Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy, from Macon, MS. Thomas is unhappy at the prolonged separation from his new wife and inquires about her visit to Eutaw. He mentions a recent conversation with a local woman about securing a room for him and Lucy to board in. He also describes a party he attended the night before, and how they played plenty of games, although there was no music or dancing. Thomas remarks on the romantic lives of several of his friends and comrades, and mentions that “beaux are in demand.” He requests that Lucy send his love to her family, and writes that he hopes to see her within a few weeks.
Macon, Jany 27, 1864.
My sweet wife,
I have just read over again your last two charming letters, and am all impatience to see you – Our wedded life has opened to me an unthought heaven., while this cruel separation deprives me of much of its happiness – Oh! I am too, too anxious to see you – To me, your voice is a delightful music – Your winning smile, an irresistible spell – If there is anything under the skies I worship, it is my honor – if there is anything dearer to me than that honor, it is your own sweet self –
My fond heart sends blessings to you upon every breeze, and I am entirely eternally yours.
Mr Hart came up from Mobile this morning – saw Reavis at the Junction, who told him you were to start to Eutaw today – I am glad you concluded to go – Miss Mar: Lou: deserves this attention from you, & will appreciate it – I hope you may enjoy your visit – You must tell me all about it, that I may share in your pleasure – I called upon Mrs Larnagin yesterday – Mrs Ferris
was there – I soon made my business known – it was not unexpected – Kind Mrs Beauchamp had prepared the way – Mrs Larnagin has three gentlemen boarding with her – Would not mind taking others, if she could get anything to eat – She did not give me a positive or final answer – Mrs Ferris advocated our case warmly.
I told Mrs Larnagin we did not expect anything to eat – we were in love – and that I would call again before going to Gainesville – She seems a sweet gentlewoman, and willing to oblige us – only hesitates from want of confidence in her resources – La belle Fannie had he little party last night – We had cards, & games, syllabub & cake – no music no dancing – quite a pleasant little affair – I played the “agreeable” to Miss Pat Lyles, whom I found to be quite a sensible girl – She does not like her younger sister’s having married before her – is apprehensive the term “Old maid” will be applied to her prematurely – silly girl, in that, isn’t she? Miss Edith & miss Kate were present – They improve vastly – A little abrupt, or so – only habit – No letters from Charlie very recently – Had a long chat with the former – two of the Company, Doctors Brown & Rigg, are
said to be in love with two others of the Company – the Misses Bush – One of the gentlemen affects the heroics, & tries to look consequential – the other attempts witticisms, but never gets beyond a species of waggery – The “Bushes” are thriving little shrubs, but require culture – altogether, the brace of couples seem very well matched, and appearances confirm the reports about them.
The young ladies here seem to think a girl very fortunate if her matrimonial prospects are visible – Beaux are in demand, & the advent of a single gentleman is forthwith telegraphed the length & breadth of the community – What do you think, all the girls want to know if any clerk were single – Ha ha! Old Jim Hart! Some of them asked me – You should have seen me presiding at dinner today – Half a dozen ladies at table – Capt Lucas absent – roast turkey to carve – I managed the turkey very well, but forgot the ladies names before I was ready to serve it – Called them all sorts of wrong names- my mistakes were ludicrous enough – La belle Fannie helped my out now & then – I was glad to amuse them however, even at the expense of my blushes – It was a delightful dinner party – we all laughed &
enjoyed it vastly – I am vain enough to think I made an unusually favorable impression, notwithstanding my blunders, which, though numerous, I had sufficient skill & tact to turn to my advantage-
I have at last succeeded in getting the rooms I desired – they are delightful – I moved in yesterday – I’ve got Mr Hart in his shirt sleeves hard at work – Oh he will have such a delectable time fore the next two or three weeks – I shall be no better off – but sill always find time to write, if only a line, to my Darling, who is the bright queen of my thoughts – Do my letters reach you regularly? – I hope so – this is the fourth since I saw you. Give my love to your Mother – Tell her I remember her affection for me with pride & gratitude – I only wish I were more worthy of such goodness –
I send much love to your Father, and sweet sister, little Willie & all – I hope to be with you in the course of two or three weeks if not sooner – I shall work hard – At the bare thought of seeing you soon, my heart beats as if it had wings. Good bye my own sweet wife – fondly yours TKJ
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.