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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 19 November 1863

2015.002.136

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson is impatient to see Reavis again. He expresses his love for his fiancée, and mentions how he had hoped to send her a letter when he was in Meridian, but was unable to get to the post office before it closed. He mentions how he had been feeling ill and depressed the week before.


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Enterprise Miss.

Nov 19. 1863.

My dear Lucy,

This week has been an age to me, notwithstanding the various occupations to employ my time – I am so impatient to see you, that it seem interminable.

Do you ever feel my absence thus? I hope not – Such an evidence of yr regard would be of all things the most delightful, as well as extremely flattering to my vanity – but I fain would spare you the anxiety which accompanies it.

At last, however, the longest days must end, whether they be quickened by sunshine, or retarded by impatience, and I live in the sweet hop of seeing yr radiant smiles Saturday morning at Ramsey’s, when I am convinced I shall be fully repaid for all my solicitude – Dear “rare and radiant maiden” – I love you so fondly.

I went up to Meridian yesterday, & wanted to write to you from there – if only to assure you of my unalterable attachment – but after getting through with my business, I found the mail had been closed, so I played several games of chess, ate parched pinders [peanuts], & did some “extensive chatting” with old friends until the Train arrived – Am I not a clever fellow to do whatever you ask me? But I deserve no praise – yr requests seem to fit exactly with my wishes – The bare prospect of affording you pleasure, awakens all that is affectionate in my nature – & I cherish such feelings with pride & satisfaction – How have you passed this week? – Delightfully I am sure – Surrounded by those who admire & love you, it could not be otherwise – besides you diffuse an atmosphere of happiness where ever you go – I wrote you a little note last sunday, which I suspect never reached you – It is no matter – for what I wrote doubtless took the complexion of my feelings – I was in wretched spirits, sick & depressed, & so lonesome –

You will receive this on Friday (if it has luck) & see me on Saturday – so pray excuse my brevity,

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 – Thomas Jackson, 9 November 1863

2015.002.135

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson tells Reavis that he had planned to write to her the day before, but was unexpectedly busy all day and feeling ill and depressed in the evening. He mentions a herd of “Yahoos” who came to him inquiring about cattle and tithe corn. Jackson also writes of a raid carried out by the “Piney Woods women,” who brandished weapons at local merchants before they were arrested by the military. He had dinner with Major Mims, the Chief Quartermaster for Mississippi, and will soon be having dinner with Major Theobold. Jackson inquires after Reavis’ recent illness, and mentions how sorry he is that he could not be with her during the bishop’s visit.


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Enterprise Miss.

Nov. 9. 1863

My darling Lucy,

When I sent my hurried little note to you by Mr Hart, I promised myself the pleasure of writing to you on yesterday, which was sunday, and expected then to be undisturbed & free to indulge my fond inclinations towards you, I like to be entirely alone when I write to, or even think of you, my love, and cannot bear to be interrupted on such occasions, by the rude necessities of business, or common-place vanities of every-day-life. But things fell out very differently from what I expected – I was busy all the morning, had company in the afternoon & evening and was sick all day – my business was perplexing and disagreeable, my company stupid and uninteresting, and my indisposition oppressed me with low spirits, from which nothing would arouse me – even thoughts of your own sweet self, which rarely ever fail in their enlivening influence, seemed incapable of [missing] the feeling

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of depression under which I laboured, or producing more than momentary sensations of relief – Tuesday 10, I havd proceeded thus far, dear Lucy, on yesterday with my letter, when in came a herd of “Yahoos”, who harangued me about cattle & tithe corn until it was too late to finish in time for the mail – so I had to lay it aside, demonstrating my loyalty to duty, at the expense of my love & tenderness for you – I’m sure I deserve a General’s commission for such a true mark of self denial – Don’t you think so too my love? – The monotony of this dull town was broken in upon on yesterday by a very daring raid – the raiders were all captured, however, before any serious damage was done – It seems that quite a formiddable force of the “Piney-Woods Women” of this vicinage, armed to the teeth, mad ea descent on the merchants, firing their guns & pistols in a very war-like manner, & would have supplied their necessities, vi et armis [with force & arms], had they not been arrested by the military – I assure you these piney woods delivered for once, a very [for]middable array of Charms, indignant [missing] though they were.

