07 May 2014

Civil War 150: Philip Henry Rutter, part 2

Philip Henry Rutter served in the Civil War in Company K, 12th Iowa Volunteer Regiment from March 28, 1864 to July 1, 1864.  His parents, Emerson and Mary (Nichols) Rutter, both applied for pensions based on his service.  Found in the pension file were five letters Philip wrote home during May 1864.  Each letter provides a window into life in the army during the Civil War and details of Philip's unique experiences.

This is the second letter, see the Intro & Part 1.

May 7, 1864

On Pickit in the rear
of Memphis May 7th

Dear Mother
   It is with the greatest of pleasure that I sit down at this time to rite a few lines to let you now that I am well. we moved from Fort Pickering last monday and camped about 2 miles north of Memphis and I think we will stay thare for a month or two we have a good deal of Duty to do we have to go on Picket every other night and we generly of about 2 miles and to elop the climax we have to get up every other morning at 4 oclock and form in line of battle and stand thare until the sun is up that is dun to put us on our guard so as to be ready for an attack for old Forest is ar-round here. but I think we will be releived from so much in a day or so at least I hope so. for we have had to march so much the last week that my feet are blistered so that it hirts so to walk they are a getting better than they wer and if we are relieved from so much duty they will get will in a few days. Jube was over to see me the other day and stayed all day with me and we went over to the forth Cavelry to see the boys but they were all out on scout but Billey Young he did not go out with them for he had no hors he was quite glad to see us. he says he likes soldiery better now than he did when he first went in he says Jane is as harty as a buck and as fast as ever. Jube says he wishes he was in our regiment he says that thare is such a hard set in the Q: the government are using the smuglers just ritee acording to my notion they are a hanging them up as fast as possible they hang one the friday before we got here and they hand one yesterday and they have got some more to hang. thare is an neagro that hangs them the gets fifty dollars for every one the[crossed out] he hangs they have been smugling munition out to old Forest I would like to ent the rope for fifty of the villens worse than willens. Thare was a man shot the other day by some cavely man he was shot through the brest and thare is but little hope for him he belonged to the state malitia and he had got permit to take some provisions out through the pickets and with this stuf he had a jig of whiskey and the cavelry men were drunk and heard of it and so they stationed themselves on the road and when he came along they stoped him and saif they wanted his whis-key and he would not let them have it for he said they had enough and at that one of them drawed a revolver and shot him he was brought up to one hospi-tle and he is taken the of care of but the Doctor think he will be a prety hard time of it I found an old acainonce yesterday and who do you think it was is was Dell French he was for in the twelfth ever since it went out he is Fife Major in the regiments band. we are agoin to be paid oft in a few days and them I will send some more money home and I want you to take what I send home this time and use it for your self I have not received any letters from home since I left and I am geting aneions to here I think thare will be sum to night when we get in from Picket one Picket post to day is in an old Cotten field and the Cotten is coming up as thik as it can store. I guess that I have riten enough for this time I want you to rite as soon as you get this and tell me all news tell he news[?] rite before he starts back.
   this from your Dear son

Direct your letters
to Memphis Tenn
Co. K 12 Iowa Inf

P.S. As I was going up to the other I came across a very prety flower garden and I went and picked some of the flowers and I will send them to you acept them as a token of love.

[1] Philip Rutter to "Dear Mother" [Mary (Nichols) Rutter], letter, 7 May 1864; Mary E. Rutter, mother's pension application no. 223,150, certificate no. M.O.C. 193,691, for service of Philip H. Rutter (Pvt., Co. K, 12th Iowa Inf., Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications ..., 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.


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