Letter – Lucy Reavis, 6 December 1863

2015.002.137

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 Lucy Reavis to her fiancé, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A. Reavis was happy to receive a letter from Jackson, and praises how often he writes to her. She expresses her love for Jackson, and how she longs to see him again. She describes recent social outings with friends, which included a “musical soiree,” and a minor fight with some friends, as well as a baptism. Reavis writes that their commanding officer is now Colonel McFarlane, who was wounded at Corinth. She hopes Jackson will be able to visit again the following week, and that he may accompany her to a friend’s party.


-Page 1-

Sunday. Dec. 6th 1863

I have this moment returned from Church, dear Major, and though ’tis Sunday cannot resist the inclination to write you a short letter of thanks for the delightful letter I received yesterday – You are certainly the dearest & best of men & write so much oftener than I expect you to do – Not waiting for me – Could you have seen my perfect delight and happiness when your letter came. I am sure you would have felt compensated for writing it – Lizzie Bradshaw & Kittie laughed heartily at the blushes which suffused my face, when I recognized the dear hand writing & at the eagerness with which the envelope was opened & the letter read and re-read – You are too good, to think so much of me – but you must not deceive yourself I am not nearly so akin to perfection as you seem to think – But however numerous my defects may

-Page 2-

be – I have the most perfect love and admiration for you – and that must atone in a great measure. I have been longing for today to arrive – Not for the right reason – but because it is the first of the week, in which you are to come – I want to see you dreadfully – You being so constantly with me week before last has spoiled me.

We had such a pleasant time Friday evening The Captain as usual came up & we played Euchre & rumy until 11 O’Clock – Just before his departure we arranged to have a musical Soirée on the next evening & told him to bring the Brown family and Mr Lewis up – So last night all four of the ladies came & afterward the Captain arrived with Capt Woodruff, Messrs Hortons, Lewis and Bradshaw – We had a fine time. The evening’s entertainment was opened by a piece, by Mrs Shotwell, Every one played – Mr Lewis had his banjo and Beverly excelled himself. Sung all of the songs you heard him sing, and another Irish song – excellent – “Larry O’Brien” which he acted – also the famous

-Page 3-

“In to Richmond” to the tune “Jordan is a hard road to travel” after the music was through with, we had games – We all laughed too much Edith Sledge nearly killed herself, at the laughing song – I believe they improve on acquaintance & the bodies, ornamented with red & gilt do not look half so “occidental” by candle light – Mrs Shotwell & Porter are so sweet – They are constantly [contending?] about, which I love best – I wonder if they do love me, sure enough. Ma scolded us well this morning, for sitting up until 12 last night.

I was berated on all sides yesterday – Lizzie & Kittie both profess to be very angry with me – The former says she feels, as though our friendship was about to come to an untimely end. But I am sure I can have friends, if I do love some one else better than them –

Fannie Allen & Mollie Moore were baptized this morning. Ma and I stood with them as witnesses – They will be confirmed when the Bishop comes. Ma had a letter from him saying, he would be here on the morning of the 22nd preach the next

-Page 4-

day & leave in the afternoon –

Our commanding officer now is Col: McFarlane, he was wounded through the face I heard at Corinth & is not entirely recovered yet – I never saw Capt Longborough til last night – You will be glad to hear that Mrs Lacy has received a dispatch from Mr L- saying he is well & en route for home – Only two men were killed in the company but about 15 are missing.

I will not give you any advice about changing your office until we meet – Uncle John thinks it will be much more agreeable for you – There are so many nice people up there – Mrs Beauchamp will have to introduce you to her friends – [???] is delighted at the prospect of having some new beaux in your friends – She says you had better overlook Major B-‘s awkwardness – But don’t let’s talk about those things now – Be sure and come this week, the sooner the better – We are all invited to Mr Bradshaw’s next Friday night, to have some more music – Don’t you want to be there? or had you rather stay here, when you come, with your

-Page 1, Crosswritten-

stupid little Lucy? Mr Hart is very much exercised about you. says he knows if I am here, after this month he need expect no more pleasant visits home. that you will have to come all the time yourself. He must think like Ma that we will be very selfish – They are all at dinner so good bye. With my dearest love I am truly yours

L. Reavis

Pa has not yet returned


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

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 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.


