Letter written by Lucy Reavis to her fiancé, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A. Reavis was happy to receive a letter from Jackson, and praises how often he writes to her. She expresses her love for Jackson, and how she longs to see him again. She describes recent social outings with friends, which included a “musical soiree,” and a minor fight with some friends, as well as a baptism. Reavis writes that their commanding officer is now Colonel McFarlane, who was wounded at Corinth. She hopes Jackson will be able to visit again the following week, and that he may accompany her to a friend’s party.
Sunday. Dec. 6th 1863
I have this moment returned from Church, dear Major, and though ’tis Sunday cannot resist the inclination to write you a short letter of thanks for the delightful letter I received yesterday – You are certainly the dearest & best of men & write so much oftener than I expect you to do – Not waiting for me – Could you have seen my perfect delight and happiness when your letter came. I am sure you would have felt compensated for writing it – Lizzie Bradshaw & Kittie laughed heartily at the blushes which suffused my face, when I recognized the dear hand writing & at the eagerness with which the envelope was opened & the letter read and re-read – You are too good, to think so much of me – but you must not deceive yourself I am not nearly so akin to perfection as you seem to think – But however numerous my defects may
be – I have the most perfect love and admiration for you – and that must atone in a great measure. I have been longing for today to arrive – Not for the right reason – but because it is the first of the week, in which you are to come – I want to see you dreadfully – You being so constantly with me week before last has spoiled me.
We had such a pleasant time Friday evening The Captain as usual came up & we played Euchre & rumy until 11 O’Clock – Just before his departure we arranged to have a musical Soirée on the next evening & told him to bring the Brown family and Mr Lewis up – So last night all four of the ladies came & afterward the Captain arrived with Capt Woodruff, Messrs Hortons, Lewis and Bradshaw – We had a fine time. The evening’s entertainment was opened by a piece, by Mrs Shotwell, Every one played – Mr Lewis had his banjo and Beverly excelled himself. Sung all of the songs you heard him sing, and another Irish song – excellent – “Larry O’Brien” which he acted – also the famous
“In to Richmond” to the tune “Jordan is a hard road to travel” after the music was through with, we had games – We all laughed too much Edith Sledge nearly killed herself, at the laughing song – I believe they improve on acquaintance & the bodies, ornamented with red & gilt do not look half so “occidental” by candle light – Mrs Shotwell & Porter are so sweet – They are constantly [contending?] about, which I love best – I wonder if they do love me, sure enough. Ma scolded us well this morning, for sitting up until 12 last night.
I was berated on all sides yesterday – Lizzie & Kittie both profess to be very angry with me – The former says she feels, as though our friendship was about to come to an untimely end. But I am sure I can have friends, if I do love some one else better than them –
Fannie Allen & Mollie Moore were baptized this morning. Ma and I stood with them as witnesses – They will be confirmed when the Bishop comes. Ma had a letter from him saying, he would be here on the morning of the 22nd preach the next
day & leave in the afternoon –
Our commanding officer now is Col: McFarlane, he was wounded through the face I heard at Corinth & is not entirely recovered yet – I never saw Capt Longborough til last night – You will be glad to hear that Mrs Lacy has received a dispatch from Mr L- saying he is well & en route for home – Only two men were killed in the company but about 15 are missing.
I will not give you any advice about changing your office until we meet – Uncle John thinks it will be much more agreeable for you – There are so many nice people up there – Mrs Beauchamp will have to introduce you to her friends – [???] is delighted at the prospect of having some new beaux in your friends – She says you had better overlook Major B-‘s awkwardness – But don’t let’s talk about those things now – Be sure and come this week, the sooner the better – We are all invited to Mr Bradshaw’s next Friday night, to have some more music – Don’t you want to be there? or had you rather stay here, when you come, with your
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stupid little Lucy? Mr Hart is very much exercised about you. says he knows if I am here, after this month he need expect no more pleasant visits home. that you will have to come all the time yourself. He must think like Ma that we will be very selfish – They are all at dinner so good bye. With my dearest love I am truly yours
Pa has not yet returned
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.