Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp in the field near Winchester VaDec 3d 1864My dear Wife:-

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I received to day your letter of Nov 25th, describing your visit to Lucien. It made me feel very sad to think that he is so low and that in all probability I shall never see him again. You must know what a load has been lifted from my mind by the knowledge that he has, though late seen that we were not to blame for any thing that occured, and that he was ready and willing to make all friendly again. It must have been a happy, as well as a very sad moment to you to have him express himself feelingly towards you. Providence has interford that I shall not see him again upon earth, and the thought gives me pain. But the hope that we may meet before our God in heaven were all as seen as they are, has a softening It would be impossible for me to write any thing at present about Lucien. I know nothing where I am going to be

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influence upon my sorrow. Oh that we coudl send a message of love by him to our dear little ones in heaven.

I am sensible that the christians faith has a suffering effect on the Christians dying moments, aye, and more upon his life. We may attempt to hide this fact from ourselves as much as we please, there will be times when the need of this faith in God and goodness to us will form itself upon us with almost a withering force. If you or any one want more evidence of this than their own convictions and experience let them go to the battle field and see the unterminated faith the dying soldier has in his Creator. There it is seldom if ever heard said by a soldier get going to meet his God "I have doubts if I shall be saved", but it, I die willingly, and have strong faith that I am goign to meet

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my saviour" or expressions of similar character. There is no manifestation of doubt. And why should those who are enjoying all the blessings and privaleges of their fearful homes? This may seem strange to you for me to express myself so unqaulifiedly upon this subject knowing that I do not make any of the generally accepted pretentious to pity. But I truly feel all I have expressed, yes a thousand times more than I can express. Creeds I throw behind me. All I care to konw is that I am living a life that will meet with Gods acceptance and make my own concesion approve of my trust in our Orcator.

I was sorry to learn that Mr Page was sick. I hope he will recover.

I have told you what I had for thanksgiving dinner. I wrote a letter to you yesterday saying that we were packing

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up. Well we did pack up, but we did not get orders to move till a few minutes ago (10 oclock P.M.) We are to move at 8 tomorrow morning. I think we shall have a sweet time of it as it now raining hard.

I have a great heap of butternuts meats that was sent me from Vt by an old lady in Barre. Her Son has just returned from a furlough. As I write this I am amusing myself by eating the She also sent me a splendid pair of socks and some maple sugar. Kind in wasnt it? It is getting late and I have got get up very early.

Give my love ot the children and kiss them all for me. If you do not get up a Christmas dinner for the children I shall take it very hard. It is but a small faovr I ask for their sake. My poor old heart is full of love for you.

Your affect husbandJ.C. Rutherford

I shall write to you the first chance I get