-Page 1-

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, 6 September 1863

2015.002.133

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 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.


-Page 1-

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

-Page 2-

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-

-Page 3-

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

-Page 4-

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, 1863

2015.002.130

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

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.


-Page 1-

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

-Page 2-

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

-Page 3-

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

-Page 4-

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

-Page 1, On Right-

much love to all your dear family

-Page 1, At Top & Down Spine-

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

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 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.


-Page 1-

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.

-Page 2-

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 –

-Page 3-

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

-Page 4-

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

-Page 1, Crosswritten-

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

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

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 – Thomas Jackson, 8 May 1863

2015.002.126

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 Major Thomas Klugh Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Jackson, MS. Jackson expresses his love for Lucy, and writes of how he longs for the day when they may see each other again. He writes that General Pemberton detained him to assist his Chief of Subsistence. Jackson is unhappy with this position, and hopes that he will be reassigned soon. He mentions a Dr. Whitfield bringing sick men up from Vicksburg, and that the doctor is in high hopes concerning the city. Jackson has heard rumors concerning the movements of General Beauregard, and the possible assassination of General Van Dorn. Jackson desires to set a wedding date, but his military duties make planning in advance difficult.


-Page 1-

No 1.

Jackson Miss:

May 8. 1863

I devote the first unoccupied moment to you my love. Every thought is yours, & every instant increases the liveliness of my regard. When I parted with you, whom I love so so tenderly, so unselfishly & so entirely, the wide world seemed like a wilderness, devoid of sun, verdure & flowers, and my heart was filled with a wretchedness that only my perfect confidence in your truth, your constancy & your love, could soften – Dear Lucy, will you not accept this unreserved confidence as assurance of my own love and fidelity? Oh! believe me dearest, all my hope of future joys is centered in the pure love

-Page 2-

I bear you, & to it alone must be ascribed whatever of good may radiate from me in the future.

I scarcely knew the extent & depth of my love until called upon to separate from you, and the dearest employment I have, is in thinking of the time when I shall see you again, behold your radiant smile, & listen to the sweet tones of your voice – how soon that may be, I cannot say; it may be in a few weeks, & again many long months may elapse, in these perilous times, before that joyful occasion – I can only hope that the time may be short – ‘Tis sweet to hope, & I shall cherish the inspiriting consolation now, with a liveliness never before felt.

You will be surprise that I address you from Jackson – the fruitful wit of Mr Dobb would, perhaps, pro=

-Page 3-

=nounce this a real Jackson letter – I am surprised myself, and Capt. Williams will win his bet after all, for I shall not go to Grenada – not at present at all events – General Pemberton having detained me here to assist his Chief of Subsistence.

The arrangement does not suit me at all, & I frankly told them so – I would much prefer to have a Dėpôt, & have been assured, that after the present pressure on the Department, occasioned by the sudden arrival of reinforcements, is abated, I shall be assigned to some more agreeable & satisfactory post.

There is great activity here, & there dust & bustle always beyond endurance – I must have been born for a quiet life, for I feel as if I never could get settled again.

Important developments are looked

-Page 4-

for in the next few days – And attack on Big Black, & a raid upon this place about the same time, are expected – everything is being done to meet them – Although much excitement prevails among non-combattants, the people are aroused, & those in authority are calm & confident.

I saw Dr. Whitefield yesterday – He came up from Vicksburg with some sick – He seems pleased with affairs at V. & in high hopes.

General Pemberton is there. Our Army is gaining strength every day.

I have heard a rumor that Gen’l Beauregard was coming here, but I do not credit it. It is reported today that Gen’l Van Dorn has been assassinated – no particulars given, I sincerely regret leaving Gainesville without telling

-Page 5-

your Aunt Carrie goodbye – I fully intended calling on her for that purpose, but was so much annoyed by McMahon’s putting off his settlement with me until the very last moment, that I forgot all about it – Be good enough dear Lucy, to explain this to her, & express my regrets – I enclose a little note for your mother, which you can read – I hope you had a pleasant visit in Greensboro – you must tell me all about it.

