Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp in the field near Winchester VaNov 18th 1864My dear daughter;-

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I have just received your kind letter of the 8th. I must say that if you dont get better ink to write with, you will spoil your old Fathers eyes trying to read your letters.

You may be proud that your Father has taken part in many battle in this war, but when your Father has passed from the face of the earth your pride will know no bounds, as you relate the past I have taken to your friends. It is no idle vanity but glorious facts.

I am glad that you had nothing to excite your fears on the day of the election. I had no fears that you would. I pressure you all feel very safe, with your infantry and cavelry to watch over your safety. It amuses us out here very much to see how bold your vallient defenders am, when we know that 25 old soldiers would scatter them to the four winds They all mean well, and make a good show but it takes experience to make a good soldier, on ehtat iwll stand in the face of leaden

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showers and the canons blast, as I have seen men do it hour after hour, without a waver. I am not doubting the courage of our malitia, but experience here in the army shows that raw recruits even with [] to back them cannot be depended upon in a sharp fight. I will join you in giving them cheers for Old Abe.

We are having a very dull day it is raining a steady jog all day, but the weather is quite warm There being but very little sickness in the Division I do not have much to do. We read till we get tired there we loss round eat when our meals are ready and do some sleeping. But after our hard summers work we do feel the need of rest and such rest as we cannot get her in the field. Our thoughts and [] are on the strain all the time because we are liable to have a fight at any moment. We are constantly on the watch night and day. I can tell you it is wearing to the constitution. Yet if you could see us you would think we were not in the slightest danger that all was peace and honory throughout the land.

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Are you going to have a thanksgiving? Ah! how I wish I could step in just as the table was spread for your feast. Tell your mother to get up a good dinner and thank God for the many blessings received at his hand, and that your Father has been spared through all the dangers of the past year, where others have fallen around him. We have much to be thankful for. The year has been a sad one to us in the loss of our dear little pet, but we can feel that what has been a loss to us is a gain to him.

I have written to your Mother that I should try and be home at Christmas. It is very [] so do not expect too much. I shall come if I can, and I wish I could come to stay.

Nov 19th. Just one month ago we had our last great fight. We had fought and won these great battles in 30 days, a paralel I think cannot be found on record. As I sit here quietly in my tent I cannot help contrasting my situation with that of a month ago. It really seem slike a horrid dream, and were it not for the

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the many realities that meet me at every turn and the absence of many that were once with us, but now gone forever I should almost covent it a dream.

I suppose those sweet scented gentlemen thought they were doing something smart in creating false alarms, but let me tell those that such conduct out here would certainly cost them their lives. If it no trifling matter to create such alarms, and a plea that it was for fun, would nor should not mitigate the offence a particle I should think no better of Clough than to expect he would be engaged in such things and if he though any money could be made by it he would not hesitate to signal for the enemy. But I am surprised that Baker should lend himself to such tricks If the thing is carried through as it ought to be it will learn them a lesson that they will not be likely to forget.

We are having a very fine day, warm enough most of the time without a fine, and I am writing this with my coat off, But

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the weather may change before dark and be quite cold. I suppose you are having snow and perhaps slighing. What and grass is growing here, and cattle and horses get very good feed.

I think you plan rather too high an estimate upon my skill as a physician. It is my aim to do the best I can, and that is all the best can do. I am not at all ashamed of my success as compared with others out here, and my operations in surgery has called forth high praise from my fellow workers. I speak of this because I feel proud of it and to slow you that your good opinion is not a myth, or based upon false grounds.

You told me some time ago that you was attending singing school, which I was glad to learn. Does my dear little boy go to? I want him to learn to sing. Tell him that I have been so busy this summer that I have not had time to write to him, but when we get into winter quarters I will write to him. How is my

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little Kitty? I wish I could see her. Tell her that Papa loves his dear little girl. Give my love them, and your Mother and accept the love of your

Appreciate FatherJ.C. Rutherford