Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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3d Div Hospital, near Winchester VaNov 29th /64My dear Wife,

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I intended to write a letter to you after dinner Thanksgiving day, but I must confess that my weakness for good things got the advantage of my better judgement, and I eat so much that I could not write. But if it will not be too late I will give you a discriptive of our feast. We sat down to dinner about 3 1/2 oclock P.M. The party consisted of Drs Childe McCandless myself and Lt Tabor. Before sitting down we proceeded to drink the health of the President and all of our dear friends at home. The meal consisted of a very nicely roasted turkey (wild) a [], fresh oysters and sweet potatoes Also a veal pie. As we discused our dinner we talked of our friends at home, and may thanksgiving dinners

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of years gone by, and told many ancedotes of such festive occasions. Though our dinner was gotten up in a very frugal manner and our desiring solomn was not of the most gorgeous character, consisting of a canvas drawn over a pole, our table an old door set on croches, it was no mean affair, and our out of doors life gave us an appetite that would astonish the uninitiated, and compensated for the lack of luxuries that we sincerely hope our friends enjoyed at home. It was nearly dark when we rose from the table, and we felt that there would be no occasion for eating again for a number of days. I must confess that I was obliged to lay down for I felt that my skin was not big enough to hold its contents. You will say "as usual on such occasions". But bear in mind that we do not often indulge in this way out here, therefore we are exumable for our doing the thing a little

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For the last 2 or 3 days the weather has been very fine and warm. It is nearly night now and I am very comfortable without a fire, with the tent thrown wide open, and while I write my ears are saluted with most delirious and soul stiring music. But it produces a feeling of sadness that tempers the more execberant feelings. I can see in the those delirious times visions of my home an dmy dear ones there.

Dec 1st My hopes are blastsed, my visions of home have vanished and my poor heart sinks in blank disappointment. I never have wished to see my dear ones more than I do now, and the disappointment have wrung tears from me. And to think of your and the children disappointment add another pang. You will have a lonely Christmas, and my heart aches to think of it. But it may be all for the best

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This morning the 6th Corps was ordered to pack up, no one knows when, on some secret expedition. Part of the Corps has already gone, (went this morning). So you see all our plans for absence of leave are knocked in the head. I have but little time to write, as have now to see to the sending off of our sick, and they are waiting for me.

I will write again as soon as I get a chance. Give my love to the children and accept a heart overflowing with love for your dearself, and may God bless you all.

Your affectionate
HusbandJ.C. Rutherford