Letter – Lucy Reavis, May 1863

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In this short note from Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL to her fiancé Major Thomas K. Jackson in MS, Reavis is sorry to hear that Jackson is ill and is sending him some tea.


I am so very sorry, my dear Major, that I am unable to do anything for your comfort – Capt Williams sent me word that you wanted some Tea, but Ma has the keys and I can only find this little bundle, which I hope is worth drinking, tho’ fear not

You can not think how sorry I am for your sickness and how happy I should be to do anything in the world for your comfort – If there is anything we can do, be sure and let me know. If Ma were here, she would know what to send you – She charged me with several messages for you, which I hope to deliver soon – Do get well quickly – I cannot bear to hear every day that you are no better or worse –

Very truly yours

L. Reavis –


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

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