10 May 2014

Civil War 150: Philip Henry Rutter, part 3

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 IntroPart 1 & Part 2.

May 10, 1864


Camp 12th Iowa
Memphis Tenn May 10th 64
Dear Mother & Father
I take my pen in hand at this time to rite a few lines to let you now that I am well and hope that this will find you enjoying the same great blessing. I received a letter from you Sunday and it was the first one I have received since I [?] left. I say three cheers for the School hurrah hurrah hurrah but those that go for their month servis will think that they are brave soldiers when they get back they can tell some of the greatest yarns that was ever none of. I expect when we get back that we wont be any think besige of them but we will show them. we are having very rainy weather here now it comes eed raining yester while are were out on Picket we had a very sever sone this after noon it was a reagler wind storme. we had all we could do to keep our tents from blowing over and after the wind was over it comenced raining and at rainded as hard as ever I see it flooded our tent all over and we got our blankets all wet. I was glad we had to get on picket that night for we had some boards to lay on but if had staid in camp we would have had to lay in the mud. but we had a hard time of it after all for a little while after we got to one post it comenced raining as hard as ever and then it comenced graining cold and we suffered with it some. I was on the last relief and I stood about 4 hours and it was colder thin than any part of the night. I think thare will be a very heavy frost tonight I want you to rite and tell me whether Henry Jackson has enlisted or not and Ed Smith also. I glory in little Johny Davis'es spunk. but I suppose he gots as drummer if you had not paid Mr Difendeffer & Mr Taylor what I owed them I wished you would for (told) I them that I would just as quick as I got my pay. we had some break and milk for our breakfast this morning but it was dear eating for we had to pay twenty cents a quart for milk. we had good news from Grants Army last night if it was them and I hope it is, if is it will put a damper on the rebels that they wonnt get over for some time. I rote a letter to Cousin Edman the other day. I guess his folks will think little Fip is not quite as little he was when we left thare when they get it. I am in hopes I will get a letter from home before long for I am uneasy about the money that I sent. when it comes I want you to use it just to the best advantage you can. I would like to have you pay up for the place as quick as you can for then we will have a home we can call our owe. we expect to get paid off again in a few days and then I will send home some more and I want mother to take some of it and get some things for herself. if she don't I will give her a scolding. the more I see of Memphis the more I like it for it always looks so well and clean and they have such pretty yards. thare is a place down town that they call the Soldiers Cristian Commision and the soldiers eary go thare and ritce and they furnish pens ink and paper free of charge, and they have all kinds of books to read and they have a Melodin thare and thare is a Lady thare that plays on it. I tell you that it is a nice place. you said you wanted me to get Vaxinated. I was Vaxinated last Tuesday but I don't think it is again to work Jubes did not. well Dear Parents I must stop writing for this time for I cant think of any more to rite. give my love to all and keep a good share to yourselves. so good by for this time.
this from yours Dear son, Philip
[1]  Philip Rutter to "Dear Mother & Father" [Emerson and Mary (Nichols) Rutter], letter, 10 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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