Letter – Thomas Jackson, 30 July 1864


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

Post-war letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson to his wife Lucy, from Cedar Bluff, AL. Thomas tells his wife that he has been writing “Proclamation Oaths” for Lucy’s father, who is a judge. Her father has also been working on an application for a “special pardon” for Thomas. The previous day’s paper contained information from the governor on how to apply for one, and how questions would need to be answered for a successful application. Thomas describes the recent weather conditions and how they have affected the crops. They are selling her mother’s cotton in town, for which her father “expects to receive from 20 to 22 cents in gold.” He also mentions a “tournament” held for the entertainment of the local young ladies and gentlemen, and that a friend offered to give him a few hunting dogs to train.

-Page 1-

Cedar Bluff,

Sunday, July 30. 1865.

My precious Wife,

I remained at home last night as I expected, and came up here this morning, bringing little Katy with me to see her mother. I was occupied part of the day yesterday writing off some “Proclamation Oaths” for yr Father, while he drew up my application for “special pardon”; he also prepared applications for a number of other parties – Mine is a master-piece, and, according to my judgement, makes a better showing than any I have seen. Carrie was some better last evening, though quite sick – and I regret I did not learn her condition this morning, for, having to come by the Farm, I forgot to do so. I sent Bettie’s letter to her yesterday by Dr Alexander, (wonder if Mrs Whiteside doesn’t wish she had married him?)

I shall commence sending your mothers cotton to town tomorrow, as the Judge wishes to dispose of it before his departure, & to expediate its delivery there, a wagon has been ordered from the prairie to assist. There are seventeen bales – The Judge expects to receive from 20 to 22 ct in gold for it, which, he says he will pack up with your Mother’s name marked upon it, and will lock it up in the iron safe.

Yesterdays paper, which was not received until

-Page 2-

late, contains a Proclamation by Gov. [missing], issued for the information & guidance of all those applying for “special pardon”, through him; and enumerating certain questions, which the applicant must answer satisfactorily, to insure a favorable consideration of his petition by the Governor – This entails an alteration in, or rather, a postscript added to, our applications – I shall, therefore, go to town Tuesday afternoon to attend to this correction in mine, and to see yr Father off on the following morning. I hope you will receive the letter I sent to you, by Express, yesterday. I discover that some rain fell here yesterday, but not sufficient to do the crop much good – a steady rain for some hours, would be of great service to the growing corn just now. To-day has been unusually cool and delightful, a fine breeze has been blowing all day long, with the sun partially obscured by light clouds.

As I rode from Warsaw Friday evening, I discovered quite a collection of ladies and gentlemen in the distance, whom, I have since concluded, had assembled to celebrate a “Tournament”, as this species of gentle, and joyous pastime, seems to be occupying the attention of the chivalric youths, and damsels fair, in the surrounding neighborhood. Had I been apprised of such an opportunity, I might have entered the lists & essayed a course in honor of her, who, whether

-Page 3-

present or absent, reigns sole queen of my heart.

Tomorrow I should ride out for the purpose of buying some bacon, for the use of this Farm, I hope to secure about 500 lbs @ 10 ct. I shall first apply to Old Mr Wm Little who, if he cannot supply me, may be able to direct my further search.

Yesterday while speaking of dogs in the presence of Mr [McNettly?], I expressed my predilection for pointers & setters, when he spoke up and said he had two or three superior full blooded English setters, which he would take great pleasure in letting me have, if I would train the two puppies & save one of them for him. I accepted the offer at once, and he promised to bring them up, about the 6th prox. when he brings the terrier for Mother.

You are not to be alarmed, for they shall not give you the least inconvenience. And now my precious Love, good night – Do I not love thee my precious one? Go ask the whispering breezes, whose name so oft as [???], is breathed upon their balmy flight. With holy blessings on your darling head, again good night.

Monday July 31, 1865, I have omitted to mention my dear Lucy, in these daily notes, that Major Beauchamp spent a couple of days in Gainesville last week – I met him a few miles from town as I came

-Page 4-

up the first time – He was looking quite [missing] usual, and said, he left his family well, [missing] had reached Macon without accident. Mr Rogers told me Saturday, the Major had failed to sell his house, owing to the exhorbitant price he demands – I did not see Mrs Pool or any of her family when I was down – The fact is, I was only at home early in the morning & at night.

I feel the want of some body to talk to up here; so that if you were here, I doubt if you would ever find any cause for complaint on that score. I started over to Old Bill Little’s this morning, after dispatching three wagons loaded with cotton to town, but before I got quite to his house I met one of his servants, who informed me the the Old Man had gone to Gainesville, so I shall have to goover in the morning – I met with quite a little adventure on the road near Old Mr Daniels, the details of which I must reserve for some future occasion, merely explaining now that I very innocently stumbled upon the rendezvous of a pair of lovers, & temporarily interrupted their assignation. On my return I rode through Warsaw to enjoy the only inviting thing I have, or wish to discover in that wretched place, viz: a cool drink of water. I also called at Mr Kirkland’s to take him to task about some rails he has been appropriating from your Father’s fences. He was not at home – but I shall find him – Last night & this forenoon have been quite cool, rendering outdoors exercises delicious & exhilerating.

I expect to go home tomorrow afternoon, when I shall finish & dispatch this note to you my Love

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 – Martin Wiley, 28 December 1864


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 surgeon Martin Wiley of the 117th IL Infantry, to his wife, from the woods north of Pulaski, TN. Wiley writes that his regiment will move again the next morning. He mentions hunting, and describes the terrain along their march from Nashville. He briefly mentions the health of Colonel Moore, and inquires after the health of his wife. Wiley has heard rumors that General John B. Hood was beaten at the Tennessee River. A second section of the letter dated December 29th, 1864, mentions that his regiment is moving towards home. He reports that the 16th Corps left General George Thomas’s army and moved toward Clifton, TN. There are rumors that Hood’s army is attempting to cross at Savannah. He remarks on the adverse road conditions which will slow the march.

