Letter – William Wall, 11 July 1864

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Letter written by Surgeon William B. Wall of the 33rd MS Infantry, to his wife, from Atlanta, GA. Wall begins by reporting the deaths of several of his comrades followed by the well-being of several of their acquaintances and family members. He remarks on the high price of goods in the area, and hopes that his family is getting enough to eat, though if they aren’t he is unsure of where they could get more money. Despite the low pay and rations, Wall remarks that the army is still in good spirits. They believe Confederate General Joe Johnston will whip Union General William T. Sherman. He writes that all the men are “getting miserably tired of the long siege.” Wall remarks that he loves his country, but he loves his wife and children more. He is afraid if the Union wins, their lands and homes will be taken away and given to strangers.


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Atlanta Ga July 11th 1864

My Dear Wife

I have not written You now for several days. There has not been any news to write. Thos M Murphy and A J Turpin each members of Comp “I” 33rd Miss were killed on the 4th July A G Beal & M M Gist Comp “I” have died at Hospt: from wounds recvd May 31st. I was at the Regt this morning, every thing perfectly quiet I dont know precisely where the enemy is or where or when he will make his next demonstration. Lt Brown is well & was well pleased as he had just gotten a long letter from his wife Our command is in much better health than it was a few weeks ago All of your acquaintance are well I will inform you of every one who may be so unfortunate as to be killed or wounded. I have not seen Pryor yet & will probably not until this campaign is over. I wrote you that I had gotten a note from him in reply to mine that he was well. I shall inquire after him & if he is hurt let you know. You cant tell how anxious I get to hear from you, but I am not disposed to complain, for I fell certain it is the fault of the mails & not yours – the last letter I had from

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you was written the 13th & 15th June nearly a month ago at that time the most of you were more or less sick, Mary had just been taken down worse – I would like to know how she had gotten. I advise you to take her to Grenada if she didnt improve as you proposed to do. If she is not well or nearly so, by the time you get this you had better take her to Hughs – I am always anxious for your health could I feel satisfied that you were well many an unhappy moment would be escaped. My health is most excellent. Visit Aunt Nan & Give her my kindest regards – write me how her health is getting – Henry Johnson has heard from Cousin Addie through a Mr Allen just from there, he will write to her or rather has written. I could not see the gentleman, he is a disabled soldier. the family were all well, heard nothing from Sallie – Had a letter from Col Johnson a few days ago, his family were all well. Said Aunt Laura was always uneasy about Henry, her health better than it used to be every thing is high here we pay $2.50 pound for bacon at the commissaries – for Mutton in the country from $2.00 to 2.50 pound – Irish potatoes $20.00 to $25.00 bushel other articles in the same ratio – I hope you will make enough to eat & wear at home; if you don’t I can’t see where

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you will get money to buy with – The government pays eighty cents pound for beef – Officers are issued one ration you know for which they are not charged but that is not enough for him & a negro & then we are compelled to have some vegetables occasionally & they are so miserably high it takes a large portion of our pay to keep up. The army is still in good spirits, the men think that Gen Johnston will fight Sherman after a while & that he will whip him whenever he does, & so do I – we are all getting miserably tired of the long siege (as it may be called) though entirely willing to let Gen Johnston say when I expect to see you sometime during the Summer the time looks long, but we must be patient. Give my love to Mrs Oliver. Is Miss Bettie in good health now? Kind regards to all acquaintances. Much love to Laura & Mamie kiss them for me. did they get the little letters I sent them? Howdy & Respects to the Servants, tell them I wish them all well. Tell Same & Henry they must let me hear from their crop & stock – I think this will be the last year of the war & I know you hope it may be – Our Separation seems to me almost like a little life time. I sigh & long for the times to come when we may again be permited to live together again. I feel bound to do my country service as long as it is invaded by a relentless foe & your health & condition will permit. I love my country

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though I love you & my children more. You must try & be reconciled at our separation. Our enemys -at least some of them- are even now proposing to dispossess us of all we have & give our homes & lands to strangers – This of course can never be done. Well I have just finished my supper. it was first rate. I had corn bread, bacon, irish potatoes, ocre [okra] & irish potato soup& genuine coffee I think I hear you laugh at the idea of soup for supper – you may laugh if you like, it was good any how – we have a way of our own in the army so far as cooking wha tlittle we have – the army is getting plenty of meat & bread We had a nice rain yesterday. the weather is pretty warm – We have just gotten this news from Va, which we regard as pretty good – Love & a thousand kisses to the children – I will stop for the present Remember me in all your prayers – Your ever devoted husband.

