Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson, from Gainesville, AL. Thomas expects to see his wife the next day, and this letter is an update of his recent social outings. Thomas mentions a brass band that is currently occupying the hospital buildings, and writes that the people of the town routinely gather to listen to music.
Office, July 8./64
Altho’ I expect to be with you tomorrow I cannot allow today to pass without this letter token of rememberance from me – I presume you attended McRae’s wedding, & hope you enjoyed yrself – You must tell me all about it tomorrow – I feel quite an interest in the affair, & wish Mc & his Bride all manner of happiness.
Yr Father returned from Livingston last night after supper – came in quite unexpectedly – we had given
him up for that day – Mrs Ward took tea, & spent last evening with us – perhaps indeed, she stayed all night, for I was ungallant enough to leave yr mother & her, still chatting away, when I returned about 9 o’clock. The Judge, howver, was with them. Mrs Beauchamp returned yesterday – I had a little chat with her at the carriage door as she passed thro’ town – She seemed much pleased with her visit – and the Major, who has just lef tmy office, was highly delighted – & talked a good deal about the nice things they had, & the pleasant
folks they met with over there- (Guess who) – We had a nice cantelope for breakfast this morning – I wished for you very much 0 you would have enjoyed the delicate luxury – tho’ perhaps you have plenty where you are – I rode Dick yesterday for the first time since his indisposition – He was in magnificent spirits, & I enjoyed the ride vastly, not-withstanding the ducking I received from a very brisk tho’ refreshing shower. The brass band occupy the Hospital buildings, & constantly regale us with all sorts of sounds – In the evening they
assemble on the common near Mrs High’s, & discourse music for the entertainment of the town – Equestrians, pedestrians, & carriages gathere there, making quite an animated scene at our end of town. I had a long letter from yr Uncle John this morning – He is well & sends much love to you. I have commenced to read the Historical novel – “Joseph the second” – & like the opening chapters very well.
Give my love to all – Goodbye dearest – my gentle flower – Spring of my life & joy of my soul – May heaven’s blessing always attend you.
Ever fondly yours
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.