Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camo in the field near Sulphur Springs VaAug 24th /63My dear Wife:-

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I have just received your letter of the 20th. Just think only 4 days in coming. I guess you have not received all my letters if the 8th of Aug was the last, for as a [    ] I write twice and three times a week. I am going to answer your questions first. We are living pretty well just now but we get every thing from Washington. It is true I should like to occupy a higher position, but as there has been no vacancies there has been no chance for promotion. My chance will come by and bye. You undoubtedly have got a letter [  ] this that may not give you very unpleasant feelings in relation to this same subject. I am pleased that Horan feels an interest in my welfare. And it grateifes me to learn that my friends at home feel that I deserve promotion. But they can feel only a friendly interest in this as they do not know what

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really qualifies a man for the position of Surgeon of a Regt. As to the enquiries of "a friend". All I can say is that some times the position of Salter is bid for, but I cannot say how high the bid goes. A good action man (if the Col is favorable) generally get the appointment without a fee. The esteem that a Salter has in a Regt depends upon himself. I could not just see the need of mystery in the matter unless you made a promise to to pay more. As to the matter of diging a well I should think it you had better have it done. You will need it and it wont cost any more now than a year [    ]. If you do not you will be obliged to have a boy this winter (not a little boy) and that will cost you more than a well. I am glad to learn that our friends Mr & Mrs Page are getting better. When you see them dont forget to remember me to them. When Doctors disagree who shall decide? Dr Taylor is right when he says there is no such a disease as 'gastive fever' - strictly speaking. There is fever

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in connection with gastive [           ]. But neither are dependant upon the other, the gastive disturbance being simply accidental. We have had [50] or more such cases since we have been here, and we find them approaching typhoid fever more than any thing else, and every case has been complicated more or less with diarrhea. We have succeeded in relieving all our cases, by not letting the patient eat or drink any thing and give a Morphine powder at bed time. Cussing the stomach and bowels and sometimes blistering them. If the vomiting is very obstinate I give a few drops of Chloro-form in a little water every 2- 3- or 4 hours as the care demands. We give very little medicine in any cases of sickness. We depend almost entirely upon Whiskey and beef tea. It is getting so dark that I cannot see to write any more and the wind blows so that a candle wont burn. I close this now as I can send it out tonight. Give my love to all.

Your loving husbandJ.C. Rutherford
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I have got a chance to write a little more. I have just come from my Hospital and find my patients all better. We have a way of treating diseases here that I calculate will be of great service when I get home, and I am so selfish as to keep my mode to myself.

Tucker returned to us yesterday and is looking better than I ever saw him before. Tell his Father that is is all right, and a good boy. Tell him that his being in the Hos-pital has a wholesom restraint upon his habits As we have none them but who are strictly temporate. Do not fear about my being sick for if I am you shall know it. I am getting fat again. I got the little picture. Thank God for the continued good health of our family. Here it is nearly 8 oclock P.M. and the sweat is litterally running off of me how would you like such heat? I got a letter from you a day or two ago dated June 20th I am much pleased with the News, and shall try and get up a club for it

Yours EverJCR

The thunder is reeling over our heads with a will, and look out for a wet shirt tonight as our tent leaks like an old river, but we dont mind it the sun will dry us off in the morning You see we take things very [    ] out here