Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Camp in the field near Winchester VaSept 9th 1864My dear Wife,

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I know not what to write but will attempt to say something. I dont like to be always talking of myself, but in reality it is about all I have to write about. In the first place. I am happy to tell you that my health is much better, but I have not returned to duty yet nor do I mean to tell I feel much stronger than I am now.

You do not know how thankful I am for your kind sympathy for me. It is like a [] to my depressed spirits. I do not wish you was out here for I would not punish you so, but I do wish I was with you. I sat on the ground last night before the fire all alone and thought of home and of the comforts of home yes I may say the blessings of home, and did seem that I could endure this kind of life no longer. I thought on and on till the fire burnt low and the night advanced and I throw myself back on my blankets

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which were spread by the fire, to fall asleep and dream of home and all my treasons then. I do so long to throw my arms around you all that I can hardly restrain myself from crying out with the mental pain at the thought that I cannot do it. Since I have been sick I have had less to take my attention and therefore my mind has dwelt more upon home. I think of the time when I shall go home, but it looks like an age, even to the end of this campaign. I have got sick of the sound of battle, and its affects, death, mutilation & death staring us in the face day after day till the heart is sick. Dont understand me to say that our cause is not a just and Holy one, on the country, it is worth all it has cost us, and making any sacrifice for consistant with national honor. But it is time that some who have enjoyed the profits of this war and remained at ease in their quiet homes should share some fot he hardships with us who have stood the brunt of battle for 2 and 3 years without a murmur. But we all feel

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that peace is near at hand, but not such a peace as the copperheads propose to make, but such as our as will redound to the honor of our arms and the future welfare of the whole country. The Rebs acknowledge that their hope of success is in the success of the so called Democratic party at the north. What a comment upon the loyalty of that one noble party. But it is not that party, these willy traitors have stolen our honest name and garments to hide from views their infantry and treachery. May God in his judgement give them their just deserts.

I have my little shelter tent pitched in a most beautiful grove of oak and hickory, my little man standing a few feet in front of me tied to a walnut tree. She occassionaly looking round at me as much as to say, "what are you doing"? The sun comes through the trees just enough to give a genial warmth to the almost twilight darkness of the woods. To give you some idea of the house I have lived in all summer I will make a little drawing of it This is two pieces of cotton cloth 2 yards square and just high enough to get

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on your knees and crawl under. This is our shelter in storm and sunshine cold and heat night and day, just think of it, delightful aint it? We think so over the left. But we console ourselves by the reflection that it might be worse with us, and that it is not to last always. I have one thing that makes me feel very sad, my eye sight is failing me very much and all within the last 4 weeks. I think it oweing to the want of suitable spectacles and I cant get any, as it is necessary that I should fit my eyes, therefore I cant send for them. Could you get a pair that would fit your eyes good, steel bows and do them up strong and send them by mail? I believe mine fitted your eyes when I was at home. There I have made out a thing that we will call a letter. Remember me to our dear children and give them my love, and accept the true and sincere love of

Your ever affect husbandJ.C. Rutherford

I wrote to Helen yesterday