Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Charlestown VaSept 2d 1864My dear Wife:-

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I feel it a duty and desire to write to you, but I feel a great degree of reluctance to do so. To think of you is to think of our lost treasure, and to think of him is but tearing my heart []. While I am busy about my duties day times I get along very well but when I lay down at night all alone in my solitude my mind dawdles upon my dear boy and my dreams are visions of home and he makes up one of the number. I wake up with the terrible truth that we have lost our precious boy. The thought of going home and not seeing him in his accustomed place makes me shudder. I try to bear my bereavement with as much fortitude as I can, and hope that I am not unreasonable. And when I reflect that our loss is his gain I feel more reconciles, and feel that there is a duty involving upon us that to perform will ensure our meeting our lost treasure again. My mind has

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dwelt upon this subject for a long time. When I reflect upon the great responsibility resting upon us as parents the necessity of a truer life comes upon me with great force. Our children look to us for guidance and it is our duty to guide them rightly so far as we know, and to neglect this duty would be doing our dear children a great infection. This is a subject upon which I never have made any remarks before and perhaps they will not meet with as much seriousness of thought as I have expressed I do not wish to dictate to you what you may or may not do. Your own concious and good sense is your guide. I only wish to let you know my feelings upon the subject, therefore you will pardon my taking up so much time in expressing my undefined sentiments.

I want to express my thanks to my dear Helen for the very thoughtful and kind manner in which she broke to me the news of our mutual loss. It was so kindly done. She is a dear good girl, and so are the rest of our children. I want to see them very much. Tell Helen that I will write to her just as soon as I can do so

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and do justice to the subject. I am in no frame of mind to write much to any one.

I have written to you that I was quite unwell but I did not wish to alarm you. I have been able to be about. MY sickness is the result more of extreme fatigue and anxiety of mind than any thing else. I have not done any hting the past week, nor do I mean to do any thing until my health is fully restored. The medical director of our division insisted upon my coming to the Hospital (where I am now) and stay with him, which is extremely kind in him. knowing it is a favor that he has shown to no other doctor in the whole division and nearly every one of them has been sick this summer.

It is a favor that I fully appreciate. I am treated very kindly by them all. Never fear but I shall be cared for.

The wind blows my paper about so that I can hardly write. This sitting on the ground and wriitng on a rough board on your knee takes the romance out of us, and it is a wonder that we can think at all.

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I have wanted to give you a descriptive of the country where we are but have not felt like doing it justice. We have laid where we are about a week, in sight of the tree where old John Brown was hung. This has very little interest to me, but the scenery about here is unsurpassed by any thing I ever saw. The weather is delightful except we have very cold nights which is peculiar to this climate. In my next I will give you some history of our compaigning in this valley.

Give my love to our dear children, and accept the love of your affectionate Husband

J.C. Rutherford

Please send me some Postage Stamps

It must be your do not get all of my letters, thought I have not written as often as usual.