Letter – Lucy Reavis, 30 January 1864

2015.002.142

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis Jackson to her husband, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., from Gainesville, AL. Lucy describes the events of the past couple of weeks, including a dinner party. The party culminated with ice cream and singing. Many of her acquaintances have asked about Thomas. Lucy describes two conscripts who were on the train with them from Eutaw to Gainesville. She also writes of an attempt to burn down a local school, possibly by a servant. She has seen a few old beaus, and remains glad to have married Thomas. She does, however, express some jealousy at the idea of other women paying attention to her husband.


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Home January 30th 1864-

My beloved Husband,

To-night I have received your two dear precious letters, so like yourself that I am perfectly radiant with joy & love after reading them – You are so good, two letters without once hearing from me! But I did write – Last Tuesday, while in Eutaw I sent you a poor apology for a letter – but they are all poor enough – Where & how shall I begin to write all that I have to say? Believe I will go back to the date of my last, and give you a little journal of events, trivial and unimportant in themselves, but I am vain enough to believe that all I do is of interest to my darling. We went over to Dr. Alexander’s to dinner – Mar Lou was delighted to see us, for she could not disguise that feeling of discomfort which all reserved people feel, when among strangers – the family were kind & polite, had an elegant dinner, finishing off with ice-cream, which I think a great luxury. After dinner they insisted on my singing as my fame had reached them long ago but they must have been sadly disappointed, for I croaked like a frog, not having entirely recovered from my hoarseness – Mar Lou came home with us & we had a pleasant night together, but she was dreadfully home-sick & tho’ we had gone to remain until Tuesday she visited on returning to-day. By the way, when I told uncle John of it to-night, he seemed highly gratified, exclaimed “Bless her little heart! I thank her for it.” Did he attribute it to a desire to see him? There is a question for the wise – Wednesday we walked around town, went to the stores & nearly melted, the Sun was so warm – In the afternoon I went to Mrs Riddle’s & spent the night with [Nic/Vic?] How lonesome they must be! But the old lady is very talkative & a little boisterous

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In [dit?] that she is a great drawback to [Nic/Vic?] – in the way of getting a good husband I mean – and and certainly she deserves the best – like wise she is going to Enterprise on a visit soon & I am really sorry you are not there – I’d go with her, Every body made particular inquiries about you & Judge Pierce & family desired to be remembered to you, Also Miss Rhoda Coleman – We called on her – She is very lonely, in that large house, without any companion, since Lida came home – She expected her to return yesterday, but Fannie Allen had a party last night & she remained in town in order to attend – I am sorry I did not get back in time to attend – Sister says they had a delightful time, danced til 2 O’clock & enjoyed an elegant supper My old admirer, Mr Jemison was there – he has been in town several days – I suppose I shall see him at Church to-morrow- Lis says he called he “Mit” as in the days of her childhood & she requested him to “put a respectful prefix to it-” I could not have said that – We had a delightful trip to-day – There were only two passengers from Eutaw besides ourselves – Both members of the company stationed there to do Conscript duty – One was a conscript himself – & bemoaned his lot very affectingly – He was exceedingly talkative & gave Mar Lou & Self some excellent recipes for dying cotton, cloth & even gloves – We were greatly amused by him – He left us at Clinton & another young soldier took his place. We chatted away gaily & finally we gave him our brush to take on with him – He was from Tenn. & the other, a very handsome little fellow from Miss. They were as attentive to me as possible – Mar Lou said she got quite jealous & had an idea of addressing me as Mrs Jackson to let them know I was married We are all distressed that our gallant Captain must leave. He came up this afternoon & we had a nice talk – he told me, he had

