Letter – Thomas Jackson, 11 October 1863

2015.002.134

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson jokingly refers to himself as vain for expecting another letter from Reavis so soon after her last one. He describes playing chess with friends, including the Assistant Surgeon, Dr. Huggins. He also mentions a possible visit to Reavis in the upcoming week. Jackson, who is in charge of buying meat for the army, plans to go to Gainesville to purchase supplies for General Braxton Bragg’s army, including one thousand hams. Jackson mentions a local woman that recently shot her husband, then threatened to shoot the soldier who came to investigate.


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No. 3.

Enterprise Miss. Oct. 11/63

Dearest Lucy,

I rather expected a letter from you this morning – I don’t know why – but somehow I fancied you would write to me yesterday – perhaps it was only an undefined hope – a pleasing something, which I cherished until the barren mail dispelled the illusion – I think of you so much & so fondly, I’m not at all surprised that my vanity should sometimes lead me to imagine you doing little things for my gratification – I had no reason whatever, to expect a letter – but just like us men – especially soldiers now-a-days – we are so vain – a little civility makes us insufferably arrogant – I intended to write you a little note last night to send by Mr Hart, but some

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gentlemen called to play chess with me, & I had to postpone it until today – I played four games, with different antagonists, & gained them all – quite a champion – Am I not? there is but one gentleman in town who has thus far obtained any advantage (& slight at that) over me – He is Dr Huggins – Asst. Surgeon from Alabama – His name is quite familiar to me – Who is he? – I think I’ve heard you speak of him –

No doubt Mr Hart thinks me a very disinterested clever fellow, for permitting him to go home a full week earlier than he expected, but Mr H- don’t know everything – I had resolved in my own mind, that next saturday would be a nice time for me to refresh myself from the fatigues of labor & restraint, & make a flying visit to you, my darling, & other friends in G. whom I love so much –

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So you see, there was no inconsiderable amount of latent selfishness incorporated with my exhibition of graciousness, which however, I hope, will be compensated for, in some sort, by the agreeable surprise afforded his family – I am not yet sure I can go up there – so you need not be disappointed if I do not, nor surprised if I do – I am going to make Gainesville a point d’apui [d’appui = military term referring to a point where troops are assembled] (no laughing, if you please) from which to reinforce Bragg’s Commissariat, & shall collect a thousand hours in that neighborhood soon, preparatory to sending them forward to Atlanta.

I am much obliged to yr Uncle John for his kind remembrance – but I fear his is a “sod wog”, & like his fair niece, fond of his little joke – I am not conscious of any “carryings on”, & he may divulge

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all he knows about me – I’ve not seen the widow since he was here – & I don’t “understand” – I’m in clined to believe, that he, the cunning fellow – jealous of my attractions (?) has spirited her away – A sad affair transpired here the other day – A woman shot her husband dead – his body lay near the house all night waiting for the coroner – I am unacquainted with the merits of the case – During the Inquest a soldier expressed a desire to see the woman who could do such a deed, when the amazon appeared – said she did it, & if he did not leave instantly, she would blow his brains out for him – the soldier was satisfied & retired – I have not received yr Mother’s letter, which you mentioned – I can’t imagine where on earth the silly post

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masters send them. I was mighty sorry to hear of Miss Nannie’s sickness – & hope she has gotten better – Has Reavis heard from the diplomatic letter to “that old woman”? I am anxious to learn how his affairs are likely to turn out. Give my love to all at home & believe, dear Lucy, ever

fondly yours

TKJ

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I was truly shocked to hear of Dr Anderson’s death – poor Mrs A – What a terrible blow to her!


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

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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.


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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

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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-

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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

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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, 27 August 1863

2015.002.131

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée 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.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 31 July 1863

2015.002.129

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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.


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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.

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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 –

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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

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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

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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

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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 – Lucy Reavis, 15 May 1863

2015.002.127

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, to her fiancé Major Thomas K. Jackson in Jackson, MS. Reavis expresses how much she misses Jackson, and talks about visiting family friends to keep her mind occupied. She describes a dream she had in which the Yankees had formed a plan to overthrow the Confederate army, and her disclosure of this information to the president led to a great victory and a promotion for Major Jackson. Reavis laments the death of General Stonewall Jackson at the hands of his own men, and mentions that General Johnston is currently in Vicksburg. She describes everyday life in Gainesville, including relationships, engagements, and church. Reavis is determined not to reply to Jackson’s wish to marry soon, as she wouldn’t see him any more frequently than she does now.


