Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp in the field near PetersburghDec 22d /64My dear Wife,,

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It is a very rainy day and every thing looks dreamy and dismal. But for all this we are at work as hard as we an fitting up our Hospital, and we get very little time for any thing else.

I have just come in from the operating tent, when I took out a portion of the bones of a mans foot which were shattered by a ball last evening while on picket. It was a very delicate job, but I succeeded in making a very neat job of it, and the man will save his foot. This kind of work is very tiresome, and the anxiety one feels to do it well is very exausting.

You will see by my letter to Helen what position I hold as a Surgeon here in the Army. Though material aid does not come directly from it, yet it is own that I have reason to feel proud of. Gov Smith to the contrary notwithstanding.

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I received your letter containing one from Mr Cobb. I know that such things must be very trying to you. God knows I would shield you from if I could. We have recd no pay since I sent you the last money, nor are we to be paid off till into Jan. You must get all you need let it cost what it may and when we are paid off you will have the money to pay for such things as you get. It is enough that I suffer cold and privations without my dear little family doing so. I should take no rest if I knew you were suffering for this slightest article of comfort. It is what I am out here for to provide against any such thing, and if you should fail to get them I shall have failed in my object.

In a few days it will be Christmas and how I do long to be with you on that day. I can endure to think of it. I hope it will be the last I

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shall ever spend from home. If there was not a prospect of my doing better I would resign and come home, and I may do so yet. If I cant be properly rewarded for my earness attention to my duties and acknowledged skill they may go to thunder. The cause is a good one but when I see others who I know have no special merit, receiving favors that should be awarded to the worthy only. I feel that I have been unjustly dealt by, and I wont submit to it much longer.

Dec 26th I commenced this letter some days ago, and should have finished it before, but I had no postage stamps and I let if flicker. I have written all the news in Helens letter. George is after Gov Smith with sharp sticks, and he writes to me that he will make him give down. Joseph Daggett visited me yesterday and told me he was going home in a few days and would call and see you.

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Dont find fault because I have not filled this sheet. I am very busy all the time looking after my men and directing the work.

I am very well for which I am realy thankful for it.

Love to all and to your dear self.

Your affectionate
HusbandJ.C. Rutherford