W B Wall

Letter – Noah Hill, 26 June 1864

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Letter written by Private Noah G. Hill of Company K, 123rd NY Volunteer Infantry, to his father. Hill writes about the fight at Kolb’s Farm, GA, on June 22nd. Hill’s regiment was put on the skirmish line. At one time when the Confederate forces drove forward, Hill writes that they were “so close. . . we could hear them talk.” After several attempts at charging the Union troops, the Confederates “gave it up as a bad job.” Hill writes that he and his friends are doing well. He is unsure of when he will be able to write again, as paper is scarce. He hopes that the campaign will soon be over. He describes hearing heavy cannonading, and remarks on the casualties suffered by his regiment. Hill concludes by writing that he is in Hooker’s 20th Corps, Williams’ Division, and Knipe’s Brigade, and mentioning the arrival of Hiram Young.


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Campt In the Brest Works June 26 1864

Dear, Father I thought I would write a few lines to you this morning it is the first chance that I have had well I geuss I will tell you about our fight our Regt was put on the skirmish line & we drove the rebbles aboute 3 miles & then we runn into their line of battle & they charged on us & drove us back & then wee drove them back wee held our ground for 1 [h]our & then they formed again & came on us with such a force that wee had to fall back wee was clost to them wee could here them talk they was in the busheys & wee was in front of them aboute 6 rods when they give the order to forward

wee all jumped up & fired & then wee fell back wee layed some of them cold you can bet they charged on our Batery & got driven back with great slaughter they tryed it 3 or 4 times & then they give it up as a bad job well I geuss I told you all aboute that so I geuss I will tell you that I am well & so is bub & W.R.H. is well bub is writeing & so is William R the Granville boys is all well I have not had any letter from in a long time I dont knowwhen I will write to you again for this is the last scrap of paper any of us has but I am in hopes that this campaign will bee over before long it has been a hard one well I have just had my hair cut Ed Rasey cut it Ed &

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the rest of the boys has gon to meeting it is sunday & a lonesome sunday two I have thinking of home to day I would like to know why John dont write I should think he could write more if he wanted to very bad well I dont know of much news to write to day they is heavy cannonading in hereing to day our Regt Lost in killed & wounded (27) & 17 missing Lieut Martin Co 4 was taken prisoner & wee suppose the rest was taken they come so near getting me they want no funn in it you may bet well I geuss I will stop for this time so give my best respects to all so good bye

Noah G. Hill

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wee are in Hookers 20th Corps & Williams Division & Nipes Brigade

Hiram Youngs has just arrived to the Regt for duty he is in good helgth so you can tell the folks that he is here safe & sound

this is all

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 23 July 1864

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis, from Gainesville, AL.¬†Jackson writes of a shopping trip to Memphis that Lucy’s mother has planned. He informs Lucy that her father is heading to Linden via Livingston, and that her mother is planning another trip to Lauderdale. Thomas writes that he misses Lucy, and mentions that he has had trouble sleeping at night. To stave off a potential illness, he plans on taking a good amount of medicine that day.


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Office, July 23/64

My Darling,

I did not intend writing you today, but yr mother desired me to inform sister, that she disapproved of the purchase of Miss Mar Lou’s dyed silk, and to apprize you, That Miss Thornton & Mr Dobb purpose setting out for Memphis on Monday week. 2nd of Augt. She intends sending by Mr Dobb for a black silk dress for Sister, & thought you & she would like to be at home before they start, so as to

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make up a memorandum of such articles as you would like him to get for you – If this suggestion comports with your wishes, advise me of it, & I will arrange to arrive at Mr Minge’s on Friday the 29th inst. so that you may reach home on the Sunday following. If otherwise, you need not expect me at Farmsdale until Tuesday the 2 of Augt. Your mother desires me to say, also, that she has written to you, & forwarded a letter to Miss Kittie, 7 two to you,

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& begs Miss Kittie not to think it strange if hers has the appearance of having been opened – She tore the old envelope so, in her efforts to erase the original address, that she was compeled to employ a new one.