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No 1-

Gainesville, May 15th 1863

You cannot think, my dear Major Jackson how delighted I was yesterday, when Alfred brought me your letter- It was quite a disappointment to me to find none awaiting my return from Greensboro- but I was sure you must have written. Your letter was just like your dear, good self, and I believe makes me want to see you more than ever – We all miss you terribly and I so much, that I do not intend to remain at home many days at a time –

Although we only reached home Wednesday evening I am going to Mr Giles on Monday – Ma is at “Cedar Bluff” and Pa will be at court, so I must go some where or do something in self-defense – I hardly know what to tell Mr Giles, when he asks me about our engagement. You know he begged me to make no rash promises until he had had a long conversation with me on the subject- But I am not afraid – think I can prove to him satisfactorily that there is but one Major Jackson in the world. and when he knows you, he

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will not wonder at my great love for you – I am so glad Major Jackson that you have such perfect confidence in me. and assure you that I will strive ever to be deserving of it. Nothing gives me pleasure if you disapprove of it-

Ma and I went up to see Mrs Whitesid the evening before starting on our little trip. I thought she might like to send a message or letter to Willie – As usual, she was arranging flowers in Lizzie’s hair- and informed me that it was for the purpose of making an impression on the new Commissaries – They are to take their meals at Mr Bradshaw’s – Mrs W- was quite disconsolate, said she could scarcely refrain from tears – either when you left or when she thought of your cruel desertion of us. (Of her, she means) She asked me to tell you, when I wrote that she had lost her appetite & enjoyment of everything – even her flowers were neglected- I told her to write it herself, but she replied right pitifully – as the darkeys say, “he didn’t ask me to write to him” – I am not romancing, or adding a single word – Ma’s sympathies were so deeply aroused, that all the way coming home she was persuading me to write & tell you to

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love Mrs W – instead of me – But I refused positively- she ought not to have loved you first. Lizzie Bradshaw made her so mad, she said she could scarcely keep from calling her some bad name, when she teased her about Dr. Stuart- She begged me never to speak of it- if I did she’d be my mortal enemy, in spite of her great regard for you.

We had a delightful time over at the Council – There was a great number of the clergy there, and still more lay members – the first day, as I sat in Church, looking around at the new benches &c & feeling a perfect stranger, in a strange place, who do you think I saw, come in? I was so pleased dont think my heart could have made such a bound at the appearance of any one else but yourself – It was Mar Lou- I went immediately & sat by her – Every body laughed when she jumped up & kissed me in the most delighted manner. We had a charming time together and of course she insisted that I should go home with her, as did her father & my other friends from the [Cane?] Brake. But I resisted, because I wanted to come home & hear from you. Dont you think that was a great proof of my affection for you? I had

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such a funny dream about you, while I was over there. thought that the Yankees had formed a most beautiful plot for the overthrow of our army. that I discovered & disclosed it to the President Consequently we gained a perfect & glorious victory – As it was owing in a measure to me, the President proposed doing me some kindness & suggested that he should bestow some command on you, which he cheerfully did, saying if you were gallant & brave, you should be made a General. Was that not curious? The last thing in the world I should ask, for I’d be perfectly wretched the whole time, fearing that some harm might befall you. Isn’t it too bad that our other great Jackson was killed? and by his own men they say. Who do you suppose will or can fill his place? Pa thinks we lost more than we gained in that last battle- I dont believe the war is ever to end – I suppose Genl Johnston is now in Vicksburg we travelled with some soldiers who came as far as Selma with him-

You cannot think Major, how mortified Bettie Pierce is at the Captain’s treatments. We spent a day in Eutaw on our return & she told me that he was there three days, visiting & riding with Miss Rhoda

