Letter – Lucy Reavis, 8 January 1864


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Letter written by Lucy Reavis Jackson to her new husband, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A. Lucy is writing to Thomas even though he is expected to return home the next day. Captain Butler was supposed to visit, but was unable to come due to the frigid temperatures. Lucy updates Thomas on the state of her family members, and mentions the recent cold weather. She writes about how she recently made ice cream. Lucy is thrilled at her new title of Mrs. Jackson, though she worries that she will not see Thomas as much now that they are married as when they were engaged.

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Home. January 8th 1864

My Precious One

Mar Lou says it is foolish in me to write to you this afternoon, as you said in your letter that you’d be here the last of the week, and to-morrow is Saturday – but perhaps you will not be able to come & if you do, you will have this to entertain you to-night at the delectable Junction. Oh! I am so glad you are coming – It seems an age since you left and I have wished for you contantly – If Mar Lou were not here there is no telling what would become of me – As it is – I am in a measure contented, for I could not be so constantly with her, were you here – I am so fond of my Beloved, that I cannot stay with my best friend when he is near – We were very much disappointed yesterday that Captain Butler did not come – The cars did not go out on Wednesday – Arrived about 4 in the afternoon & found every thing so frozen up, that they could get not water from the tank – So they remained inactive until late evening. We were all glad to hear the Captain was coming & Ma had a nice dinner cooked & charged Uncle John to bring him up – Sister had her home-spun ready for the occasion & expected to make him waver in his attachment for the young lady at Jackson. What do you think of Kittie? Going down to Meridian she abused widowers unnecessarily – He was certainly kind & attentive to her, gave her his shawl to make her more comfortable & when she returned it, remarked that he prized it very highly, as it had been his wife’s. Kit was thunder-struck – she had never heard that he belonged to the abused class – I hope he came to-day. The cars arrived as we were going to dinner – Kittie got home on Tuesday – Also arrived on that day to Ma’s & Mrs Anderson’s great joy the body of the unfortunate

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Doctor – He is still unburied – as the ground is too hard frozen to dig the grave – Sallie has been very sick, so poor Mrs A- is in distress in every way. Haven’t we had a splendid freeze? The Captain was here Tuesday night, as impudent as ever. When he left, I thought it must be snowing & sure enough next morn the whole earth was covered – Mar Lou & I have had such charming walks – The next evening we started, enjoyed the walk finely, tho’ both got a hard fall. I was building air-castles for our entertainment, & like the milk-maid – I found them over-turned, by my own fall. We went to see Lizzie Bradshaw this morning – She looked really blue & wintry, tho’ we were in a glees, with the rosiest cheeks — and noses you ever saw – Poor Mr B- has been suffering from an attack of his old enemy, and is still confined to his room. He begs that you will come to see him when you return. We all wished for you Wednesday night Mar Lou & I made some elegant ice-cream – You would have enjoyed it – Your letter came that night – Pa gave it to me, saying “here is a letter for the Major” – He has not become accustomed to my new name yet. I have any quantity of things to tell you, but will wait until to-morrow. Isn’t it too nice? The idea of seeing you so soon – I am mighty sorry Edward was sick, hope he is well again & able to assist you, in taking possession of your new quarters – It will be very disagreeable for you to have to stay all night at Junction when you come down. I am afraid you will not come as often as when we were engaged – Pa & Ma send their love. Kit was delighted, at the affectionate measure in which you spoke of her – She & Mar Lou desire their love – Mammie has gone to see her father – I shall get Mr Warren to take this to the Junction as you suggested – if he finds you there he will give it to you – In the hope of seeing you soon I am your happy & devoted little wife

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I wrote to you on Tuesday & enclosed a letter from some of your friends

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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