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received your letter in which you declared your intention of coming down as soon as your “well-away wife” returned – She is at home now & might anxious to see you – but as you are so very busy, you had better wait awhile – I’d rather you would come after Mar Lou leaves – but if you have leisure, don’t wait – You know mon cher, that I am always too anxious to see you – I can think of nothing else – tho’ I try not to talk too much – Uncle John received your letter, and desires me to say the shoes are finished & wishes to know, if he must send them by express, or let me take charge of them until you come – He bought Kittie such a nice pair – What do you suppose was the cost? 69 dollars – Isn’t that a great deal? But they were really elegant English shoes – She has not been down this week – Miss Murphy is quite sick & she is missing her – The boys tell me that an attempt was made to-day to burn the old Academy – or rather last night – They had a good deal of cotton in one of the rooms & while all the teachers were out spending the evening, a torch was thrown in & the cotton was all burning, when it was discovered – You remember hearing the girls tell of a difficulty they had up there, with some of the children & their maid – It is supposed that this servant of theirs did it – Ma has been spending several days at “Cedar Bluff” returned this afternoon quite sick, with fever – She desires her warmest love to her darling Son & thanks for the nice letter received this evening, says she is too sick to answer it just now – but will make me write for her if she does not get quickly better – Lis sends her love & says if you do not come down very soon, write her a note & let her know what you have to say to her. She is very much put out at the Captain’s removal – He is too funny – says he supposes you sympathize with Alfred also. He has lately taken unto himself a wife & does

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not want to leave her, although he has given him full permission to find another at every place they go to her– He seems to think people affections are easily changed from one object to another I left him in the parlor playing cards – to write to my dear old Precious, but Mr Jemison has just come in & I must go back & entertain him – Au revoir mon bien-aime — Well he has left and though it is nearly 11 O’Clock, I must finish my letter, as to-morrow is Sunday – They are all laughing at Mr Dobb about going to the party last night & patting his foot, while the dancing was going on – Ministers ought not to attend such entertainments I think – Poor Mr Jemison looks so badly, gave me something of mine he had – said he never intended to return it until I married or he died – I am mighty glad I married you, instead of him never was more surprised, than when he shook hands & called me by my new name – I thought certainly he’d say “Miss Lu” as he used to do. Your letters come very quickly generally, but to-day I received two at once – the 27th & 29th – I am glad the first did not come sooner, as it might have been sent to Eutaw & lost – my dear darling, you write such nice letters – I ought to be mighty good & thankful for your great love – I am sure I am as thankful as can be and love you in return with all my heart – To-morrow will be two weeks since I saw you Isn’t it an age? I know you were quite an acquisition to Miss Fannies party & helped nicely to entertain her guests. I am glad you enjoyed yourself & like the Sledge girls – When do they leave Macon? Capt W- asked me to give you his regard & say that you must give his love to the girls & tell them he will be glad to get the letter they propose writing – Oh! I laughed so heartily at that part of your letter, in which you spoke of Mr Hart’s being a beau – They (the young ladies) ought to see all the little scions, I am sure they would not care to have him as a beau, even if his wife were out of the way – You are almost as bad as Madame [???] our singing teacher’s husband – A Hungarian, he said all of the men in

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his country first valued their moustache – next their horse & thirdly the wife – but no matter what [missing] write I shall conclude to believe that I reign supreme in your affections I feel quite cut your allusion to Miss Edith’s promise to knit you gloves – Did you intend it so? I shall not allow these girls to be paying you so much attention I am afraid it is a bad plan to have so handsome a husband, & shall so be thinking that I ought to have followed M[missing] plan when she married such an ugly fellow [missing] gave as the reason, that no body would want to take him from her Mar Lou talks of going home Friday but I should insist on her remaining until the next week send much love to [missing] When may I expect you? – I don’t like [missing] you to be here, [missing] Lou is, for I cannot [missing] myself from you [missing] any with her – but [missing] cannot wait two [missing] longer, can we? I [missing] see you very much [missing] regard to Edith & Ka[missing] and write to me soon [missing] like a darling as you [missing] with great love, your 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, 27 January 1864

2015.002.141

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy, from Macon, MS. Thomas is unhappy at the prolonged separation from his new wife and inquires about her visit to Eutaw. He mentions a recent conversation with a local woman about securing a room for him and Lucy to board in. He also describes a party he attended the night before, and how they played plenty of games, although there was no music or dancing. Thomas remarks on the romantic lives of several of his friends and comrades, and mentions that “beaux are in demand.” He requests that Lucy send his love to her family, and writes that he hopes to see her within a few weeks.