I desired to say something to you about one prospective marriage – you regard it as prospective, do you not? – but scarcely know what to say – If the times corresponded with my wishes, I could desire it to take place immediately, but I fear that such a step would be impracticable, as well as inadvisable

-Page 6-

this summer, for my movements are necessarily uncertain in the present unsettled state of affairs – I have thought however, that by next Fall we may see the dawn of brighter prospects, & then my dearest hopes might be fulfilled, & my happiness complete. My wishes in all respects, in this matter, dear Lucy, are subordinate to yours, & however impatient I may be for the accomplishment of this dawning glory of my life, I trust I shall submit with becoming cheerfulness to whatever you think best. You see I write to you very frankly, my love, and I will regard it as a great favor if you will express yourself on the subject with like frankness. It is now quite late, & I must say good night – Give my love to yr Father & Mother & all those you & I hold dear –

-Page 7-

Good night my own sweet Lucy, & may the perpetual smiles of Heaven shine around.

Ever yours,

Thos K Jackson

Miss L. Reavis

Gainesville Ala.

P.S. I shall number my letters so that you may know if you receive them all, & I suggest the same plan to you


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.

Letter – Lucy Morse, 12 June 1861

2015.002.108d

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 Lucy H. Morse, to her husband Private William H. Morse of Company C, 3rd MI Infantry. Lucy is has discovered that William was wounded in battle and is afraid the wound might prove fatal. She begs her husband to get a discharge so that he may come home. A second part of the letter is dated Friday, June 13 after Lucy has received a letter from William. She asks him again to be discharged as soon as he can, as she trusts no one else with his care. She even offers to travel to him.


-Page 1-

June 12th 1862

Dear William

it is with a trembling

hand and an aching heart that I pen these few lines to you the sad news that you were wounded reached us nd you cannot imagine my feelings as I contemplate the possibility of you being mortally wounded Oh; God the thought is agonising Oh; I hope that it may prove a false report or that if it is so that it is a slight one Oh; dearest husband if it is true you must endeavor to get a discharge they will give you one I know they will not be cruel enough to keep you there. Oh get a discharge if it is a possible thing and come home where you can have careful care do not you must not go to the hospital where there will be no gentle loveing hand to admister to your wants Brother Jim was here yesterday and he

-Page 2-

said that if it was true that you was wounded that you must be got home some way tomorrow is mail day and Oh I hope that it will bring better news I will try to compose myself untill I know for certain Oh; will tomorrow never come

Friday Afternoon

Dearest one I hasten to answer your long and anxiously looked for letter which I recieved today about noon Oh Dear William you can not think how my heart bounded with hope when I saw your well known writing Oh; My Husband you do not know what a relief your letter was to me for although it was the bearer of sad news I had feared that it might be worse. I can not complain I am so thankful that it is as well as it is, that you were not killed Oh; I can bear the thoughts

-Page 3-

of your being wounded if you are spared to me I could bear to see you a cripple for life but I could not bear the thoughts of your being taken from me Oh; Willy it would kill me if you should die and leave me but hope is strong in my bosom I think that you can get your discharge and just as soon as you are able to ride you must come home where anxious hearts are waiting to recieve you Oh; Willy how I wish you could come right home or that I could come to you you dont know how unwilling I am to trust you to any care but my own if you think I can come to you if you want me to if you think it advisable let me know and I will surmount every dificulty and come I am very anxious about you and I want you to get your

-Page 4-

discharge if it is a possible thing and come home just as soon as you can. keep very quiet and bear it patiently I know it will be trying to you to have to keep still you was always so stirring but you must remember the anxious heart that that hangs on your recovery keep up good courage dearest and I trust all will be well we hope to see you in the course of three or four weeks at the most they will be week of torture to me but I will not murmur for I am thankful that you are spared to me Oh; Willy Dear Willy you do not know how much I love you it seems as if my very heart was bound up in you there is not another on earth that could love you more than I do Willy you may direct your letters to Smyrna for I am going out there.