Yr Father started to Livingston this morning, en route to Linden, & yr Mother is preparing to carry out her proposed excursion to Lauderdale –

I miss you every hour in the day – Could not sleep last night until two o’clock – Do not know the cause of my

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unusual restlessness – Hope it is not a forerunner of an attack of sickness – Shall, nevertheless fortify myself against such an unwelcome contingency, by taking a good dose of medicine tonight – I pulled a peach to day – it is beautiful & fragrant – & although it will not keep for you to enjoy it, I have put it in yr wardrobe & shall, at least, have the satisfaction of calling it yours for a few days. My tenderness for you, dear Lucy, is unabated – You possess the entire devotion of my heart, & are the only woman to whom the offering was ever made. Oh! my

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precious wife – I cannot exist without your love which I prize above all earthly blessings Let us never withhold our confidence from each other

yr fond Husband

TKJ

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Love to my dear Miss Mar. Lou. to Sister & all at Mr Minge’s


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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 21 July 1864

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson from Gainesville, AL. Thomas tells his wife that he is writing the letter early in the day, so that he may finish work before the intolerably hot weather sets in. He updates Lucy on recent social events and the current affairs of their friends and family at home in Gainesville. Lucy’s mother is still at work preparing a grand supper. Thomas also describes a controversy between two family friends and demonstrated “ill breeding” in one of the young women involved, over an Ice Cream Social. Thomas is planning on seeing Lucy the following week in Farmsdale, and expresses his deep love for his wife.


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Office, July 21, 1864,

My precious Wife,

I have come down early this morning so as to write to you & finish my work before the heat sets in & renders the least exertion intolerable, Mrs F. Bell dined with us yesterday – Says she had to send sister’s bonnet to Livingston to be fixed – no doubt it will be a real “love of a bonnet” when it comes home.

Mrs Bell is very amiable & sweet, & I like her more & more every day – She has partly moved from town – to her plantation I believe – She says the Misses Herndon & Rhodes are visiting near macon Station – I presume Sis saw them – The Judge told me last night that he expected to be in Demopolis next Sunday – the 24th, So if you should happen to be visiting Mrs Pool at that time you would have an opportunity of seeing him – I merely mention this incidentally – He does not expect to meet you there, & it is not supposed that you alter any of your plans to do so, Yr mother & Mr Dobb are wonderfully busy today about “The Supper”- Only think ! they are to have six nice

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roast pigs, & pine coffee – My change begins to burn my pocket already – though I rarely enjoy a supper, (I mean I do not eat with much relish) on such occasions – I am so sorry you all are not here to enjoy the good things to be presented at the entertainment. Mrs O’Neal goes down to Lauderdale to day with various articles of comfort for the sick and wounded there – and good old Mrs Bradshaw is preparing to journey on a similar errand soon. They are in some better spirits about John & have reasons to hope his situation is not so doubtful as at first supposed. Lt. Winston has been here – says he saw John, that his hurt was a flesh wound & by no means regarded as mortal – He thinks John fell into kind hands & believes he is doing well, the family, of course, feel much relieved by even this slight ground of hope,

Mrs Bell & Mrs Van de Graaf took an airing together yesterday evening – I felt gratified to think they had probably compounded their differences & were on good terms again – I like them both too well not to feel some uneasiness at any unpleasantness between them.

The Williamsons are here, and the unpleasant affair which grew out of the Ice-Cream Supper some time since, seems to increase in warmth & bitterness, and receives acrimonious accessions

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from the most unexpected sources – What do you think of Miss Kittie’s telling the Williamson at Kemper that she heard here, they only notified Mrs Lacy of an intended visit to her, to prevent Miss Kitties visiting them at Kemper? I was surprised, & shocked, & hurt when I heard it – & regard it as a most uncalled for exhibition of ill breeding on the part of Miss Kittie – I cannot look, with any degree of complaisancy, upon such gratuitous talking, such a trespass upon good breeding, in anyone, let alone one, who has been treated with so much kindness – indeed – as a member of our family for the past year,

Whoever made the remark, did so in suggestive manner, & I for one believe the inference fair & natural, Miss Mag Williamson called upon yr mother the other day to inquire who made the insinuation, & said Miss Kittie had referred her to Sister – I know nothing further about the interview, but expect they had quite a round – Yr mother, I am sure was firm & dignified; & when required to speak, did so with her usual perspicuity, terseness, and firm decision, For my part, I do not intend to permit the affair to disturb my equanimity in the least, & shall treat whatever they choose to say about me with the contempt it deserves. & I am convinced, that their malicious attempts

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made to mortify you, by the circulation of rumors about me, will recoil with ten fold fury upon some of their heads.

