Joseph Rutherford to Daughter

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Head Qrts 3d Div 6th Corps HospitalNear PetersburghDec 25th 1864My dear daughter

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I received yours of the 18th last evening. I had been to City Point for the purpose of getting some turkeys &c for a Christmas dinner for the patients in the Hospital, and the Hospital attendents. I got 370 lbs of turkeys green chickens and ducks. This was divided into these parts for the three Divisions of our Corps. To day we had our share cooked (nicely too) and gave all the patients a good dinner. We surgeons had one baked for our own eating, and my dear daughter you may be certain that it was good.

Was you ever awakened from a quiet sleep by the sweet sounds of music? If not you cannot have the slightest conception of the most exquisite [] that music is capable of producing upon the []. This is a common occurance with us here, but I never experienced such a heavenly sensations as I did this morning

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about an hour before day, when I was gently awakened by the playing of a band some distance off so that the sounds just reached my ear in their most melodious cadence. They were playing the turn called "Antioch", the words are "Joy to the world the Lord is come", &c &c and even note sent are exquisite thrill through my whole system. But you must experience it to appreciate it.

Very soon after day light I jumped on Lady lightfoot and rode over to the regiment (about a mile away,) to wish them all a merry Christmas.

How I have longed to be home with you to day and I know you have wished me home a great many times in the course of the day, and I know you were all disappointed by my absense. But I could not well avoid it without great sacrifice to us all, therefore we had to forgo these mutual pleasures. But as you say there are but a few weeks more when my time will be out and then I hope to be home with you all the time. You ask me if I am going to Washington

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I dont know yet. I had a letter from your Uncle George yesterday and he says that Gov Smith called on him a few days ago for a favor, and he remembered how the Governor had treated me and sent him off as he came, but he has given the Gov. to understand that when he will do me justice then he will consider his (the Gov) application. Your Uncle thinks that it will be all right. We shall see what we shall see.

Dont think I refer to the weather for the want of a better subject, but because I think the contrast between the weather here and in Vermont will interest you. There was a few days last week that it was very cold here, and it was very difficult to keep any ways warm, and in fact for 3 or 4 nights I was obliged to go to bed soon after dark to keep warm. It is quite warm now and will be so for a number of days. You will have heard of the glorious news from sherman before this reaches you. This morning there was 100 guns fired here in honor

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of this great victory. You may recollect when I was at home last winter that I said that the greatest battles of the war would be fought before the next christmas, and after that the war would soon close, does it not look very much like it now? I think 20 Deserters are coming into our lines by hundreds and see that it is of no use to fight any longer.

I [] fill my sheet when I write to you but I am very busy and have very little time to call up incidents that would interest you. Will do better by and by.

Give my love to your Mother and the children and may God bless you all

Your affectionate Father,J.C. Rutherford