Letter – Thomas Jackson, 23 July 1864

2015.002.151

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


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Office, July 23/64

My Darling,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yr fond Husband

TKJ

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


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 21 July 1864

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


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Office, July 21, 1864,

My precious Wife,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yr fond & devoted Husband

TKJ

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I sent the palmetto by express yesterday


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 20 July 1864

2015.002.149

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


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Office. July 20 1864.

My Darling,

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

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

You cannot think how glad I was to recover

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entirely & most affectionately yrs.

TKJ


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 27 August 1863

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fianc√©e 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.