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.
Office, July 23/64
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
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,
& 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
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
-Page 1, Crosswritten-
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
-Page 3 & 4, Upside Down-
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.