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Macon, Jany 27, 1864.

My sweet wife,

I have just read over again your last two charming letters, and am all impatience to see you – Our wedded life has opened to me an unthought heaven., while this cruel separation deprives me of much of its happiness – Oh! I am too, too anxious to see you – To me, your voice is a delightful music – Your winning smile, an irresistible spell – If there is anything under the skies I worship, it is my honor – if there is anything dearer to me than that honor, it is your own sweet self –

My fond heart sends blessings to you upon every breeze, and I am entirely eternally yours.

Mr Hart came up from Mobile this morning – saw Reavis at the Junction, who told him you were to start to Eutaw today – I am glad you concluded to go – Miss Mar: Lou: deserves this attention from you, & will appreciate it – I hope you may enjoy your visit – You must tell me all about it, that I may share in your pleasure – I called upon Mrs Larnagin yesterday – Mrs Ferris

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was there – I soon made my business known – it was not unexpected – Kind Mrs Beauchamp had prepared the way – Mrs Larnagin has three gentlemen boarding with her – Would not mind taking others, if she could get anything to eat – She did not give me a positive or final answer – Mrs Ferris advocated our case warmly.

I told Mrs Larnagin we did not expect anything to eat – we were in love – and that I would call again before going to Gainesville – She seems a sweet gentlewoman, and willing to oblige us – only hesitates from want of confidence in her resources – La belle Fannie had he little party last night – We had cards, & games, syllabub & cake – no music no dancing – quite a pleasant little affair – I played the “agreeable” to Miss Pat Lyles, whom I found to be quite a sensible girl – She does not like her younger sister’s having married before her – is apprehensive the term “Old maid” will be applied to her prematurely – silly girl, in that, isn’t she? Miss Edith & miss Kate were present – They improve vastly – A little abrupt, or so – only habit – No letters from Charlie very recently – Had a long chat with the former – two of the Company, Doctors Brown & Rigg, are

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said to be in love with two others of the Company – the Misses Bush – One of the gentlemen affects the heroics, & tries to look consequential – the other attempts witticisms, but never gets beyond a species of waggery – The “Bushes” are thriving little shrubs, but require culture – altogether, the brace of couples seem very well matched, and appearances confirm the reports about them.

The young ladies here seem to think a girl very fortunate if her matrimonial prospects are visible – Beaux are in demand, & the advent of a single gentleman is forthwith telegraphed the length & breadth of the community – What do you think, all the girls want to know if any clerk were single – Ha ha! Old Jim Hart! Some of them asked me – You should have seen me presiding at dinner today – Half a dozen ladies at table – Capt Lucas absent – roast turkey to carve – I managed the turkey very well, but forgot the ladies names before I was ready to serve it – Called them all sorts of wrong names- my mistakes were ludicrous enough – La belle Fannie helped my out now & then – I was glad to amuse them however, even at the expense of my blushes – It was a delightful dinner party – we all laughed &

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enjoyed it vastly – I am vain enough to think I made an unusually favorable impression, notwithstanding my blunders, which, though numerous, I had sufficient skill & tact to turn to my advantage-

I have at last succeeded in getting the rooms I desired – they are delightful – I moved in yesterday – I’ve got Mr Hart in his shirt sleeves hard at work – Oh he will have such a delectable time fore the next two or three weeks – I shall be no better off – but sill always find time to write, if only a line, to my Darling, who is the bright queen of my thoughts – Do my letters reach you regularly? – I hope so – this is the fourth since I saw you. Give my love to your Mother – Tell her I remember her affection for me with pride & gratitude – I only wish I were more worthy of such goodness –

I send much love to your Father, and sweet sister, little Willie & all – I hope to be with you in the course of two or three weeks if not sooner – I shall work hard – At the bare thought of seeing you soon, my heart beats as if it had wings. Good bye my own sweet wife – 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 – Thomas Jackson, 21 January 1864

2015.002.139

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson in Gainesville, AL, from Macon, MS. Thomas writes that he intended to write to Lucy sooner, but was delayed as he had to send a load of beef to Atlanta [Major Jackson is in charge of the army’s supply of meat]. He mentions meeting the daughter of General Leonidas Polk. Thomas expresses how much he misses taking walks with Lucy back home, and writes about his great love for his wife. He inquires about family members, then describes a social outing he recently attended. Thomas retells how he was invited to escort a young lady to a party, but declined as he is a newly married man.


