Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp near Brandy Station VaDec 12th 1863My dear Wife,

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You will see by my writing that my hand is much better, though extremely sensitive and nervous, as well as my whole system. Yesterday my left hand commenced swelling, and so very painful was it that I did not sleep till about 4 oclk this morning when I took a dose of morphine, the effect of which has not fully passed off. So badly is my system affected by this unfortunate accident that. I am most of the time tremendous with shooting pains in various parts of my body. My mind is moody and gloomy. But I think I shall come out of it all night. I dont pretend to do any thing

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of a business character.

There has been no time since I have been in the army that I have been so anxious to see home It is in my thought night & day. I have worked very hard all summer and I feel very much the need of rest. While I write my left arm is constantly twitching with pain and my right hand is tremendous. I tell you my dear I write with much difficulty. I fel that I cannot write, and I think I have a little reason to com-plain of your long silence. I have not received a letter from home since the first day we got back here, and I can tell you that I feel hurt about it. There may be good reasons but let me know them. Perhaps I feel it more than I should

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if I was perfectly well. But being sick with a nasty virulent animal poison, far, far, from home, and not a kind word from those I love you may be assured the time has very few pleasant moments God forbid that I should find fault with you. I simply express myself n this way to portray to you my unpleasant state of mind and body.

We are having a rainy day, and I think it is the commencement of the rainy season. Every body is fixing up winter quarters, and the air is filled with the constant dire of hammer & the axe. I bought lumber yester-day to build me a little cabin for the winter, but my hands are so [     ] that I cannot do any thing towards fixing it, and the men are all busy fixing up their own quarters. I could not think of

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there to leave their own to fix mine. The Chaplain has very kindly offered to and taken hold to put the thing up. He would hear to no [         ] to the contrary. I hope to be able to [    ] some myself in a few days. As Christmas approaches there is a very strong longing to be with you at that time, but it is seeming-ly out of the question. But you must celebrate the day in rememberance of [          ], and remember me at the [        ] board. God only knows how much I want to see you all. Remember me with love to our dear children, and believe me as ever

Your affectionate and loving HusbandJ.C. Rutherford
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I have just received your very kind and loving letter of the 7th. It was really a great relief to hear from home. When I am able to write without pain I will give you a full desription of the battle and the sensation I experienced. I will say one thing that perhaps will cause you smile. When the firing commenced I was sitting on my horse. The day was very cold with a raw wind, I all at once found myself having a very severe chill. I questioned myself if it was fear? No! It was an undefinable feeling of anxiety, not particularly for myself. But the moment a wounded man was brought to me I forgot my own identity, and thought of nothing but my work. But I am

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anticipating. As for my going home There is but 2 of us in the regiment and it will be difficult to learn. But as I have said before keep Christmas.

Your loving Husband