Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp among the Pines, Culpepper VaApr 21st 1864My dear Wife,

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Here it is dover a week since I have heard a word from you and I must say that I do feel bad about it. I wont hink that you do not write, but why dont I get your letters. I feel anything but good to night I am so disappointed. Of course you will not think I am blaming you, if you have written.

This is probably about the last letter you will get from me for the lord know how long. There is an order to be ishued very soon to stop all letter writing in the Army. If this is done you see what a sweet chance there is of hearing from me. This order will not deprive us from receiving letters from home, and I dont see it necessary in my case for the past week. You dont know how deeply disappointed I am not to a

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a letter from home at least once a week If you are sick Helen ought to write and let me know I imagine all sorts of difficulties, and sickness at home. I have not felt so much like scolding and complaining since I have been in the army as I do tonight and yet I feel that I no shaddow of reason for doing so, and I do not want to you think that I am in the least [] to do so either. Your faithfulness is not to be rewarded in such a manner by no []. It would be a very poor return for your love and devotion. There has been wonderful changes in the army within the last month. Every reason is to be made available and the troops are making in beyond precident. There are from 2000 to 6000 coming in daily and no one is allowed to leave the army on any picture whatever. We are all ready to move at a moments notice. When we do move

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you will hear of some awful frigdity. There is work to be done and bloody work too. There is one thing that may pleasing to you. I am not to go on to the field of battle as I did last year, but am detailed to be with the hospital. There is less danger but more work. I would not [] danger were it necessary, but I certainly should prefer to be out of it, as I think any one would.

The weather is getting much warmer, still the Blue ridge is covered with snow yet. As I stand in my tent door and look at their cold white peaks, it puts me in mind of our own snow caped mountains, and while I gaze I dream of home and those I love so will them, and Oh! how I long to take you in loving embrace. It is sweet to think of home notwithstanding the thought is mixed with sadness, and often regret that I am not with you. Then I think my country has called me, and proud feeling of satisfaction

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that I have obiged the called, and shall one day be remembered among her defenders. Though that surgeon is not a fighting man yet it he that keeps the fighting men in a condition to fight. Though he make no show or parade and receives little or honor for his serious, yet were it not for the surgeon, the army would but a feeble thing. It would be worthless indeed. We console ourselves with the proud satisfaction that we are doing our duty to our fellow men and to our country. I have sent you some money, 170$, in two different letters. Do not delay to let me know if you receive it. I will write again soon and often till they shoot down on our writing. Give my love to the children writing this has sort of relieved my feelings and I feel better for it. Here is an imaginary embrace for you. God bless you all.

Your ever loving husbandJ.C. Rutherford

This little flower found in the field near my Hospital The most dellicate little thing I ever saw.