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However much the [missing] such outbursts is to be deprecated, I have it [not] in my nature to censure the poor women whose husbands, sons, & brothers are away fighting our battles, & who slaves her eyes out for the comfort of our armies, while her babies are crying for bread, when she raises her feeble arm to secure for herself & needy family the actual necessaries of life which are withheld from her by the grasping hand of avarice – I dined with Major Mims (Chief Qrmr for Mississippi) on yesterday – the party was small & select, the dinner sumptuous, & the host admirable, Mrs M. though at home, did not make her appearance – I don’t know why – They have no family – the Major lives well – His house, which he recently purchased here, is comfortable & furnished with luxury & some taste – especially in the item of mirrors. I saw there a pious cover, which some lady wishes to exchange with him for a servant, worked in the most elaborate style – the owner says it took her fourteen years to finish it – What patience some people have! I’m sure I should have wearied of such tedious work in an hour. It is, however, very beautiful [missing] admired

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which [missing] compensate the fair architect for her [missing] & pains. We are to dine at Major Theobold’s today & the time approaches so I must make haste, or this letter may be further delayed – I felt much concerned about your illness until I came to yr delightful postscript to yr sister’s note – How good of you to write to me, and you so sick! It was so like my gentle darlin g- How is it possible, my love for he should be otherwise than like the evening shadows, which go on increasing until the close Dear darling Lucy, be careful of yr health for my sake & those who love you so much, & be careful, exceedingly careful, of your sweet voice, for your own sake, if not for mine – I add “not for mine”, because you will persist in saying, that I don’t like music. You will be convinced to the contrary some day I hope – I am so sorry I could not be with you during the Bishop’s visit – but my consciousness of the claims of duty, denied me the much coveted pleasure – I do not know exactly when I shall be able to go on a little visit to you – but it will not be long first – Thank your dear mother for her kind inteions towards me & assure her [that] I am not too proud to receive anything [missing] motherly hands – my only fear

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[is] that I am unworthy of such unvaried kindness – Bless her dear heart – a good mother aught to make a good child & I ought to be, as indeed I am, the happiest man in the world to possess the love of such a child – write soon dear Lucy, & make, as I am convinced you will every allowance for all apparent [missing] & neglible [missing] in [missing…] with your dear graceful letters

God bless you & soon restore yr health – is the constant prayer of him who is 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, 11 October 1863

2015.002.134

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson jokingly refers to himself as vain for expecting another letter from Reavis so soon after her last one. He describes playing chess with friends, including the Assistant Surgeon, Dr. Huggins. He also mentions a possible visit to Reavis in the upcoming week. Jackson, who is in charge of buying meat for the army, plans to go to Gainesville to purchase supplies for General Braxton Bragg’s army, including one thousand hams. Jackson mentions a local woman that recently shot her husband, then threatened to shoot the soldier who came to investigate.


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No. 3.

Enterprise Miss. Oct. 11/63

Dearest Lucy,

I rather expected a letter from you this morning – I don’t know why – but somehow I fancied you would write to me yesterday – perhaps it was only an undefined hope – a pleasing something, which I cherished until the barren mail dispelled the illusion – I think of you so much & so fondly, I’m not at all surprised that my vanity should sometimes lead me to imagine you doing little things for my gratification – I had no reason whatever, to expect a letter – but just like us men – especially soldiers now-a-days – we are so vain – a little civility makes us insufferably arrogant – I intended to write you a little note last night to send by Mr Hart, but some

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gentlemen called to play chess with me, & I had to postpone it until today – I played four games, with different antagonists, & gained them all – quite a champion – Am I not? there is but one gentleman in town who has thus far obtained any advantage (& slight at that) over me – He is Dr Huggins – Asst. Surgeon from Alabama – His name is quite familiar to me – Who is he? – I think I’ve heard you speak of him –

No doubt Mr Hart thinks me a very disinterested clever fellow, for permitting him to go home a full week earlier than he expected, but Mr H- don’t know everything – I had resolved in my own mind, that next saturday would be a nice time for me to refresh myself from the fatigues of labor & restraint, & make a flying visit to you, my darling, & other friends in G. whom I love so much –

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So you see, there was no inconsiderable amount of latent selfishness incorporated with my exhibition of graciousness, which however, I hope, will be compensated for, in some sort, by the agreeable surprise afforded his family – I am not yet sure I can go up there – so you need not be disappointed if I do not, nor surprised if I do – I am going to make Gainesville a point d’apui [d’appui = military term referring to a point where troops are assembled] (no laughing, if you please) from which to reinforce Bragg’s Commissariat, & shall collect a thousand hours in that neighborhood soon, preparatory to sending them forward to Atlanta.

