Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp 10th Vt Culpepper VaApr 25th /64My dear and beloved Wife,

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Having another opportunity to write to you I shall improve it. Though I have nothing new to write yet I will think of something. I suppose it does not matter much what I write if I only can give you assurance of my continued good health. It rained all night last night, but to day is as beautiful as needs be, and old Virginia is trying to pull her green mantle up over her naked and desolate shoulders, and trys to appear [] by [] her verdent so be with gaudy will flowers, and really assumes to be modest, but the cheat is too palpable, and we can have no more sympathy for her than

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we would for any old worn out and faded beauty. The has played the strumpet and left her first love, and is now making the harvest of her folly, and nothing but the blood of her degenerate sons (the natural result of such parentage) can ever restore her to her Virgin purity.

There if I havent said something smart then I wont try again. I have been thinking of some of the letters I have written home and how silly some of them must have been in my attempt to figure the country and my views of it. But you will be charitable and not critism too severly?

26th. I received yours of the 21st last evening, and how glad I was to hear from you. It lifts a great weight from my heart to learn

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that the health of our dear little children is better. You exprest regret that you wrote me about it thinking I had trouble enough here. How much happiness do you suppose I could enjoy. Knowing that my little treasures were sick but did not know their exact condition? Tell me every thing what interests you does me. You really broke out all over where you expressed your feelings about politics. It is well to honor the faith of our Fathers when our Fathers are undoubtedly right, then we may honor this sincerity. But because the antidiluvian believed the the earth was flat it does not follow that we who know that it is round should pursist in saying that it is flat. Party [] more change it is the men who claim to belong to this or that party that change - and

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the moment they their views have changed they has no right to be called a Democrat or a Republican as the case may be. If the men who controle the so called demonstratic party to [] honest men like our Fathers the principles of their Democracy proper would be used to to cover the treachery of blood thirsty tractors. It is not democracy that I quarell with it is the rascally leaders. "Black Republican" my dear is a foul word, and is not fit to pass the lips of any Unions woman. I had it origin with those who are sheding the blood of our noble country men to destroy the Union. Such men as perpetrated that most foul and Hellish massacre at Fast pillow. I respect you for your frankness in expressing your oppinion but in coming to conclusions be seen

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that they are not biased by prejudice or strong personal feelings.

It is the only way we can arrive at correct conclusions. I dont wish to have you think as I do upon these matters unless you have by mature reflection become satisified that I am right. But dont forget your weakness for worshiping your Grand mothers old shoes, and think they are better than any more fangled notions.

I am glad you like my letters so well, and this approbation fully compensates me for any trouble I may be at to write them.

I some times got to thinking if matters and things in general and relieve myself by putting these thoughts on paper. It is not because I think [] of any account for briliancy or force

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or of any particular interest but to have a talk with you.

Yesterday was an eventful day for the 10th. Our chief, Col Jewett resigned, from ill health, and we all felt sad It is the first link of our regimental chain that has snaped [], and the event filled our hearts with deep regret and sadness. We all met in his tent last evening to express our regrets, pass resolutions make speaches and have a formal leave taking of him and he of us. Many chocked and broke dense who attempted to visit their feelings in words, and tears were shed pretty freely. The event showed us all how strong the ties are that bind us one to another I made some remarks, about

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our being out here nearly two years without a break in our circle that now the binding brick is to snap [], the circle broken and who can tell how some another and another will be taken from our number. I aluded to the coming campaign, and said that we had all met together here on earth for the last time. But not one of our number would willingly be deprived of the privilage of taking their chance in the struggle. I can tell you all I said but we all felt the solemnity of the occasion. You see or have our family joys and sorrows.

You spoke about the new regiments and my chances in arm. I tell you frankly that I have given up all hope in the quarter, or any other it is not my fortune to

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have any thing that is really worth having as many others do Though I have made every effort, by industry, faithful management of all concerning my department. I receive no reward except in my own conscious. It is hard, very hard, but we can do no better than thank God that it no worse. With new rulers, there is new laws If Gov Holbrook had had the say I feel that I should have had a place above the one I have got. But dont let us think of it and enjoy what we have got and thank the giver of all good that we have that.

You must think I have a great deal of time to write by the letters you get and their length, but you must know that they

are written at one sitting. I have been all day jotting down, what is written at this date. Every chance I get I sit down and write a few lines or words even, and now it is nearly 9 oclock and am still enjoyed with it.

It is in this way I am able to give you tolerable letters, and one nearly every day. I might write here all night and find something to write about but it is time some after [] all day. Give love to the children and kiss them all for me, and may God bless you all.

Your affectionate husbandJ.C. Rutherford