Camp 117 Regt. Ill. V.

                         In the woods, 4 miles

s of Pulaski, Tenn.

                         8-20 P.M. Dec. 28th 1864  

My very Dear Wife

     I sent you your letter this morning. I commence again and will forward by first opportunity. We did not move today, but have orders to move at 8 tomorrow. I went hunting squirrels and shot one. These hills are rather pleasant. All the way from Nashville here it has been a constant succession of regular hills and narrow valleys. The road winds through the valley, passing over more

-Page 2-

of the hills. The population is considerably dense. The soil is rich and the products of luxuriant growth. Much of the surface is too steep for cultivation.  The timber is excellent; maple, beach, birch, chestnut, oak, and cedar groves, large and  beautiful.

     Col. Moore is better today. Darling I hope the same of you. I would feel so glad to be certain of it.

     Tell Dr. Carpenter that I am going to write to him when I get settled for a day or two. We get rumors that Hood has been beaten again at the Tenn. [River], and lost largely. A squad of prisoners passed this morning.

     Good night my dear,            


-Page 3-                       

7 – 8 P.M. Dec. 29, 1864

My Dear

We are again on the way, and I am cheerful for we move in the direction of home. This morning the 16th Corps left Gen. Thomas’s army and moved on a road toward Clifton. This place is on the Tennessee [River] due west and below Pittsburg Landing. So when we get there we are in easy communication with Ill[inois] again. If we go there, I presume it will be for the purpose of taking transports for some other point. Some say a portion of Hood’s army are attempting to cross at Savannah, and that we will strike him there. However it may be, I know we are not now going south

-Page 4-

but toward a certain line of communication, and this makes me glad. The roads are bad, and the march will be slow. We have but 3 days’ rations in the train. We have marched but 13 miles today. We left Lieut. Brown, Co. A, sick at Pulaski; glad it wasn’t me. are having good living and a comfortable place to eat it. Dr. J and myself have a table in our tent. The evening is cool (freezing), but we are cozy and warm. We have various reports from the front. I can vouch for one of them. You probably hear as much. A good night Kiss for you, Dear.

                   Your husband, affect[ionately],

                               M. Wiley

Martin Wiley, from Trenton, IL enlisted on August 14,1862 as a private in Co. E of the 117th Illinois Infantry. He was promoted to surgeon October 9, 1862, and was mustered out at Camp Butler, Springfield, IL on August 5, 1865.

Letter – Cecil Fogg, 2 September 1863


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 Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from Jasper, TN. Fogg expects to remain with the Signal Corps on the mountain above Jasper for some time. Rations and water must be carried up the mountain, but the troops would rather do that than stay in the valley and drill. They have plenty to eat, as they get produce from local farms and meat from hunting. Fogg describes the rough road conditions going up the mountain. He mentions how their camp is located near a cliff, and describes the view across the river. Fogg mentions that a few contrabands, or escaped slaves, are employed as cooks in his regiment. He describes the recent weather conditions, and writes that he does not know when he will get a chance to mail the letter since they have crossed the river.

-Page 1-

Jasper, Tenn. Sept. 2nd  


     I wrote to you from this place about a week ago. I rec’d yours of the 8th just after I sent my letter off; also yours of the 23rd a few days ago. We are still with the Signal Corps on the mountain above Jasper, and we are likely to remain with them some time, I think, as our regt. has crossed the [Tennessee] river and left us here.

     The army has been crossing the river for 2 or 3 days, and are not across yet. We have carried our rations up the mountain from the camp since we have been here, and have to carry our water a mile and a half. But we have nothing else to do, and would rather do that than

-Page 2-

stay down in the valley with the regt. and drill. The are a few farms up here on the mountain, and we have had plenty of potatoes, geen corn, apples, peaches, etc. since we have been up here.

Some of the boys killed a deer, and there are some sheep running through the woods, so we have plenty of fresh meat. I thought the road over University Point was bad enough, but this road is a good deal worse. It took 6 mules and 20 or 30 men to get one wagon up the mountain. I think it was the first wagon that ever went over that road. It is only a bridle path, and I never would have thought that a wagon could have been got up there, unless it was taken in pieces. but we managed to get it up

-Page 3-

by carrying the load up the worst places. We are camped on top of the mountain just back of a cliff of rocks, several hundred feet high, extending for miles along in front of the river. We can see on the other side of the river, some 15 or 20 miles back, a similar cliff 40 or 50 miles in length – which looks like a line of breastworks from this place. We see very few contrabands in this part of the country. I don’t know what has become of them; there are a few in our brigade, employed as cooks, who get together [on] Sundays and have a camp meeting when we are in regular camp. We have one negro preacher in our regt. We had some hot weather about the time we left University Point, but

-Page 4-

for the last week it has been very pleasant; the evenings being cool enough to sleep very comfortably with one or two blankets over oneself. I don’t know when I shall get this mailed, as our brigade and division have crossed the river, and we have no chance to send our mail off now.

                                    Cecil Fogg

Cecil Fogg enlisted in Company B of the 36th OH Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1861 at Marietta, OH at the age of 20. He served through his three year term of service and re-enlisted for the war, but was mustered out July 27, 1865 based upon a surgeon’s certificate of disability. The 36th served in West Virginia in 1861, and participated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam as a part of the 9th Corps before being transferred west in January 1863. As a part of the Army of the Cumberland’s 14th Army Corps (George H. Thomas), the regiment fought at Chickamauga and later in the Atlanta and Savannah, GA (March to the Sea) Campaigns.