I am much obliged to yr Uncle John for his kind remembrance – but I fear his is a “sod wog”, & like his fair niece, fond of his little joke – I am not conscious of any “carryings on”, & he may divulge

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all he knows about me – I’ve not seen the widow since he was here – & I don’t “understand” – I’m in clined to believe, that he, the cunning fellow – jealous of my attractions (?) has spirited her away – A sad affair transpired here the other day – A woman shot her husband dead – his body lay near the house all night waiting for the coroner – I am unacquainted with the merits of the case – During the Inquest a soldier expressed a desire to see the woman who could do such a deed, when the amazon appeared – said she did it, & if he did not leave instantly, she would blow his brains out for him – the soldier was satisfied & retired – I have not received yr Mother’s letter, which you mentioned – I can’t imagine where on earth the silly post

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masters send them. I was mighty sorry to hear of Miss Nannie’s sickness – & hope she has gotten better – Has Reavis heard from the diplomatic letter to “that old woman”? I am anxious to learn how his affairs are likely to turn out. Give my love to all at home & believe, dear Lucy, ever

fondly yours

TKJ

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I was truly shocked to hear of Dr Anderson’s death – poor Mrs A – What a terrible blow to her!


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, 6 September 1863

2015.002.133

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson writes how happy he was to receive a letter from Reavis, as his “anxiety was fast becoming intolerable.” He mentions having dinner with the paymaster, Captain Decker, in Meridian. Mrs. Decker is a friend of General Hardee, and is planning to request that Captain Decker be sent to Enterprise. Jackson mentions the train times from Demopolis, as he is planning on visiting Reavis. He then expresses his great love for Reavis, and writes that he will get a photograph taken while in Mobile. Jackson concludes by mentioning a compliment he received from the Chief Commissary of Mississippi.


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Enterprise Miss.

Sept 6. 1863.

Thanks – thanks, my own sweet Lucy, for your charming letter, every word of which is a breathing echo of your dear self – I have just received it, & am the happiest man alive – even this stupid Enterprise wears a cheerful smile this morning – My anxiety was fast becoming almost intolerable – it had been so long since I had heard from you – I have also, this morning a kind letter from yr Mother [missing] she was still at Kemper, but was to be at home today – Yr Father had returned – They were all quite well. I spent part of last Friday at Meridian & took tea with the Paymaster, Captain Decker & his family, consisting of his wife & her sister, whom I met

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for the first time – Mrs Decker is a charming lady, & I do not know when I passed an evening so pleasantly. Meridian has been vastly improved lately – ditched, policed, & numerous wells dug, adding immeasurably to the comforts of the sick & passing soldiers. Mrs D. says she intends to see Gen’l Hardee – whom she knows very well – and ask him to order the Captain to this place, which I should regard as a piece of good fortune, for she knows so many of my old friends, is so intelligent, entertaining & I think such a delightful Lady to visit.

The train from Demopolis is due at Meridian at half after five P.M. so you will have to remain there ’till 4 A.M. for the “up train” – It will be quite convenient & pleasant for me to go for you, because I have some business in that direction, & would like to get a glimpse of the coun-

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try so as to set about it at the proper time understandingly; so if my coming be entirely agreeable to you – write immediately & acquaint one with the day you wish to start, so that my arrangements may be made accordingly, & be sure to furnish me with the necessary directions to find you in the “Canebrake” – such as when to leave the cars &c &c

A delightful rain is falling now cooling the air & laying the dust – How welcome it is! for the heat has been intense & the dust [missing] most suffocating during these past ten days – Oh! my love, I have been so joyous & happy all day in the possession of your dear, dear letter – With what tenderness I regard each word traced by yr loved hand! If possible, I love you more than ever, and long for the day which is to

