Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp in the field near Warrenton JunctionNov 3d 1863My dear Wife:

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I wrote you a short note last evening, and promised to write again to day if we did not move.

As we have not moved I will fulfill my promise, I am glad that my letters prove so interesting to you though I think them rather [       ]. We became so used to the incidents that I have to write about that they sense common place to us. The 10th Vt was not engaged in the battle which you mention, but were drawn up in battle line on our [         ] which over looked the battlefield. It has been our fortune to escape all the fighting. I certainly shall have incidents enough to fill volumes to relate at some future day, provided I am spared to relate there.

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Tell Jack Kendell that I have disproved of my extra saddle and horse, therefore I have no saddle to send him. I am obliged for his regards &c &c. I am glad to learn that Mr Parker is recovering his health again, also that Mrs Page is so far recovered that she is able to be about again. I am sorry for Mrs Prouty. It is astonishing how much a woman is capable of forgiving. I dont know what that letter was about that you read to Mrs Page You can use your own [         ] about reading my letters to any one. I am not ashamed of them. You certainly ought to be oblige to Mr Page for his kindness. I have written to you about Georges Wife. She is really a splendid woman. She is anxious for George to get his little daughter, by his first wife. Libbee is truly a christian woman and she loves George as he richly deserves. To give you a full discription of the

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battle of Briston Station (Manassas plains) would be a difficult task. I will reserve this for a verbal relation.

Dr Childe has presented to Helen a very pretty little book written by his Sister, I have just read it. I have read to him some portions of her letters to me and he thinks them wonderful. He is very much interested in her and so in Mrs C.

You ask me if I have dressed many wounds? Yes lots of them and all kinds at that, have not had occasion to take off any limbs yet, at least none that I thought proper to take off though others thought differently, and the men got well well their limbs entire, which is more satisfaction to see than to [         ] the "human form divine". However gratifying it may be to others to use the knife, not that I am afraid to when it becomes necessary. There is

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far more skill in saving a mutilated limb than in cutting it off. This is not a pleasant subject to talk about to one who has seen bodies torn limb from limb by the informal ball and skill, for who knows how soon it may be nay lot to loose a leg or arm by the accursed missiles.

You dont know how thankful I am that you all contain to enjoy good health and may this great blessing be granted to you until my return to the home circle. My health continues very good which is very remarkable consider-ing the hardships to which I am exposed Remember me to all our friends, and give my love to our dear children. Accept the love of your

Devoted husbandJ.C. Rutherford