Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Head Qrts 3d Div HospitalKearnstown VaNov 15th 1864My dear Wife,

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Here I am trying to collect my thoughts to make out something to write to you, & yet there are a thousand things to about. Every thing is very quiet along the whole line, and the whole line means something. You may be surprised when I tell you that our whole line is over 10 miles long, and in the shape of a new moon, and this whole line has strong heart works in front, of course when breast work should be, and they were built in one night. They are as high as a mans head, with a deep ditch in front. It is almost inconceivalbe how ra

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pidly such formadable protection, are made. We lay here waiting for Early or some one else to "pitch in" but they do not seen inclined to do so. But the weather is getting too cold to do much fighting. To be sure we make ourselves as comfortable as we can, but we cannot build winter quarters yet as we do not know how soon we may be ordered out of this.

It has been a common report through the corps that I am to be promoted and sent to the cavelry. All feel that I have been treated injustly that I have not received promotion long ago, and say that Gov Smith will gain very little audit for slighting worthy men to cater to political influence.

I have not asked him

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for any thing nor will I. If I have not earned promotion by merit then I dont want it. I have one thing to console me, I know that I am respected and appreciated by all the medical officers with whom I am acquainted You will think and rightly too, that I feel a little sore in regard to such ross neglect on the part of the Gov, and I am not to blame for feeling so. I write about it because I think you will sympathize with me.

We are liable to have a fight at any moment, and you need not be surprised to hear of one.

You wrote me something about Meakan's body. Tell his

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brother that I do not know exactly where he is buried, & that it would be impossible to get to his grave now, as the ground is occupied by the Rebs, we having feel back nearer to our base of supplies, not because we were obliged to by any means. The grave is marked by a head board so that it could be easily found at any time. I had a visit from a soldiers wife to day. Her husband belongs to our regiment and was wounded on the 19th Oct, and I took his arm off at the shoulder joint and he is doing well The gratitude she manifested for my kindness to him, paid me for a heap of trouble.

When a woman expresses her gratitude wiht streaming eyes