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Macon, Jany 21, 1864,

My own dear Wife,

I intended writing to you yesterday by Major Beauchamp, but early in the morning a dispatch came requiring me to send a thousand beeves to Atlanta immediately – consequently my time was fully occupied making the necessary arrangements until it was too late – besides I thought it likely you and Miss Mar Lou would have started to Eutaw before he got home, and my letter delayed several days anyhow – I took a ride yesterday evening – the weather was fine & the streets were all alive with the bright faces of many fair ladies, and troops of merry children – How delightful it must be for them to come out to breathe the fresh, invigorating air and enjoy the warm sunshine once more, after being housed up so long – I met a daughter of General Polk out walking – she has a fine face & is said to sing divinely – I am sure you hail with pleasure the return of fair weather, and will resume those delightful walks you enjoy so much – What a dear little indefatigable pedestrian you are! How I would like to be with you in your rambles! – I recur to our walks & talks as among the happiest moments of my life – Same how in your loved company my capacity for enjoyment seems increased ten-fold – Your dear presence developes new pleasures and beauties in every object – Nature smiles, and

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my heart bounds and it pounds in the fullness of love entirely yours – How idly that pretended philosopher talked when he asserted that “Absence conquers love” – What nonsense! Isn’t it? Love, having for its object those radiant virtues which belong to you, and whose value is enhanced by the purity of such a lovely character, cannot be conquered, and never, never dies – With me, absence from you, my Love, and association with others, only serve to show how incomparable you are, & to increase the intensity of my affection – It never occurs to me to wonder why I love you – It would be too absurd; when the answer is so evident to all who behold you – The only wonder is, what you ever saw in such a stupid fellow as me to love – while the single desire of my heart is to preserve yr affection, & make myself as worthy as may be, of such priceless love – Oh! I am so happy in the knowledge of your regard – The mail has just this moment brought me yr dear letter of yesterday – I thank you so truly for it – The gentle tenderness of my own precious wife sparkles in every word, and awakens new sentiments of love in my heart – I fear you were disappointed in not receiving a letter from me by Maj Beauchamp – do not think me negligent – I would not pain you for the world – I am grieved about Mattie – I love the dear child more than she can guess – I have felt much of what yr Uncle says, and have been much pained & perplexed by it – She’s a dear

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thoughtless child – be gentle with her – Let us hope nothing more serious than the “fun of the thing” – as she calls it – influences her conduct – even that is reprehensible enough Heaven knows – Young girls cannot be too circumspect – Trifles light as air, sometimes awakens eternal sources of regret – There was a party in town night before last, and another is to be to night – At dinner Miss Fannie Lucas said she would require an escort & would take me if I wished to go – but I am unacquainted with the parties, & told her, that since newly married men are generally considered very stupid on such occasion, I would prefer staying at home – She is a sweet little girl – says she will have a party soon & will bring me out. Isn’t she kind? The weather has been so unfavorable that I haven’t gone out any where as I intend to do – I’m afraid I shall not enjoy myself much however, as I can’t get up any enthusiasm unless you are present – I have deferred calling upon Mrs Larnagin (I don’t know how to spell her name) for the present, so as to allow the letter MRs Beauchamp promised to write, to have due weight before asking her to take us to board – Your dear society would be a great comfort to me, & I think you would enjoy a little visit here right well – but I fear you would sometimes be lonesome – I miss you constantly – tho’ never so much as when in

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company – When alone I can recalls the charms & grace of your society – the pretty expressions you use, and the gentle tenderness of your manner – and am happy as I ever can be, without you –

It is almost impossible for me to write a letter in the day time – I am interrupted so constantly – I must write at night here-after – I send much love to all at home & believe me dearest ever fondly

and affectionately your

proud & happy husband

Thos K Jackson


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.