Miss Annie played a good while for me last night – I think her execution of some pieces very good – She played the Anvil Chorus twice for me – She talked a good deal about you, & her expressions were of the most complimentary character – so much so, that she quite won me over, & I am ready to stand by her, & admit that she can not only be agreeable, but even entertaining.

I expect to go for you about next Monday week, & will arrive at Farmsdale on Tuesday the 2nd of August, If any alteration is made in this plan I will advise you – And if the arrangement does not suit you – you must tell me so without reserve, for I am only too happy to do whatever will contribute to your pleasure.

My heart is over flowing with love for you, whom I regard as my good angel – & that the good God, may constantly bless & guard you, is my constant prayer

I send much love to Mr & Mrs Minge, to my charming Miss Mar Lou & all the family – Kiss my sweet little Sister for me & tell her – that her Brother loves her very dearly – Yr Mother

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& all at home send much love to you – Yr name is never mentioned but with the tenderest affection,

The African potato vine has reached the top of the tallest pole – Indeed I think it has set out for an excursion to Guinea

yr fond & devoted Husband

TKJ

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I sent the palmetto by express yesterday


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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 20 July 1864

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis from Gainesville, AL. Thomas writes that he had a pleasant journey home, and describes the recent weather conditions. He mentions seeing a few army friends in Demopolis and took tea at General Stephen D. Lee’s headquarters, although he did not see the general himself. He mentions meeting the brother in law of General James Longstreet, Colonel George Deas. Thomas updates his wife on her family and friends, including preparations by Lucy’s mother for a grand supper for the soldiers. General Robert E. Lee approved the resignation of Dr. McIvor, whose “services. . . have gone up-to the Confederacy.”


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Office. July 20 1864.

My Darling,

I had an agreeable & quick passage home – The weather was fine, being quite a contrast to that we experienced going down –

Saw Major Butler & Capt Carpenter in Demopolis – they desired to be remembered to you – Butler said he was very sorry that we passed thro’ town without his knowledge, & hopes to have the pleasure of seeing you all during your visit in the “Canebrake.” I took tea at Gen’l Lee’s Hdqrs, & passed a very pleasant night in Meridian – Did not see the Gen’l, but met with quite a number of friends & acquaintances, among them Colo. George Deas – Brother-in-law to General Longstreet – It seemed like old times to see so many familiar faces – & in Camp too. Capt. Williams is at last established in Meridian – He was not there himself – having gone to Selma to assist in pushing forward supplies to Johnston’s Army – but Lewis did the honors of his office – I called for yr fan at Lauderdale, & much to my surprise & satisfaction the clever old land lady produced it intact, though having some signs of service under the administration of greasy hands.

You cannot think how glad I was to recover

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it – not for its worth, but because you seemed to regret its loss. There was nobody at home when I arrived – Yr Mother & Mr Dobb were at the old hospital buildings preparing for the supper, which is to be given tomorrow night – & Miss Annie & Willie were spending the day at Dr Barret’s. I soon refreshed myself with a bath & clean clothes, & started to the hospital to see Yr Mother, but met her & Mr Dobb returning home

All are well at home, except Mary’s baby, which is, & has been very sick – The servants enquired very particularly after you, & seem anxious for yr return. Yr Father is well & in good spirits – He seems glad of my return, says it has been mighty lonesome – wanted to know why I did not bring you & Sis, & says you shan’t leave home any more. The storm that interfered with our comfort at Lauderdale was very violent here – the pontoon lumber down at the river, was scattered about in all directions, one plank striking a member of the guard (named Smith) so violently as to break his scull, & killing him instantly. The Hotel was not injured. tho’ a fair mark for its fury- I have had to write this note under many disadvantages, being constantly interrupted, which will explain its disconnected style. The Judge is going down to Linden next week – He starts on saturday & goes by way of Livingston

