Kate went to town and took little Sarah with her. She found letters there from Rufus, Ephraim and Jane. Rufus at Frederick. It was written last Saturday. He thought the rebels meant to fight. "If there is a battle you may know I am there" he says, "If severely wounded I want Lucy to come to me at Baltimore or Washington. If killed I ask no more honorable grave than the battlefield". May God spare him to see our beloved land restored to peace and happiness and give to him an honorable life and old age. Ephraim and Jane have both been sick. I feel anxious for them all and for William as well as for the cause generally. My heart is greatly troubled. The fighting near Sharpsburg, Maryland, has been terrific and seems still to continue, our forces steadily pressing back the enemy while a rise in the Potomac prevents the rebels from fording back into Virginia. The situation of affairs is hopeful but critical. "But God reigns, let the earth rejoice".
The letter Rufus wrote to his sister Kate on September 13, 1862 from Frederick was written after having been in battles at the Rappahannock, Gainesville, and Bull Run. On September 14, he would be battling at South Mountain. By the time the Cutler/Dawes family read his letter, Rufus had been through the first day of battle at Antietam (Sharpsburg). It is no wonder that he considered it likely that he would be wounded or killed. His sister Lucy was unmarried, and often tended to sick family members.