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unite our hands, as, I fondly [missing], our hearts are already united – I am going to Mobile soon & shall comply with your request about the picture – My letters to yr Mother were only little friendly epistles about nothing in particular, but I told her I had something serious to write to her about, but have not yet been able to approach her with the subject – When I see you I will tell you what it is, [missing] perhaps you can assist me, [missing] remind me of it, if I should forget – I received quite a complimentary letter from the Chief Commissary of Mississippi the other day, & feel right down rain about it – I didn’t know I was such a clever fellow. Goodbye my love – Ever yours

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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 27 August 1863

2015.002.131

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson informs Reavis that her family arrived safely in Lauderdale, and updates her on both his family and her own. He describes a dream he had featuring Reavis. He writes how Reavis’ mother made arrangements for some of their family members to be added to Jackson’s “military family,” and how much he needs them. Jackson inquires about a recent trip she took to see friends. He writes that there had been preaching in General Maxey’s Brigade the day before, followed by a parade and music.


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No 5

Enterprise Miss.

Aug, 27, 1863.

My dear Lucy,

Yr Mother & family arrived safely at Lauderdale where we found Jimmy with a celerity carriage waiting for them, The young folks were in buoyant spirits along the road & quite as happy as the day is long. Yr sister & cousin seemed vastly taken with a youthful soldier from Pleasant Ridge, who came with us on the cars, & Mattie desired me to ask if his name was Smith or Jones, & how he spelt it – much to her consternation I [missing] what she said [missing] was mightily amused – [missing] named either Smith or Jones, but turned out to be a Mr McGowan, with whose family in South Carolina I am very well acquainted – The young ladies & the soldier exchanged apples & peaches & the cars continued to roll on much as usual – Yr Mother was otherwise interested in another young soldier who bought a melon at Ramsey’s Station, & took him to task for using “bad words” by way of emphasis to his expressions of satisfaction at the moderate price.

I found numerous letters & dispatches awaiting my arrival here, & among them Yr Mother’s little note, one page of which sparkled with my darling’s merry, sweet thoughts – I am so happy dear

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Lucy, that although separated from you by many, many weary miles, I am not deprived of the compensating privilege of interchanging thoughts with you. I also found a letter from my Sister Mattie who sends her love to you, & says that, if you possess only half the endearing qualities which I ascribe to you, I am a lucky fellow, & that she feels very grateful to you for taking compassion upon her bachelor brother & loving him for himself alone, & hopes now to see more of him – and that she is prepared to love you as she does me, which she declares is with no stinted tide but strong and deep as [any] sister felt for [missing] brother, Poor Mattie is greatly distressed [just now] – Willie her only child, though under age is eager for the war, & she has at last with an aching heart consented to give him to his country.

Tuesday was a delightful day here, cloudy, cool & exhilerating – I was so glad to think what a fine day you most probably had for yr little journey – My Thoughts were with you all the day, and were animated with cheerfulness to think how happy you were in the near prospect of once more embracing yr charming young friend.

I dreamed of you last night – I thought I entered a large room in my usual blundering way & found it filled with ladies & gentlemen sitting around a bright fire –

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some of the gentelmen made room for me, I did not recognize any one, tho’ it seems I expected to see you, but did not discern you until your sweet voice fell upon my ear & I caught a glance of your dear smiling eyes – You sat by yr friend Miss Minge – How changed you were! You looked so odd, & my amazement was so great that I awoke immediately – Your hair had been cut off short & brushed so cunningly, & you looked so coquettish, that no one would have taken you for that dear gently Lucy Reavis whom every body loves – I was overjoyed that it was only all a dream.

[missing] to yr Mother [missing]-sday, & have [been] making arrangements to [missing] my family [missing] the addition of Yr Uncle & Jim Hart, both of whom I need very much & will have them detailed to report to me as soon as they send me certificates that they are unable to perform field service, which I presume they will have no difficulty in doing – I have got at last a pretty comfortable house, very convenient, & shall go to house keeping without delay.

Miss Mittie & Nannie promised to write to me from Kemper, & I am impatient to know what their active brains will send me – they were so merry & so happy – You

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were pleased at Col. Thornton’s – we you not? Tell me all about them, & especially how you liked Miss Butler’s singing – for I am curious to know yr opinion upon it.

