Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

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Head Qrts 17th Vt VolsMarch 29th 1865My dear Wife,

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I received your letter of the 24th last evening Thank you for your kind wished for my welfare I regulated very much to leave the 10th Vt but my regrets were softened by the circumstances in which I left that regiment. The congratulation that I received from all my friends were very flattering to me. No one has left the 6th Corps with more friends than I did, and I feel proud that my [] with the officers of the 3d Div in particular was such as to win their respect. It is a rare thing for a person situated as I was (and particularly a surgeon) that been with there so long leaves with without an evening. Respect has always been shown me for my ages, expression, and skills, a remarkable thing in our profession which is proverbiale for its jealousy of each other. Whether I deserved all this or not is another question.

The Medical director of the Corps expressed much regret that I should leave, but congratulated me upon my promotion, which he thought I richly deserved. These things are hardly worth telling of

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but they are very agreeable to my feelings. My present position bids fair to be as pleasent in every respect as it was in the 10th. My rank gives me more "sea room" and what officer that are here I am very much pleased with. The Col. (Randell) is home on a leave, and the Major (Knapp) is in command. I quarter with the Major and like him very much. He is a man of most excelent habits and of liberal education. I have told you in a former letter who my asst surgeon was. I have get to break him as he is perfectly green in the business. Where I first reason to the regiment he had quite notions of going to other regiments and staying half a day. I soon put a stop to this, and gave him to understand that he could not go out of camp without leave. I set him an example by not going myself without asking the commanding officer leave to go, in his presence, and never to leave camp when I was absent. You ask me about my hospital attendents. I have but form here The stewards and the nurses. Albert Gleries is one and stays with me all the time. The men are a crying fair class and I think I shall like them - I do so far. Col Henry has a brother in this regiment who is a Lt.

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Poor little Kittie, dont know to make of Papa's saying "well". I must write her good long letter. We are all stired up here, every thing packed ready for a march. Was up all last night expecting an attack from the enemy. I have seen great commotions in the army many times, but never so much as has been for the last three days. Sheriden is here with 15,000 cavelry. Terry has joined our left with the 25th Corps, Colored troops from Wilmington Genl Sherman is at City Point and Genl Commotion all round. We shall have written a week such a crash as never was heard since the world began, and every soldier is tip toe with excitement and ready to power upon the enemy with a will. We all feel elated at the speedy prospects of the downfall of the rebellion. The rebs are desperate and we are confident and determined. The weather is delightful for military operations and Grant is improving it. He came up from City Point the morning and going to the left to super intend matters there. We expect to be called to fall in every minute so I cannot write a long letter or a news paper article. Such of the above as would suit Royal for news let him have, as I do not know when I can write again. I will give him such news as may be interesting to his readers as

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often as I can. I am very well and hope I may continue so. Give my love to the children and take a share for yourself.

Ever thineJ.C. Rutherford

P.S. save this poetry for me.

My dear daughter,
Accept my thanks for your congratulations, and it gives me great pleasure that you feel so much interest in my success. Aint you giving me a big boost "from surgon to say Genl?

I have been promoted to the highest rank a surgeon can go, at the top of the ladder. Let us be satisfied, if we do our duty well as we are. Dr Clark will take my place as Asst Surgeon in charge. He will do well, as he has had a good school to learn how to do it. As I have told your mother all I have to say of interest, and bring all [] up and [] at that I will not write more this time. I do not have much work to do as we have very few sick.

Your affectionate Father
J.C. Rutherford