Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Catlits Station on the Orange & Alexandria Pi Road VaOct 22d 1863.My dear Wife:-

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I have received your two last letters written the 13th & 15th, and one from Helen. Since I wrote you last we have traveled over a great extent of country, & the worst roads you could ever dream of. You said that the papers stated that we had some fighting but no decided victory for either side, that is a great mistake. We were victorious in every particular. A week ago today we had a battle that was much more severe than the Big Bull run fight and what is more it took place on the almost classic plains of Manassas. We fought some 4 hours with all of Stuarts cavelry and some 5000 infantry. We killed of the Rebs over 400 and took wounded 500 more

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and took a whole Brigade prisoner and 5 pieces of artilery, and drove the enemy back for miles. This I saw myself, have been on the battle field. Our troops now occupy the whole country to Culpepper again In fact we have [      ] the enemy in every [      ] to flank us and sent him howling to his den. If this is not Victory than we have mistook our calling.

You cannot appreciate how good it makes me feel to know that you are made so comfortable, and it shall be my uttermost endevor to make you so. That you may know how care-ful I am of my earnings, I will state how others do. There are not more than 4 officers in our Regiment, and this is the rule in others that save a dollar of their wages. It takes all they get to support them, others will manage to save

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300 or 400$ a year. I think I have reason to congratulate myself upon my enemy. My living costs me from 3 to 6$ a week. We sometimes pay as high as 1$ a pound for butter, and always 40 cts a pound for cheese and other luxurious in proportion.

You thought I looked very neat in the picture but the fact is I am ragid and nasty, and I cant get a chance to get any better clothes. But thank God my health is good. I have a thousand incidents that I could relate that would interest you very much, but I am not in the mood nor condition to write them this morning. We have been on the march every day but one for nearly two weeks, and we start again in the course of an hour. You must know how much one would feel like writing romance under such circumstances. But I have got there trying seems laid away for future

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relation. I wrote to Betsy as I promised you, and last evening I received an answer to it. She was very much gratified with the notice, in fact it was a very good letter. It was gratifying to me to have her say that you had got what she had always desired-ing- a [    ] little home and a shed full of wood, but had never had that desire gratified. I dont but this is a little mean to checked [   ], it, but it human nature. God forgives us for our malice. I cannot answer your leters in detail now but will do so the first chance I get. I shall write every opportunity and you must continue to write often it is so pleasant to hear from you often, tell Helen that I will answer her excelent letter as soon as we get into camp again. Kiss the children for me and accept a life long love for your dear self.

Your affectionate husbandJ.C. Rutherford