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& will probably be in Demopolis on Sunday – I will write to you further on the subject, so that if you contemplate spending a day with Mrs Pool, you may be able to make it convenient to see him in Demopolis as he passes through. He thinks that as he will be dependent upon friends for conveyance to Linden he will not be able to go to Mr Minge’s to see you all

Yr Mother says there will be no Ice cream at the supper – all of McMahon’s having either melted or been disposed of, & she thinks it too expensive to procure it from Columbus – Mrs Lacy, subscribed custard &c for the supper, but after reflection wrote a note to yr mother, to say, that she had done all she felt able to do for the soldiers at the supper “superintended by her (yr mother’s) sisters” & begged that her name might be erased from the list. Funny wasn’t it? – Yr Aunt Carrie says Mrs L had arranged this little episode beforehand, I have not told you half I have to say, but must wait until tomorrow to write more – I am too busy, & so flustered that I scarcely know what I write – I think of you constantly & am happier & better from the [???] – I regard our connexion as the most fortunate circumstance of my life – nothing could compensate me for yr love – You are my good angel, & however wayward I may be my love is

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all your own – I desire much love to Mr & Mrs Minge to dear Miss Mar Lou, & all the family, not forgetting Mrs & Miss Christian – the latter [???] Kathy – has in addition my wishes for the speedy recovery of her usual buoyant spirits – Tell her I saw her Mr Simpson in Meridian – he was looking well.

Sr. Mc Ivor – the son of a Baron, the Brother of a lord & marchioness – has resigned his commission in the Army – I saw him in Meridian – Genl Lee has approved his resignation & his “services,” as he expressed it, “have gone up to the Confederacy” – He has returned to this place to await further action on his resignation. I expect to express the palmetto to day – Yr Mother has not sent it down yet – I am waiting for it. I send much love to my dear little sister & hope she spent a pleasant time with her little friend – We have no Army news – Goodbye Darling

Entirely & most affectionately yrs.

TKJ


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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 8 July 1864

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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.


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Office, July 8./64

My Darling,

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

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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

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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

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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

TKJ


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.

Letter – Mattie McDonald, 25 February 1864

2015.002.147

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Letter written by Mattie D. McDonald to her brother, Major Thomas K. Jackson, from Abbeville Court House. McDonald begins by expressing her feelings of depression, as her son has just left to join the Marion Artillery in the Confederate army. He is happy, and only worried about the possibility of his mother “grieving for him.” McDonald finds comfort in her faith. She writes that her husband was re-elected to a position, and that they now live on a farm, which she finds lonely. They have experienced financial difficulties, and they may have to sell their slaves. There is much “grumbling about the taxation and present currency” [inflation]. She mentions a recent visit from a cousin, who had previously been taken prisoner and concludes by complimenting her brother’s new wife, Lucy, and imploring him to write when he can.


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Abbeville C. H.

Feb 25th. /64

My Dear Brother

I have postponed writing to you on account of business and until I should feel more in the humor for writing the latter feeling has not arrived and I must this evening begin feeling as if I had not two ideas in my head, I wrote to sister Lucy the letter you will please forward to her as I did not know exactly how to direct, I am sure she will consider me very dull and prosy, but I fear I shall never feel as I once did, nor ever be light hearted again.

My darling has left me two week ago for the army, he joined the Marion Artillery on the Sh & Ch. R.R. near Charleston, he intended going in Cavalry until three days before he started, when he changed his mind and joined the light Artly Mr McDonald went with him staid until he was regularly established, when he returned leaving him as Willie himself expressed it “as happy as a Soldier can be,” poor child his youthful eyes look on the bright side alone, he thinks not of danger and the only thing which seems to disturb him is, the

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thought that I will grieve for him, I conceal it from him as much as possible, try to write cheerfully and resigned but I tell you “my heart is bound up in the lad” and I am miserable at times, had I not long ere this learned to seek comfort from a higher source, and to commit my all to a higher power I know not how I should bear this greatest sorrow and trial that has ever fallen on my path – Brother if you ever pray (and I trust you do) ask the great God to spare my boy.

