Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson, dated February 4th, 1864, from Macon, Mississippi. Thomas writes that he has been bombarded with paperwork that morning. He mentions how Lucy’s uncle Ned came by to visit on his way to Tuscaloosa. He remarks on a few young ladies he has met whose “sweethearts” were sent away on military service. Thomas expects to see his wife soon, and writes that he has a proposal for her when he arrives.
Macon Feb. 4. 1864.
I’ve had so many letters and papers to pour over this morning, that my ideas are somewhat confused, but I must write a line to my precious wife – Her partiality will excuse all imperfections – Who do you think called to see me yesterday? Your uncle “Ned” – He dropped in, & out in his usual spasmodic style – Came up in the morning, and returned in a few hours – expected to be in Gainesville this evening, on his way to Tuscaloosa – I recd yr letter by the servant, & the one written yesterday – The improvement in your dear mother’s health relives my anxiety – She is endeared to me, not only because she is the mother of my Darling, but because of her unwearied, unvarying goodness to me – and if a sincere affection may requite such kindness, such motherly interest, I am sure she has mine unreservedly – I saw the Misses Alice & Dora Bush, the other day – those tender “shrubs”- whose sweethearts, unrelenting
military orders have torn from them – They seem to be very nice girls – but shout so loud when they talk or laugh, that I am constantly afraid they will fracture their voices – What do you think – A young lady told me she always had the misfortune to find, when she fell in love with a gentleman, that he was married, “and”, said she after a pause, “really major I can’t somehow bring my self to believe you are married” – Major Cheatham is here – has been very attentive at Mr Gauch’s – Miss Edith is the fair enchantress – at least, it is so understood here I hope he is a worthy gentleman – for she is a charming woman – I expect to be with you on the 7. or 8, & count the very minutes – tardy minutes when love waits – ’till the happy day arrives – when I shall embrace my loved, my darling wife – Oh! happy thought – The world affords no sweeter, dearer wish, to me – I have something to propose to you & Miss Mar: Lou: when I get home – I’m sure you have already guessed what it is – but wait ’till I come – Give my love to all at home, I do not expect to write again until I see you – Goodbye Sweetness – & believe in the constancy & love of your devoted husband
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.