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and others & did not go near her until the last day when he knew she was not at home – Wasn’t it wrong? She declares she had nothing to do either with that report or the one that is now much talked of in regard to Uncle John. When she talks to me I believe every word she says, but afterwards it does not seem true – I wish I knew whether she is like her brother in that respect, or not – She wanted to know what was the matter with Mattie, Bro had written & complained to her of Mattie’s profound silence – I had a long letter from my sweet little Sister when I returned, she was in the highest spirits & her heart overflowing with love towards both you & me, because I had written her all that had passed between us She says, she does not object to my caring some, for you, but I must promise to love her best – Which do you think I ought to care most for? Harriet Colgin told me all about her engagement & showed me the Dr’s picture – & some of his letters. I wonder if it is right for girls to show these letters. Mr [???] & a great many persons were at the council, from Tuscaloosa – I wish you had been with us – The ministers all dressed in their pure white surplices, really looked beautiful, when they’d

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come in & kneel around the church. They have an excellent organ & good choir also – Mr Dobb did not pass his examination, at least not to the Bishop’s satisfaction, so he was not ordained. I am right glad, for I would not like for him to administer the Holy Communion – I do not think I should feel right. His constant amusement is talking to me of you – Hee firmly believes that we are to marry in July, and I do not undeceive him. Did I not tell you, that I would not reply to that part of your letter, if you said anything on this subject? Would I see anymore of you if were to marry this Fall? Don’t ask me what my wishes are on the subject, I have but one, to please you in all things.

Aunt Carlie was highly gratified at your message, said she did not think you would ever remember her after you left. Marmie sends her love & says she intends writing to ask if she may see your letters – I would not show this one to her – You wrote Ma, a mighty nice note, I will give it to her when she returns – I am so afraid of writing too much, that I will not tell you how much I want to see you – Try to come soon, and until then, write as often as you can.

Affectionately-

Lucy 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 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 – Thomas Jackson, 8 May 1863

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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.


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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

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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=

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=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

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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

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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

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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 –

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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 – Miles Turrentine, 14 April 1862

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Letter written by Sergeant Miles G. Turrentine of Company I, 1st AR Infantry, to Miss Bettie Waite of Fredericksburg, VA, from Corinth, MS. Turrentine thinks of Waite often, and requests that she reply even though he has heard she is engaged. If he is fortunate enough to survive the war, he plans on visiting her when he returns home. Turrentine then describes the battle of Shiloh in great detail, including the charges against the Hornet’s Nest. The Confederate troops suffered heavy casualties during the battle, including their Lieutenant Colonel. A friend of Turrentine’s was shot through the breast, while a ball blistered his own face. Turrentine writes that he often thought he wanted to be in a fight, but this one satisfied him.


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Corinth Miss April 14th 1862

Miss Bettie Waite

Fredericksburg, VA

Dear Friend. – no doubt you will be some what surprise when you break this Letter and find my name to it. I have taken my Seat more than once to write to you but not knowing whither my letter would be appreciated I could not write, but I have come to the conclusion to write you a few linds to let you know that I have not forgoten you I have often thought of you Since I left Virginia and while I am trying to write to you I wish that I was with you. I made up my mind the day that I left Fredericksburg. to. ask you permission to Correspond with you. but I had but little chance to speak to you about it, & I was informed by Some of your Friends that you was engaged to a Certain young man. & I came to the conclusion that it was asking to much of you, for a Correspondance but at this late hour I Shall ask of you for a correspondance for there is not a Lady living u[nder]

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the canopy of the Heavens, that I think more of than you it may possible that you think but Seldom of me, but I do assure you that I often think of you I was verry much disapointed when I was told that we could not go back to Virginia I had made up my mind to enjoy myself with you when I got back but if I should be so fortunate as to live through this horrible war I shall be shoor to pay you a visit for I shall never be satisfied until I See you all again. Well Miss Bettie I surpose you would like to something of the battle of Shiloah near Corinth Miss. Well in the first place on Friday previous to the fight our Regiment was on Picket not fare from the Federals Camps and on Saturday morning we was ordered to strike camp, and on Saturday eavning we camped in sight of the Yankeys fires, and on Sunday morning about six O clock our Brigade was ordered to make the attacke, the ball commence about seven O clockwhen the Yankeys fell back some two miles. when the fight grew verry hot on both sides, about nine O clock we got percession [possession] of the Yankeys camp the Enemy fell

