Letter – Thomas Jackson, 1 August 1865


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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson to his wife Lucy, from Gainesville, AL. This letter is the continuation of one written by Thomas on July 30th. He has just arrived in town, and Lucy’s father is busy with preparations to visit Washington, D.C. He writes that there are no African American troops yet occupying the town. He mentions an upcoming meeting with a doctor, whom he hopes will provide some advisement for Thomas and his wife.

-Page 1-

At Home, Aug. 1. 1865.

My Darling,

I have just arrived in town – 5 1/2 O’clk. P.M. – and have but a moment to say half a word & close my letter – I find yr Father busy as forty beehives in full operation, completing his arrangements for his visit to Washington, He has deferred his departure until Thursday, having found it impracticable to get ready earlier. I was glad to see Jimmie, & devoured yr dear charming letter rapturously – Oh my sweet wife, I am too happy to learn that your health is so good, and your spirits so joyous & happy – My Love, you must not suffer anything to disturb or depress you, & believe in my assurances that every body loves, and your husband adores you,

I learn that little Carrie is not so well this evening

-Page 2-

as she was yesterday – Yr Uncle John is “hors de combat” with the breaking out on his ancles – There are no negro troops in town yet, & I do not know that any are expected – I will counsel with Dr Williams to-morrow, or this evening, if I can see him, & advise you of his advice &c. I will try to write a little to you tomorrow, giving you all the news I can gather, at present, I am ignorant of the sayings & doings in town. Susan has returned, & expresses herself charmed with her visit. My best love to Mother, Sister Aunt Bet, all at Kemper, Good ngiht my precious, & may the Good Lord guide & protect you,

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.

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