feel that I am just in the very price of life. I certainly do not mean to grow gray in fear of growing old. I have thought a thousand times of our first little boy, and if he was living how I should like to have him with me, but there are vain wishes and as you have justly said is it is all for the best!

When your letter came I was on my bunk looking at all your pictures and wishing I could see you, and come to open the letter have those locks of hiar drop almost on to the pictures. You can imagine the emotion that the accident produced. Well we wont talk about the matter. Col Jewett has just got back to the regiment. He told me he saw Gov Holbrook when he came through

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Brattleboro, and had talk with the Gov about me. The Gov told him that I certainly should have a plan and promotion if he com-missioned any body, and if he did not he would help me with the next Governor. If recommendations are good for any thing my chances are flattering. Col Jewett spoke to the governor in the highest times of me. Said he "Govr in recommending Dr. R for promotion I shall lose him from my regiment which I shall regret very much but I do think he is worthy of promotion and I will not stand in his way" He said much more but this is a specimen. This is certainly very flattering even I should not get a promotion.

Lt Govr Dillingham is a friend of mine and has been asked to use his influence in my favor. My appre-ciation is known to only 5 of our

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officers, and they are more so if I do not get a place it will be all as usual. I never had firmer friends than Cols Jewett & Henry and Capt Frost. Dr Childe is a good friend but of a different cast of mind or [           ]. I speak of there things because you will sympathize with me in all those little things. The weather has been very fine for the past few days. I have commenced taking some sketches of the country. I am sorry I did not do it before as it is so easy a thing to do. Tell Jacob that he shall have a new cape for the one Jovis burnt up. I could not help laughing when I read the account of the burning. I could see it so plainly, and I could see how sorry poor little Jacob looked at his loss.

Mrs Fields is certainly very foolish to think of going to the army, and specially as a laundress or seamstress. No doubt she could earn pretty good

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wages, but that would be very poor compensation for the gibes and jurs that the thoughtless and lude will bestow upon her, perhaps not openly, but unmistakably certain. It is no place for a woman. Who has a good home at least. We will not allow a woman in our regiment, as a camp follower, and they are all called such who take the position that Mrs F propose to take. You did not say which Mrs F, but if it is Lemands wife and this letter reaches you before she goes try and disuade her from so foolish a step, that is if you are inclined under the circumstances. If Fields thinks he is going to sense his time out in those forts he is very much mistaken, for Col Warner is making stremous efforst with the War department to be put into

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active service and it will be granted him, then good by your nice quarters Mr 11th Regt. You will find that [       ] aint all color de rose. Then where is the women, bake! Now havent I emp-tied myself pretty freely?

Why dont you buy yourself a good fan? they dont cost much. Oh! Wont you occasionally put 3 or 4 stamps in your letters and that will keep me in supply. It is difficult getting them here. I dont think any thing more to write. Have you got that money yet? I sent it Sept 21st I begin to feel some what anxious about it.

Kiss the children for me, and remember me to our friends. Love to yourself

Your affectionate
HusbandJ.C. Rutherford

Buy yourself a pen with this money. Dr