Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Head Qrs3d Div Hospital} Camp near Winchester VaNov 23d /64My dear Wife,

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Tomorrow is to be another return of the time honored institution of New England but no longer sectional in its character. It has become rational and every loyal heart beats quicken and stronger at the bare mention of it. It is symbolical of what the nation is to be, ie of one heart and of one mind.

The practice of setting apart a day for thankgiving had its origin in a desprived and secluded corner of the republic. But its influence has spread from time to time until it or its originators are no longer looked upon with contempt. On the other hand there is a deep reverance felt for the founders of the system, and a nation bails it as its own and to be [] as only a God fearing nation should respect his ordanances. The cradle of Liberty was first rocked in the same quil corner of this vast ration. The world has been swayed and rocked to its center and nations and tyrant have troubled at

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thunder [] that have come forth from this humble spot. The hamber that is to break and knock off the shackels of those held in slavery was made in the same section, and the men who are to use these elements of freedom are the proud sons of the founders of our much loved Thanksgiving day. Thus I conceive our real N.E. thanksgiving day to be the piouis of Liberty. We in the Army are going to calculate the day. Perhaps not as luxuriously as our dear friends at home, but we have with as much faith and devotion, to the Giver of all good gifts for the many blessings he was vouchsaved us. Per chance our dinner may simply consist of a hard tack and a slice of salt pork, but do not suppose that there will be any of the less gratitude, and thanksgiving because of this humble fare. We hope our hearts are right, which make the humble meal the richest feast. We do not envy those who in their selfishness and treason exalt in any thing that will contribute to injure our national cause, that will set down

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at their well supplied boards and glut our their feast if fat things. I say we envy them not. For our friends we pray they may richly enjoy all the fruits of the season and their labors. It is what we have been fighting for that they may enjoy it in peace. It shows that we are not here in vain, and it is our sincere wish that you may enjoy their blessings to the fullest extent both in body and mind. While you are partaking of these rish blessings remember that we are happy, and thank God that you enjoy the fruits that has been bestowed upon you by his benevolous hand.

Shall I tell you what we intend to have for our thanksgiving dinner? This is the bill of fare. Our Turkey (wild) a sweet pudding sweet potatoes, oysters, and other things to match. Though we shall not have a great variety it will be substantial, some what differant from what our last years thanks giving dinner was.

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We are having very cold weather, the mountain are all sides are white with snow, and it makes us think of home, they so much resemble our own green mountains

I wish I could be with you tomorrow but as I cannot I can think of you and imagine you and the children enjoying a good dinner, and the thought that you will have a good dinner is a source of happiness to me Because I cannot have all the appetite may crave. I do not wish that you should deprive yourselves of good things nor would you do me a kindness by doing so. You and the children will show your love for better by having all the luxuries on this occasion you can, because I should be very much disappointed if you do not.

Remember me to the children and kiss them for me, and accept aboundance of love from

Your affectionate husbandJ.C. Rutherford