Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp near Culpepper VaOct 3d 1863My dear Wife:-

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Having just finished the accompaning [       ] and thinking it might be interesting to you I conclude to send it, and it will be more likely to be preserved. It is a sketch of the enemy in front of our camp looking West. It was taken in front of my tent. I will explain the view, and will begin at the [           ] object. The mountains are the Blue Ridge and the drawing is a faithful representation of them from this point. As we came this way you will see that the mountains are piled up in a very inigular manner, and apparently regardless of expense. You will see near the center of the picture a depression of the hills at the base of the mountains which represent a deep valley between the mountain and these hills on the left of the center. The Rapid Arm has a part of its origin in this valley, which is about 7 or 8 miles from our camp. The intervening space until you get to within a short distance of our camp is

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is a most magnificant county what might be properly called a rolling plain, and not a house of any disconption can be seen in the whole is this splendid view. The camp is a part of our regiment with what are called shelter tents each one just large enough to accomodate two [    ]. These tents are only and for the field and each man carried his own house with him. It takes about 5 minutes to pitch one. I hair on that I use on the march. I did not put in many men as it cost too much [     ], but it will give you a general idea of our camp. The tree in the foreground is an old cherry tree and stands directly in front of my tent, but this is not a true picture of it. It would cover half of the rest of the picture and that would spoil it. You would hardly think from the appearance in front of our camp that a little to the right of the center that thousands of troops are encamped. We occupy about the center of the whole line which is about 10 miles long so that we have large masses of troops are all sides of us.

My dear presence these notes as they will serve as a guide for a better [           ] at a future time, which cannot fail to be interesting. I shall commence another tomorrow if I can, and after a little practice I can do them [        ]. I am a little unwell to day, and off duty. I dont know what the matter is I got up feeling well and eat a hearty Breakfast. I am feeling better this P.M. or I should not be writing this.

Ever Thine,J.C. Rutherford