Letter – Daniel Adams, 22 January 1863


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Copy of a Confederate letter by Brigadier General Daniel W. Adams to James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, from Marietta, GA. This copy is in the handwriting of Randall Lee Gibson. Adams is petitioning Seddon to promote Colonel Gibson to brigadier general. Gibson is currently commanding the consolidated 13th and 20th Louisiana regiments. Gibson was on continuous duty through the Kentucky and Tennessee Campaigns, and was particularly admirable at the Battle of Perryville. Adams also mentions the “great gallantry” that Gibson displayed in the battles before Murfreesboro. Gibson also commanded Adams’ brigade during the Brigadier General’s absence, as part of Major General John C. Breckenridge’s division. The letter includes testimonies from Brigadier General Patton Anderson, Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk, Brigadier General William Preston, and Lieutenant General William Hardee, all of whom are supportive of Gibson’s promotion.

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Marietta Ga Jan 22nd 1863


I have the honor to call your especial attention to Col R L Gibson of Louisiana now commanding the 13th & 20th La Regts Consolidated – formerly commanding the 13th La with the view of recommending him for promotion to the Rank of Brigadier Genl

Col Gibson entered the service on the 16th day of April 1861 and has since been actively and assiduously engaged in in it. Within my knowledge – that is since the 1st day of August last at which time his Regiment became a portion of the Brigade under my command he has been continuously on duty through the Ky and Tenn Campaigns. [???] battle of Perryville Ky in command of his Regiments under my immediate and personal observation he displayed great courage, gallantry, coolness, self possession as I have testimony in my official report of the part taken by my Brigade in that battle – throughout the long & arduous march of that Kentucky Campaign he was prompt and energetic in the discharge of his duties. In the recent battles before Murfreesboro he again displayed great gallantry & courage in the engagement of the 31st of December as I have officially reported; and in the engagement of of the 2nd inst as a part of Major Genl Breckinridge’s Div – he being the senior colonel commanded my Brigade in my absence which was caused by my being slightly wounded disabled by a slight wounded received on the 31st of Dec and acquitted himself as I have been credibly informed with great credit.

To my knowledge he is well acquainted and

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proficient in Battalion & Brigade drill and with the rules & regulations of the service and has had considerable experience at [???] during his time of service as a Brigade Commander.

I feel confidently in the assurance that he is well qualified to command a Brigade and deserving the promotion to a Brigadier Generalship; in which opinion I doubt not my superiors in command in this Army will fully and most cheerfully concur. I have the honor to be

very respectfully

(signed) Dan W Adams Brig Genl

Comdg Adams Brigade

Breckinridge’s Div Hardee’s Corps

Hon James A Seddon

Sec of War C.S.A.

Richmond VA.

I take pleasure in adding my testimony to the above. Col Gibson Regiment during the Kentucky campaign composed a part of a Brigade in the Division I commanded. I had opportunities of observing him, and can say is truth, that he managed his Regt on the arduous march with skill and judgment and was highly spoken of by his Brigade Commander for his gallantry [?] on the field of Perryville. I consider him quite competent to command a Brigade.

(signed) Patton Anderson

Brig. Genl. P.A.

I cordially concur in the recommendation of Col Gibson to the office of Brigadier Genl. Col Gibson has shown himself both capable and faithful and would command a Brigade with credit to himself and advantage to our cause,

(signed) L Polk

Lt Genl C.S.A

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I have long known Colonel Gibson and esteemed him for his cultivated intellect, his spotless character and great worth as a gentleman. In my association with him for the last year, and in the trying scenes from shiloh to murfreesboro, my regard has been augmented by finding in him all the qualities of a gallant and skillful soldier, it affords me pleasure to add the feeble testimony of my name to the distinguished recommendations of others under whom he has served to testify my entire confidence in his fitness for promotion to the rank of Brigadier Genl and my belief that the President cannot bestow it on a more faithful, diligent, and meritorious officer,

(signed) Wm Preston

Brigadier Genel Comdg Breckinridge’s Div

I concur in the recommendations given on behalf of Col. Gibson, and cordially recommend him to the President for Brigadier General.

W.J. Hardee

(signed) Lieut General

Hdqrs Hardees Corps

Tullahoma Feb 1st 1863

Randall Lee Gibson was born in 1832 in Versailles, KY into a family of slave-owning planters. He attended Yale and was a member of the Skull and Bones society. After graduating in 1853 he then studied at the University of Louisiana Law School (Tulane) and received his bachelor’s in law. When Louisiana seceded, Gibson joined the 1st LA Artillery as a captain. He was then commissioned as colonel of the 13th LA Infantry. A year after this letter was sent on his behalf, he was finally promoted to brigadier general for the Atlanta and Franklin-Nashville Campaigns. He was captured at Cuba Station, AL May 8, 1865 and paroled on May 14, 1865. After the war he returned to Louisiana and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1874, then the Senate in 1882. He died December 15, 1892.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 21 January 1864


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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.