Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp in the field near Culpepper VaSept 20th 1863My dear Wife,

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I received your letter dated the 15th last evening, and also the P.S. stamps, for which accept my sincere thanks. It is the first time I believe that I have sent home for any thing, and I am very much pleased with the spirit in which it was complied with.

I may be a little unreasonable in my request about your writing oftener. I was thinking the matters over and find that I do get letters oftener than I was aware of. What made me think I did not get a letter it seemed like a long time since I had one. I have not received the letter you wrote the day before this, but no doubt but I shall get it to day. You speak of the Diphtheria being very preva-lent in that section. It is a fearful disease but it does very little good to dread it.

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If any of you get it (which I hope you may not) Use my old prescription for it. viz Muriate of Ammonia grs 15, Espom Salts [        ] one. Tarter [      ] grs 3. All in one oz of lemon syrup, give a teaspoon-ful every 2 or 3 hours as the case may be. You ask me to write 2 or 3 sheets in a letter Aint that a little greedy? I think if you know under what circumstances I write one sheet full you would hardly ask me to tax myself to writing a small vol at a time. I really thought I was doing pretty well to write every other day. But I can appreciate your feelings. When I come to compare the size of my letters with yours I think that I am a little ahead.

I should think by the tone of your letters that you friends were coming down off their pedes-tal of dignaty. Circumstances change peoples feelings very much sometimes. I cannot forget the indignaties I have suffered at their hands and the day will come that I shall get sweet satisfaction for there trials. Some that

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under took to [    ] it over me, have change plans with us. The change is the result of a providential interporition. God forgive my men if I entertain an unchrist-ian feeling towards them, but as justice is to be [    ] out to all I feel it is my duty to be satisfied with the dispensations of providence. I wish you to treat them as your feelings may dictate regardless of what I may feel or say. They are your blood rela-tions and you naturaly feel disproud to live on friendly terms and I am certainly willing you should. I am very glad you have got a well dug. I must say I should prefer to have had it in our own yard, but as things are perhaps it is for the best as it is, when I come home I can have another dug if I want. 25 dollars was very cheap for such a well. I know that water could be got there without diging to China. Every one I talked with about it thought I was wild when I told them that water could be found less than 30 feet. I judged by the lay of the

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land and pitch of the rock on the hill above us and the distance we are from the first base. You see I was not far from right.

We are having very cold weather here, the nights are extremely cold. It was so cold last night that I lay and shivered all night long I had 4 good woolen blankets my over coat and all my cloths on besides. I could not get warm. To day though the sun is shining beatifully bright I have worn my over coat a good part of the time and as I sit writing my hands are when with the cold. It is very much like October weather in Vermont. It comes harder on us as we have no means of warming our tents, and the wind blows so that a fire out of doors would be of very little use. The only thing I regret is that I have not got some of those informal traitors called Copper heads to feel the sufferings their treachery adds to the other sacrifices or all have to make an account

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of their treason. If our soldiers could get hold of the dirty scoundrals in 20 minutes that would not be over left to tell the tale. And the time is not far distant where many of them "Arnolds" will wollow in their own traitor birthblood, Our soldiers respect the for in front, but they have a devilish hatred for their foes in the rear, and mark me they will nurse that hatred and time will never soften it Let any one who doubts this [                    ] spend a few days with our Vt troops and converse with them upon the subject. They will get away with a flea in their ear I can assure you There remarks one provaked by reading an article in the News of the 16th inst relation to a town meeting held in the school house. There is one thing to be regretted that is that all those who voted not to help the poor conscript) did not have their names recorded with their vote. To draft a man is not enough but you must send him off to the field of battle with his family unprovided for. What courage would

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you expect such a man to have? The perpetrations of this foul injury upon the ready soldier, who is going to battle to make this very many which they refuse to give him a share of ay values to its [     ] or - will not with a just retrobution.

The deed has been recorded and every soldier (Volunteer or Conscript) has seen or will see this foul stain upon our town and our own fairgrowing name. There is but one way to remove this black mark recind that vote. In the name of God and our Country undo this "foul deed". This appeal come from one who now stands in line of battle at this very moment in front of the open foes of our country, ready to do or die. Let no time be lost lest the chance to [        ] this gross ever many be lost. And let us feel that we are fighting for friends instead of covert enemies at home. A Soldier and a Union Democrat. The above is written for publication is you see fit. The begining of there remarks [   ] more particularly for your [      ], but if

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the Editor sees fit he can soften the terms to suit the case. Particularly those first lines between the ( ).

I can tell you my indignation knows no bounds when I read this notice and you can judge something of my feelings by what I have passed through [   ].

Dr Childe and myself took a ride this morning to visit the six corps I went over expressly to see Eugene but as luck will have it when I want to find that boy he is off some where else. I learned that he was well which was some satisfaction He is stationed about 2 miles from us and but a few minutes ride to him. We are drawn up in line of battle, and the line is horse shoe shape and 10 miles from end to end, and what is rather singular [    ] are a ridge nearly the whole distance and have complete command of the country in our front. You can trace our line on the map by starting at the base of the mountains and follow round to the junction of the Rapid-ance and Rappahannock in a circle like this ◠ You see by this how easy it will

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be if one wing is attacked by a suprise form for the troops at the far end to cross over to defeat them. This is the shape of the line at Gettesburgh.

I did calculate to write to the little children to dady but I am rather timid to write now and have not time enough to write before the mail goes out.

You must give my regards to Mrs Parker and all the rest of our friends. Remember me to the children and kiss them all for

As Ever Your affectionate and loving
HusbandJ.C. Rutherford