Letter written by Lucy Reavis Jackson to her husband, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., dated February 3rd, 1864, from Gainesville, Alabama. Lucy praises Thomas for the elegant and romantic letters he sends her. She updates him on the health and overall well-being of her family, including the illness of her aging mother. Lucy mentions that many people have recently been married, and she hopes that they are as happy as she and Thomas.
Home Feb. 3d 1864.
You are too good to me, my dear Darling- I have another letter to-day, written yesterday, for which accept many thanks – Your letters are perfect models, when I read them to Mar Lou, she wonders if all men write to their wives so sweetly – and says if she is not in love with you, she is with your delightful, affectionate letters – she has not learned yet, that my beloved one is different, superior to all other men – I must write fast, or my letter will not go this afternoon, Uncle John has already come up. Do you know I received two letters from you yesterday – In the morning one came dated the 31st, In the afternoon came another, the 25th Where had it been for a whole week? But though I had several of a later date, it was mighty sweet – It does me good to see soon your hand-writing.
I am afraid though Nannies’ “wanderings have ceased” you will not soon derive any benefit from the “contract”- She is going to school again – a great burlesque Ma thinks – In her spare hours she has to dress & visit, so has little time to devote to you – Now, you see, if you had given it to me, I should have taken the greatest pleasure in making the bag, and it would have been completed long ago. They all say, I am jealous of the least attention, shown you by others – that I want you all, myself. Am I – Can I be – so selfish? Mittie has not been to school this week – She is really a martyr to sore throat – Then too she is a little blue – Mar Lou and I had a delightful walk yesterday afternoon – met one of Mr Giles servants, who had come in to send a dispatch to Mr G. His mother is very ill – I am so sorry, the old lady is quite old & delicate & there are so few in the family, they cannot afford a single member – I hope sincerely she will recover- He was not at home when his
father died – so now they always telegraph as soon as any one is sick. Dinner is ready – Well. the troublesome meal is over. You should see me presiding at the table, during Ma’s sickness – Quite matronly I look – Ma is better, improving every day. She is up and dressed – enjoying a bird, that Jimmie shot for her dinner – Do you like to hunt? Ma sends Jim ought every day to shoot her a bird – Here are a number of doves in the orchard. Capt Williams was at the wedding last night – They were married by a Catholic Priest & he says, he never heard a woman, made to promise so much The people are quite in the notion of marrying – All following our example – I hope they will all love each other as truly & be as happy as we are & always intend to be. Fannie Isbell is to marry a Mr Winston next Wednesday – He is a rich, young lawyer from Arkansas. She met with him New Years eve & the old tale – love at first sight – Didn’t they hurry yp matters? The Misses Sledge show great taste, in preferring you to their beaux – I know they regret not having met you sooner – I am glad you like them so well – Captain Williams goes to Columbus this evening. He will return some time next week, to settle up accounts – Ma & Sister both send much love & want to see you mighty bad – For myself – I cannot restrain my impatience – And every letter I get makes me love you better & desire more ardently to see you – Uncle John got the things you wanted – to make ink I suppose – but they all say Dr Park’s recipe is not good – they tried it & failed – Poor Captain [Haines?] died to-day – I am so sorry for his daughters – It was a shame in his wife to leave him nothing, when she died – Uncle John says he must go & I am at the end of my page, so will say no more – You have been so good, about writing to me – Do continue
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to do so – It is so easy for you to write nice letters & they give me so much joy – Goodbye my dear Major I shall count the days until I see you – Give me love to Kate & Edith & tell them not to go distracted about you –
Yours devotedly Lucy-
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.