You ask about Mr McD – he was relected by quite a majority – but business is at a low tide – he has bought a nice little farm moved to it, and we are now enjoying rustic life. I find it lonely, we live two miles from fathers in a pretty cheerful looking place on the road to Calhoun Mills; the house is small but quite good for a country place and susceptible of improvements which latter we intend making as soon as circumstances will allow – We were almost obliged to make a change, or sell off our negroes, Mr McD prefered the former course, and this decision finds us in the country – Our wheat and Oat crop looked well this is encourageing for provisions are enormously high

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Things or times rather in Abbeville are dull and gloomy at present. you do not hear much but grumbling about the taxation, and the present currency – persons without money are bad off and those who have it, not much better off – I cannot see why persons should grumble at loosing, when all suffer alike, more or less as they have possesions; for my part if my friends can be spared it is all I ask, if everything else should go I will not murmur once

We had a visit from cousin Willie Turner, you remember he was wounded in the foot at Fishing Creek and taken prisoner he looks well, but quite lame – his mother is dead, uncle Turner very feeble and infirm, one of his brothers was killed at Corinth – cousin Henry H. is in the army stationed in Columbia, Humphrey is not in the army, never has been, he is exempt – on account of his attention to the Mill ___ Well, you are married at last and I am glad to think it, I feel that you have gotten a good and gentle wife, Make her a good and gentle husband, always have patience, and love her above all others, you must not think this strange advice – but remember it ever – Minnie has another son two children now – write when convenient and always remember me as your

affectionate sister M. D. McDonald


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.

William Thomas McDonald was the son of Martha D. Jackson McDonald and Matthew McDonald of Abbeville, SC. He was born in 1846 and was just 18 years old when he enlisted. He survived the war and went on to become a merchant and mail carrier. He died in 1916.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 4 February 1864

2015.002.146

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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.


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Macon Feb. 4. 1864.

My darling,

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

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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

“Tom”


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.

Letter – Lucy Reavis, 3 February 1864

2015.002.145

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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.


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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

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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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 2 February 1864

2015.002.144

Hi-resolution scans of the full document can be made available for a fee. Please see our Image Request page for details.

Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson, from Macon, MS. Thomas gently chides his wife for feeling jealous of the attention he receives from some female friends, and reassures her of his love. He describes how he taught a few young ladies to make cigaritas, and that they asked several questions about Lucy and the couple’s courtship before they were married.


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Macon, Feby 2. 1864.

My Love,

I’ll have a race to finish this in time for today’s mail – but my love is strong and can accomplish much – I received your delightful letter yesterday –

I know you must have returned home Saturday – The whisperings of my love rarely deceive me – I am rejoiced to find you in such fine spirits, & ever so glad to know you are cheerful & happy –

Oh! I am so happy in my little wife – she’s the dearest, the sweetest, & the best in the world – How could you, my Love, imagine I intended a “cut at you”, about the gloves? I never dreamed such a thing –

Miss Edith was knitting a pair for Captain Longborough – said she was very fond of knitting – would like to knit gloves for all the soldiers, & would knit a pair for me if she could get the wool – I thought it mighty kind in her, & told you of it, as I tell you everything else – Ah you dear little sensitive thing! Your apprehension is too quick and does me injustice – Don’t you laugh at “Sis Susan’s” comments on your neglect to invite her to our wedding anymore –

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I called to see the young ladies last night according to promise, & proceeded to teach Miss Edith the art of rolling cigaritas – we soon converted the parlor into cigar shop, & were progressing finely when somebody knocked at the door – the girls seemed quite put out – Edith declared she wanted me all to herself, I had come to see her, & Kate must entertain the visitors – Kate vowed she wouldn’t – “Pink” was the oldest & must entertain them, she wanted to talk to Maj Jackson – it was quite amusing – I felt flattered of course – A married man like me preferred to young beaux – I stayed til after the departure of the young gentlemen, & enjoyed a delightful visit – The girls asked a thousand questions – wanted to know what I called you, & if I kissed you before we were married – I told them I called you Pidgeon, [???] &c – & asked Kate what she would think of a man she was engaged to, if he did not offer to kiss her before they were married – she said she’d “kiss him” – Edith said she “wouldn’t” – When Kate remarked, but “Pink you have kissed somebody” – Of course Pink denied the charge – Tell my sweet little sister, that what I have to tell her is of no consequence – she must not be impudent – I would not repay the most ordinary cu-

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riosity – Tell Uncle John to let you keep my shoes until I come which I hope will be in 7 or 8- Give my love to all including Miss Katie & your gentle friend & believe me as ever your fond & loving husband

TKJ


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.