Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp in the field near White Sulphur Springs VaAug 8th 1863My dear Wife:-

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One year ago to day I received my commission for the army. How many changes has taken place in this short space of time, how thankful we ought to be that there has been no changes that has bought sorrow to our hearts, or vacancies to our hearth storm. When we reflect how many have been made to mourn the loss of dear friends, and the homes left dissolate, it fills our hearts with gratitude for the preservation of our own lives and the lives of those we love. Yet it is astonishing how little we appreciate these blessings and how thoughtless we are because of this continuance I have past through many trials and dangers in the past year endured hardships that seems almost inendurable. Yet here I am sound in body, having met with but very little to disturb my feelings, living on good times with my fellow officers and the men. How will another year find us, who can see the future? Shall we be able to say as I have just said, we mourn the loss of more we love? But why ask these questions? Let us hope and have faith to believe that the end of another year may find us all together, enjoying the full

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blessings of domestic life and the comforts of peace resulting from a contented mind. God grant that all these blessings may be [         ] to us.

I received a letter from you and Helen this morning. I am surprised to learn that you passed these weeks without hearing from me, as I have written twice and three times a week ever since we left Pooleville, and oftener once a day. Especially when we were expecting to have those battles. I suppose Jack was glad to get home. Col Jewett and Capt Frost are now in Vermont after the drafted men. Tell Royal that if he comes out to come to our regiment and he will not regret it. As for the others I dont care where they go to. We was glad that we had enough to eat, we had at that time, but I have seen a time since that I did not have half a cracker in 24 hours, and march all day in the hot sun all day, what think you of that! What do you suppose Riley would say if she knew that her darling went two and three days without any thing to eat. But we make ourselves merry over these hardships and deprivations. How I should like one of your blueberry pies, it would be so nice and how I should have enjoy it with you. We can get no kind of garden vegetables

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the county being one barren waste, all we get comes from Washington. I am surprised that you think we are going to have war with England, nor can I see why you are so anxious to have me [       ] if we do. As for resigning that is out of the question at present at any rate. I think must have received all your letters by this time. If you have not mine, you will have a big batch of news when you do get them. I wrote to you yesterday and sent a check for $200.00. and I want you to write me the moment you receive it.

Tell Helen that I was very much pleased with her letter and will answer it tomorrow. Give the dear child my love, and dont forget the other little chicken. If you know how I am sweltering in the heaet as I am writing you will not complain that sheet is not full. Accept my devoted love

Your affectionate husbandJ.C. Rutherford