There was preaching in Maxey’s Brigade yesterday afternoon, after which, dress parades of the Regiments & music by the Bands – All the youth & beauty of Enterprise was in attendance, but the smoke & dust, which were dense, were not pleasant [???] on such an occasion, not very favorable to all the blushes & blooms I saw – I was introduced to [Mrs. Maxey] – she didn’t look [much] like a [General’s] wife, nor, indeed, does he look much like a General – I knew him when we called him “Old Whitey” & such reminiscences are fatal to the awe which rising greatness ordinarily inspires.

Do not forget what I asked you when you think of returning home – I shall be more thatn happy to escort you – I believe the train arrives at Meridian at 6 p.m. so you will have to wait there until 4 a.m. but this is not certain – I’m going to M. in a few day, will find out all about it & let you know – in the meantime, may the perpetual smiles of Heaven be yours-

Affectionately & truly entirely yours

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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 1863

2015.002.130

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Letter of Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL. The letter is undated but likely circa August 1863. Jackson had recently mentioned to other officers that he desired peaches. Reavis somehow heard the message, and supplied Jackson with a dozen. He mentions sending a basket to Reavis’ mother, as a show of his appreciation for her motherly attitude towards him. Jackson mentions that the train had run off the track above Macon, and that he recently met with Colonel Rosser, Captain Neville, Captain Williams, and “Bill” O. Winston. He remarks on the recent marriage of a friend, and he hopes that he and Reavis will soon be able to follow suit. Jackson writes that he expects to go to Mobile, Alabama, soon, and may even get a chance to briefly visit Reavis in the next few weeks.


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Your sweet little note of Wednesday, my dearest Lucy, was indeed a surprise, but one of such an agreeable character that my nervous system would have little difficulty in recovering from similar ones daily – However, ma chere amie – (you perceive I have a penchant for the cant language) had the least suspicion crossed my ming that you not only would be made acquainted with my message to Maj Barret, Jim Hart, or Capt Williams for a dozen peaches, but actually desired to gather them, my knowledge of your readiness, to oblige, & your goodness, would at once have led me to anticipate the happiness which awaited me at the Junction – Although it

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was too dark for me to read when it was handed to me by Mr Kelly, I nevertheless, experienced a most exquisite, tender joy as, with jealous care, I clasped it to my heart ’till the opening dawn should disclose those charming sentences which my Lucy, alone know how to pen –

I thank you for the peaches – they were delicious & I greatly enjoyed them – but oh my love! I thank you ten thousand times for the sweetest of precious little notes – I often wonder if there be a greater enjoyment on earth than is derived from the perusal of the unaffected, unpremeditated thoughts of the absent whom we love – whom we adore – I know not, but often fancy my heart could scarce contain a greater joy than that with

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which your sweet letters fill my very being – As I gaze upon your well known characters, a thousand tender images impress themselves upon my senses – I behold my gentle Lucy occupied in writing to me – All her features – her thoughtful brow – her smiling eye – her graceful attitude – are in harmony with her pleasing thoughts & the agreeable task upon which she is occupied – But this is a little hurried note, Knox is watching for it – I send your mothers baskets by him, & I do hope she will receive them safe & sound – Tell her she will know some day that my expressions of thankfulness for all her motherly kindness to me, are not idle terms forgotten as soon as uttered –

It was one o’clock before we reached the Junction last night

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the train had run off the track above Macon – I was glad to meet there Col. Rosser, Capt Neville Capt Williams & “Bill” O. Winston – I hope the order to take up the rails on our little road may be countermanded, & I think it will be if the subject is properly & forcibly represented – “Bill O told me of Miss Colgins marriage

I think she & the Dr have set us a fine example, dont you? & one I think we ought to follow without unnecessary delay – I have something to tell you, but not space or time at present to do it in – its only a little “perhaps gossip” – I expect to go to Mobile in a day or two on business, when I return I will write you further,

I hope to have sufficient leisure in a few weeks to make you a flying visit – Do not fail to advise me if you leave Gainesville on any of yr contemplated visits

Devotedly & affectionately yrs

TKJ

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much love to all your dear family