William H. Morse, age 24, enlisted with Company C of the 3rd MI Infantry at Grand Rapids, MI on June 10, 1861. He was wounded by a gunshot to the knee at the Battle of Fair Oaks, VA on May 31, 1862. The regiment lost 30 men killed, 124 wounded, and 1 missing. He was sent to a hospital in Philadelphia, PA, but later died there on August 8, 1862.

Letter – Anonymous, 16 September 1871

2015.002.103g

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

Letter associated with the papers of Sgt. Joh W. Wiggins, Company F, 39th NC Infantry, who was mortally wounded at Chickamauga, GA. Letter is written by an unknown author and addressed to “Eva,” from Blairsville, GA. The writer expresses his feelings for Eva, mentioning that while he received two letters and a “love baskit” from a Miss Jennie in Asheville, NC, that his feelings are for her. He defends himself against rumors “told by some vile Tongue” and implores her to answer “that question” in her return letter.


-Page 1-

Blaresville, GA

Sept 16th 1871

Dear Eva,

I have been passing the time pleasantly for the last two days at the camp meeting, but to day I am at home writing to you which is the greatest pleasure I can have, and I hope it will be answered, with the same interest, one word from you will be a great pleasure to me. When I came home I found two letters from Miss Jennie, she sent with one of the pritiest little love baskits you ever saw she said she made it with her own hands for me. she says I must hury and come home to Asheville for she wants to come to Georga She is trying to get her father to go to the west says I must go to. but I will not go til I loose all hopes of the only one I love and that is Miss Eva. Uncle says Miss Jennie [missing] is the pretiest lady she saw in Asheville [missing] She is worthy of any gentlemans [missing] I ca not love her as long [missing]

-Page 2-

you and your sweet company. believe me I am not jokeing.

Miss Eva the last words you said to me was be honest with you Oh that I would prove to you I am the same and unchageable I would suffer torture rather than flatter or deceive you. I have never told you any thing but truth and I never will. you will se[e] all the reports on me is demonstrably falce [false] and told by some vile tung [tounge] to injure me, and I have too much confidence in you to think you will believe them a gain

Miss Eva I have an intrust in your well fare, and I hope I can show it some day by makeing you happy. you are two nice a lady to be the survant man you should enjoy the pleasure of this world as you are worthy [of] it pleasurse, you said you probly would answer that question be fore my school was out please answer by the return mail and I will be pleased to hear the good news I will come after you [missing] bring you to Georga [missing] come and stay in Georga [missing] and I will take you home [missing] for ever enjoy your sweet company [missing]

the same and [missing]


Letter – Nathaniel Slaughter, 12 September 1865

2015.002.103f

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 Captain Nathaniel M. E. Slaughter of Company F, 39th NC Infantry, to Amanda Wiggins (sister of his deceased Sgt. John W. Wiggins), from Cherokee, NC. In this letter, Slaughter declares his love for Amanda, and urges her not to laugh, for he is serious. He writes that although they see each other often, he has chosen to communicate his feelings in a letter because he is a “timid man” and could not properly express his sentiments verbally. He writes that that though he is inferior to her in every way, he hopes that she might love him in return and accept his proposal of marriage. (Spoiler alert: she accepts!)


-Page 1-

Cherok N.C. Sept 12th 1865

Dear Manda,

I hope you will pardon me for this method of communication. I have no doubt you will think it strange why I should take this means of communicating when I see you so often.

