Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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3d Div 6th Corps HospitalMarch 15th 1865My dear Wife,

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I have just received your letter of the 10th. I am sorry you feel so anxious about me, as there is no occasion for such anxiety.

I have been a little under the weather it is true but at no time so bad that I could not go out, except when I had the Mumps. I suspect the time that you did not hear as often as usual was when I had a small pox patient on my hands, and I did not care to send letter contaminated with this poison.

I think you will appreciate this apparent neglect, under such circumstances. Keep your mind easy My dear wife, and when I am sick you shall know it, and just how bad I am.

I am glad to learn that, that scamp has been caught, and I wish some other that I believe was interested in there [] proceedings could [] their just deserts. And you mark my word they will. From here this is for Royal (While you are having such terrible weather we are having delightful summer weather. Five days ago Virginia was litterally a sea of mud, but to day it is so dusty that it is almost suffocating to go out. This is the way the mud in the country dries up.

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But 24 hours rain could make it as muddy as ever. This fair weather makes us fear a move. In fact we are under marching orders now. We send all our sick off in the night last night. It is very evident that the enemy are preparing for some demonstration, and it is as evident that we are as ready to meet him as he is to come. The effect of Sheridan’s raid, and Schofields victory over Bragg has really made the rascals desperate and they have either got to get out of their present position or starve. Genl Sheridan sent a dispatch to Genl Grant yesterday saying that he had completely destroyed the Lynchburg R. Road and the canal leading from Richmond to Lynchburg. He said in his dispatch that “he had turned the James river into the Canal and washed the bottom out” It is undoubtedly the greatest raid of the whole war, and completely cuts off all supplies to Lee from the South western part of the State and N. Carolina. When he had got near Charlottesville the civil authorities came out three miles to meet him, and delivered to him the keys of all the public buildings. He was very much delayed in his movement by the mud, having a heavy wagon train with

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him. He also says that he found plenty of supplies for both man and beast. He is now laying at White House Va resting his men and animal, and also receiving supplies from City Point. White House is about 15 miles north of Richmond. You may not assured that Sheridan is not here without a purpose and he will make a break when it is least expected. The rebs have at last get the nigger on the brain, and in from of our corps (6th) they have the colored [] on picket. But they cannot trust them. When a picket is relieved, the relief does not bring a gun but takes the one the man he relieves has. So much for the rebel nigger soldiers.

Yesterday I saw about 100 deserters that came in the night before.

The weather is becoming dark and threatening with every indication of rain. Should it rain there will be no important move, but on the contrary if the weather should remain fair you may look for starlking news soon.)

The above news is for Royal if he wants []

I have written quite a lengthly article for him, that is now on the way, and which he will get before you receive this. I will as often as I get any thing of sufficient interest for a news paper article write to him.

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I have a little article that I wrote in regard to my visit to our little sunday school, that was intended to be read before the school at some future concert. I have hesitated about sending it thinking perhaps it would be a little soft. I might send it to you, and you could read it and if you thought it would be interesting you could hand it to Mr Hall to read if he thought best. I am glad to learn that Mr Page continues to improve. I have not had time with all our excitement to answer Helens letter yet. She deserves to have her letters answered they are so very neat and correct. But she must not fail to write to me if I do not answer all her letters. I have a singular fit come upon me. I do not sleep over 4 hours in the 24, lay awake most all night, has been so ever since I came back from Vt. It does not make me feel any ways uncomfortable, only it is so strange for me. Give my love to our dear children, and accept heaps of the sun article from your

Ever loving husbandJ.C. Rutherford