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Mr Barlow was not neglected nor treated badly by me – I not only sent him the strongest papers I could, but wrote to him frequently, & got an officer to enquire him out in Mobile – My letter & the papers – which I got colonel Rosser to countersign, must have miscarried & the officer could not find him in Mobile I wrote to him today I miss him, but he is not indispensable to me


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, 31 July 1863

2015.002.129

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson writes that he was asked by the Chief Commissary to take over control of the purchase of beef cattle, and was consequently sent to Enterprise. He was glad to leave Meridian, as he felt his health was declining there. He is staying with a friend, Major Theobold, who is the Depot Quartermaster. Jackson expresses his love for Reavis, and describes her many virtues. Jackson suspects that the army may move in his direction soon. Unlike many, he does not think the Confederacy is doomed from the fall of Vicksburg. However, he has heard that thousands of Mississippi troops deserted after the surrender. In a small addendum, Jackson writes that General Sheppard expects the war to be over within a year due to foreign intervention, and that Confederate independence will be recognized and slavery will be abolished.


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Enterprise Miss.

July 31. 1863.

You will be surprised, no doubt, my dearest Lucy, to find me writing from this place, after my letter to you of the 22nd inst – So I proceed to explain at once – The Chief Commissary – who, by the by, is an old friend of mine – came up to Meridian, before I had commenced my duties there, & urged me to take executive control of the purchase of Beef Cattle throughout the Department – I hesitated as indeed I well might, to take charge of so important a branch of the service as supplying meat for the Army has become – My objections were over-ruled however, & finally, I gave a reluctant consent, whereupon a Major & several Captains were ordered to report to me – I was burthened [burdened] with a large sum of money & authorized to establish my Hd.qrs. at any convenient point I might select –

I have, therefor come here, as the most central position, & the most convenient for the discharge of my duties – I am living with an old friend – Major Theobold, Dėpôt quartermaster, who resides here with his family, & on the whole, am not uncomfortable, nor altogether dissatisfied. I was glad to leave that abominable place Meridian.

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for had I remained there much longer I really think I must have died – I was sick all the time while there, whereas here, my health seems to improve daily.

I received your cheerful, delightful letter, No 2 last Sunday – I did not recognize the superscription, & my heart nearly failed me when the Postmaster said that was the only letter for me – I thought it was from Capt. Williams, but was amply rewarded for my fears when the open envelope disclosed your well known hand – Dear Lucy, you do write such a charming, beautiful letter – what a treat I enjoyed as I read, re-read & read it again & again, & constantly with the liveliest satisfaction & pleasure, & you will not be surprised, that my reflections upon your unbounded goodness, yr graceful simplicity & frankness, yr true nobility of thought & feeling, yr firmness, yr truth & courage, yr unvarying kindness to all, yr amiable charity, yr devotion to yr parents, yr sympathy with sorrow, yr pure, unsullied thoughts, yr delicate taste, & your deep relegion, should inspire me with the constant desire to become, if possible, worthy of so much loveliness – Almost from our first acquaintance, you have been to me, the universe & I have no hope or joy, except in your love –

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Your sweet fair face rises before me, in the busy scenes of life, like a star from out the sea, & I cannot be conscious of yr noble heart, yr pure, true woman’s nature, so tender, yet so firm, & be the same careless inconsiderate, wicked man I have been – My affection for you, dearest, springs from those feelings which make true love sublime as honor, & meek as relegion, & God knows, my own darling, it must influence my future life –

I received a letter from Capt. Williams this morning – He mentioned you, Miss [Narmie?], & Mrs Shotwell in his usual rattling style of expression, & acquainted me with the postponement of Miss Colgin’s marriage –

I should not be surprised if the Army were to be moved in this direction soon, there is some talk of it – There is a perfect dearth of news just now – I haven’t a word worth communicating – I am not like many of the Mississippians who think the fate of the Confederacy was sealed when Vicksburg fell – Vicksburg, tho’ of the highest importance to the country, was not the Confederacy, & I do not believe Mississippi is “gone up yet” – I do not feel competent to give advice, but if I owned property I the State I would not dispair – It is said that Miss: Troops have

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deserted from the Army by thousands since the surrender of Vicksburg, & I fear there is much truth in it – This looks bad for our cause, for if there ever was a time when the entire strength of the country ourght to stand together, shoulder to shoulder it is now –