Well! I can assign for one reason that – I am a very timid man, and have but a poor “nack” of telling verbally what I wish to be known, hence this communication. Since out last private conversation I have thought much upon the subject then spoken of. My mind has been much occupied with rememberances of the past, and what will likely be my destiny in reference to the subject which I submitted to your consideration. I feel much interested in the matter, and hope you have given the matter a calm and candid consideration and have decided in my favor. If I knew such was the case I would be happy. Manda to make a short story of a long one I have learned to love you. Dont be startled, dont laugh! I am in earnest, and I am in my right mind. If I only knew that the favor was reciprocal and mutual I should be much rejoiced. My dear friend, I have no inducement to offer but an honest heart, and the affections that spring therefrom. You are well acquainted with my character, my pecuniary affairs (as you well know) are quite limited, my moral character is anything but an enviable one and my mental acquirements are but weak. My object in writing you, is to bring, forcibly, to your mind the matter of a reciprocated affection, and what course you will will pursue in refference to the case, of union for life with one so far your inferior. My dear friend, I admit this is a grave question and

-Page 2-

one which carries with a great deal of meaning when viewed in a proper manner. If it was a criminal offense to ask a young lady for her heart and hand, you might have me condemned before the court of conscience, but in this matter, I think I have violated no law, neither human nor divine.

Right here let me remind you, that much of my future destiny for weal or woe depends upon the action you take in the premises. If it shall accord with your feeling and notions of economy to accept my proposition as heretofore submitted, I shall be happy in that respect, on the other hand you shall decide against me, I cannot say I will be miserable, yet I shall feel much disappointed, at having lost so valuable a prize.

My Dear friend. Let me remind you that no overtures of mine, nor sympathies for me should influence you in my favor. your actions should be from pure motives. Economy should be well studied. your own interest should be thought of seriously and not mine, It is the duty of every young lady to study their own interest in matters of this Caste, and not be influenced by sophistry used by their friends to her detriment. Self preservation, and self interest is the first law of nature, and we should cling to it very tenaciously even if it does wound our friends if duty demands our actions for our own honest interest. And right here let me remark, my dear friend, that if upon a candid consideration upon the subject, and a fair examination into the circumstances connected with the case, you disdain my suit and cast me off, I shall not have the least hard thought against you, and I am glad that I am that liberal in my heart I shall never as[k] you why you did it

-Page 3-

but still entertain for you that high admiration which I have long had for you. Think you not that I am so unfeeling as to have envy against one who would not comply with my wishes. [???] I shall be much disappointed. I have spun out this letter far beyond what I anticipated when I began to write, but just bear with me a little further, and shall hear the signal of the whole matter. I love you and I cant help it. I much desire that the favor could be returned and that circumstances may so turn out that there may be no hindrances to our union for life. What say ye. Be calm, dont get out of humor I am all “right” and hope you are the same. I know you will think me a strange specimen of human nature, well I have curious notions some times.

Manda my dear friend If I have committed an error in this matter and toped your patience to an extreme, do for pitties sake forgive me.

After I hand you this letter I will give you time to study its contents and then I shall be to see you on the subject of which it treats from what I learn I am rather afraid to come to your house much upon a courting expedition.

Now Manda, If this does not meet your aprobation for goodness sakes dont be mad with me just impute it to an error of the head and not of the for I would not intrude upon your generosity for nothing conceivable.

I will ask you again to forgive this long Epistle be sure and read it all through if you can I write in a hurry and have taken no pain in my chirography. There is no sacrifice [???] I would not make for your sake, and be assured, that in

-Page 4-

all your calamities you have my heart felt sympathies Manda I have one favor now to ask of you And that is this. This letter is intended for no eye but your own, and ask of you that it neither be shown or spoken of to any person living. you may if you please when you examine its contents commend it to the flames or lay it away where no eye will see it but your own this request I hope you will grant me. I will close by saying I have the honor to subscribe myself your devoted friend S.


Nathaniel Mateson Eddington Slaughter, was born c. July 1830 in TN. He was educated at Maryville College and became a teacher before moving to Robbinsville, N.C. He enrolled in Company F of the 39th NC Infantry as a private, ca. Feb. 1862, but was soon commissioned and rose to the rank of captain. He survived the war, and returned to Cherokee, NC, where in 1865 he married Amanda Wiggins (the sister of his deceased Sgt. John W. Wiggins). The couple had five children, three daughters and two sons, prior to his death at age 77, June 26, 1908. Amanda survived her husband by eleven years, dying April 18, 1919.