I am obliged & flattered by Mrs Lacy’s message, say as much to her, & give her my love – You say Miss Mattie is a “constant source of amusement” to you – Oh! she is young, & the brightest little being that ever breathed – She enjoys all those little pastimes which you sexagenarians have abandoned & forgotten – Give her my warmest love, & tell her, that I take a great interest in all that concerns her – I should like to be with you ate the Barbacue tomorrow, I know I should have a delightful time, but I am too much occupied to think of pleasure just now – I am the busiest fellow you ever saw, but hope soon to have my duties so arranged as to have a leisure day now 7 then – I have made one young lady acquaintance since coming here – a Miss Kate McKinney – she is beautiful & interesting – I met her at Mrs Theobold’s – Give my love to yr dear mother – I miss her kind, motherly, thoughtful attention – Her motherly kindness is new to me & I fear she has spoiled me – Much love to yr cousin Narmie yr Aunt Assie, to Dr. Mrs & Miss Barrit, with a kiss to the latter – Good bye my love, may the light of heaven continue to shine around you – Ever very affectionately yours TKJ

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My kindest regards to your Uncle John, Reavis & Dr Dobb. I miss them so. If you see Miss Lizzie tell her I think of her very often & of our pleasant evenings I have passed in her most agreeable company – Give her my love,

__________________

Genl Sheppard has just called to see me – He thinks the war will end in less than a year by foreign intervention that our Independence will be acknowledged & guaranteed & that slavery will be abolished what do you think of all that?


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, May 1863

2015.002.127c

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In this short note from Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL to her fiancé Major Thomas K. Jackson in MS, Reavis is sorry to hear that Jackson is ill and is sending him some tea.


I am so very sorry, my dear Major, that I am unable to do anything for your comfort – Capt Williams sent me word that you wanted some Tea, but Ma has the keys and I can only find this little bundle, which I hope is worth drinking, tho’ fear not

You can not think how sorry I am for your sickness and how happy I should be to do anything in the world for your comfort – If there is anything we can do, be sure and let me know. If Ma were here, she would know what to send you – She charged me with several messages for you, which I hope to deliver soon – Do get well quickly – I cannot bear to hear every day that you are no better or worse –

Very truly yours

L. Reavis –


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, 15 May 1863

2015.002.127

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, to her fiancé Major Thomas K. Jackson in Jackson, MS. Reavis expresses how much she misses Jackson, and talks about visiting family friends to keep her mind occupied. She describes a dream she had in which the Yankees had formed a plan to overthrow the Confederate army, and her disclosure of this information to the president led to a great victory and a promotion for Major Jackson. Reavis laments the death of General Stonewall Jackson at the hands of his own men, and mentions that General Johnston is currently in Vicksburg. She describes everyday life in Gainesville, including relationships, engagements, and church. Reavis is determined not to reply to Jackson’s wish to marry soon, as she wouldn’t see him any more frequently than she does now.


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No 1-

Gainesville, May 15th 1863

You cannot think, my dear Major Jackson how delighted I was yesterday, when Alfred brought me your letter- It was quite a disappointment to me to find none awaiting my return from Greensboro- but I was sure you must have written. Your letter was just like your dear, good self, and I believe makes me want to see you more than ever – We all miss you terribly and I so much, that I do not intend to remain at home many days at a time –

Although we only reached home Wednesday evening I am going to Mr Giles on Monday – Ma is at “Cedar Bluff” and Pa will be at court, so I must go some where or do something in self-defense – I hardly know what to tell Mr Giles, when he asks me about our engagement. You know he begged me to make no rash promises until he had had a long conversation with me on the subject- But I am not afraid – think I can prove to him satisfactorily that there is but one Major Jackson in the world. and when he knows you, he

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will not wonder at my great love for you – I am so glad Major Jackson that you have such perfect confidence in me. and assure you that I will strive ever to be deserving of it. Nothing gives me pleasure if you disapprove of it-

Ma and I went up to see Mrs Whitesid the evening before starting on our little trip. I thought she might like to send a message or letter to Willie – As usual, she was arranging flowers in Lizzie’s hair- and informed me that it was for the purpose of making an impression on the new Commissaries – They are to take their meals at Mr Bradshaw’s – Mrs W- was quite disconsolate, said she could scarcely refrain from tears – either when you left or when she thought of your cruel desertion of us. (Of her, she means) She asked me to tell you, when I wrote that she had lost her appetite & enjoyment of everything – even her flowers were neglected- I told her to write it herself, but she replied right pitifully – as the darkeys say, “he didn’t ask me to write to him” – I am not romancing, or adding a single word – Ma’s sympathies were so deeply aroused, that all the way coming home she was persuading me to write & tell you to

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love Mrs W – instead of me – But I refused positively- she ought not to have loved you first. Lizzie Bradshaw made her so mad, she said she could scarcely keep from calling her some bad name, when she teased her about Dr. Stuart- She begged me never to speak of it- if I did she’d be my mortal enemy, in spite of her great regard for you.

We had a delightful time over at the Council – There was a great number of the clergy there, and still more lay members – the first day, as I sat in Church, looking around at the new benches &c & feeling a perfect stranger, in a strange place, who do you think I saw, come in? I was so pleased dont think my heart could have made such a bound at the appearance of any one else but yourself – It was Mar Lou- I went immediately & sat by her – Every body laughed when she jumped up & kissed me in the most delighted manner. We had a charming time together and of course she insisted that I should go home with her, as did her father & my other friends from the [Cane?] Brake. But I resisted, because I wanted to come home & hear from you. Dont you think that was a great proof of my affection for you? I had

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such a funny dream about you, while I was over there. thought that the Yankees had formed a most beautiful plot for the overthrow of our army. that I discovered & disclosed it to the President Consequently we gained a perfect & glorious victory – As it was owing in a measure to me, the President proposed doing me some kindness & suggested that he should bestow some command on you, which he cheerfully did, saying if you were gallant & brave, you should be made a General. Was that not curious? The last thing in the world I should ask, for I’d be perfectly wretched the whole time, fearing that some harm might befall you. Isn’t it too bad that our other great Jackson was killed? and by his own men they say. Who do you suppose will or can fill his place? Pa thinks we lost more than we gained in that last battle- I dont believe the war is ever to end – I suppose Genl Johnston is now in Vicksburg we travelled with some soldiers who came as far as Selma with him-

You cannot think Major, how mortified Bettie Pierce is at the Captain’s treatments. We spent a day in Eutaw on our return & she told me that he was there three days, visiting & riding with Miss Rhoda

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and others & did not go near her until the last day when he knew she was not at home – Wasn’t it wrong? She declares she had nothing to do either with that report or the one that is now much talked of in regard to Uncle John. When she talks to me I believe every word she says, but afterwards it does not seem true – I wish I knew whether she is like her brother in that respect, or not – She wanted to know what was the matter with Mattie, Bro had written & complained to her of Mattie’s profound silence – I had a long letter from my sweet little Sister when I returned, she was in the highest spirits & her heart overflowing with love towards both you & me, because I had written her all that had passed between us She says, she does not object to my caring some, for you, but I must promise to love her best – Which do you think I ought to care most for? Harriet Colgin told me all about her engagement & showed me the Dr’s picture – & some of his letters. I wonder if it is right for girls to show these letters. Mr [???] & a great many persons were at the council, from Tuscaloosa – I wish you had been with us – The ministers all dressed in their pure white surplices, really looked beautiful, when they’d

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come in & kneel around the church. They have an excellent organ & good choir also – Mr Dobb did not pass his examination, at least not to the Bishop’s satisfaction, so he was not ordained. I am right glad, for I would not like for him to administer the Holy Communion – I do not think I should feel right. His constant amusement is talking to me of you – Hee firmly believes that we are to marry in July, and I do not undeceive him. Did I not tell you, that I would not reply to that part of your letter, if you said anything on this subject? Would I see anymore of you if were to marry this Fall? Don’t ask me what my wishes are on the subject, I have but one, to please you in all things.

Aunt Carlie was highly gratified at your message, said she did not think you would ever remember her after you left. Marmie sends her love & says she intends writing to ask if she may see your letters – I would not show this one to her – You wrote Ma, a mighty nice note, I will give it to her when she returns – I am so afraid of writing too much, that I will not tell you how much I want to see you – Try to come soon, and until then, write as often as you can.

Affectionately-

Lucy Reavis-


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 four 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 in 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.