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back some two miles, when the fight grew verry hot. our Regiment was ordered to charge on Some Yankeys that was in ambush which we did in good order the Yankeys was well fortified they drove us back with a heavy loss, we was ordered to charge the second time which we did but to no purpose we sustain a verry loss. we was ordered the third time to charge which we did, but my conscience we was repulsed the third time, in the mean time we was reinforsed when we made the fourth charge. we drove them back, but what did I see a sight that I hope never to see agane,, we lost our Leut Carnil [Lieut Colonel] & our major was wounded & two Captains was killed instantly.

we had some fifty men killed not less than 250 Two Hundred & fifty wounded. our little Company had four men killed & thirty one wounded & our Company, got off verry well for what some of the Companys did Capt Martin lost 11 men in less than teen [ten?] minutes & some forty wounded, all of his men was eather killed & wounded but five, Capt Jackson’s Brother-inlaw was verry badly wounded, & poor Thearedon Arnett, is mortally wounded & he is in the Yankeys hands

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I was with him on sunday night he sayed that he was willing to die he was shot through the breast he was shot down by me & at the same time a ball blistered my faice. I had two balls shot through my coat & my Gunn shot into. Miss Bettie I have often thought that I would like to get into a fight but this battle has satisfied me. I am willing to play quit with them;

tell Mrs. Hooten that I had five dride vanson hams that I intend to bring her but I had to give them away

when you see miss Kate give her my regards tell her that my brother [Allen A. Turrentine] is with me that I would like verry much for her to see him he is sayed to be much better looking than I am, [in pencil: not that I am good looking] give my love to Miss Mollie & her mother, also to Mr Hooten & Ms Hooten

Miss Bettie I take this liberty in writing to you, if you do not see propper to answer it you will please forgive me.

but I still think that you would like to hear from me if I did not think so, I would not write to you

Miss Bettie you can either make me miserable or you have it in your power to make me happy.

I shall look for a letter from you imeadilly [immediately] write to me at Corinth Mississippi to the care of Capt Little,

write soon to your Friend

Miles Turrentine

Cap Little

1st Reg Ark

Corinth Miss


Records on Miles G. Turrentine are somewhat conflicted. There is a grave marker for a M.G. Turrentine (1845-1870) at the Atlanta Methodist Church Cemetery, which is associated with a Miles Turrentine of the 1st AR Infantry (Colquitt’s). However, other records such as the 1850 (which can be matched to him by the inclusion of his brother Allen who served in the same company), 1860, and 1870 censuses, list his birth at 1837. Wiley Sword’s records state Turrentine was born in 1837 in VA, though all other documents state GA as his place of birth. If they are in fact the same, then Turrentine enlisted in Company I of the 1st AR Infantry at Monticello, AR on May 8, 1861. He was promoted to sergeant on April 1, 1862, and served through the war. He was wounded in action at Ringgold, GA on November 27, 1863. He was paroled at Shreveport, LA on June 30, 1865. In the 1870 census he is recorded as working as a merchant in Columbia, AR and appears to be married to Demaurice Turrentine and has three children. He dies later that year in 1870.

Allen A. Turrentine was born c. 1840. He enlisted at Monticello, AR on February 22, 1862. He was severely wounded at Murfreesboro, TN on December 31, 1862, and died of his wounds on January 4, 1863.

Letter – Charles Baskerville, 2 March 1862

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Letter written by Major Charles Baskerville of the 2nd Battalion MS Cavalry, to Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles at Corinth, MS from the bank of the Tennessee River. Baskerville writes that he is planning to report to Colonel Mouton of the 18th LA Infantry at Pittsburg Landing, TN, and that he needs all the forces currently in Corinth and Iuka. He is particularly interested in the company commanded by Captain Matthews at Iuka. In a note on the opposite side of the letter, Baskerville writes that Captain Reeves has offered his company. The events detailed in the letter precede the battle of Shiloh.


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Genl Ruggles

Sir,

By order just at hand from Col Mouton I shall repair immediately to him –

I need all my forces now at Corinth & Iuka May I suggest that you send them to rejoin my command near Pittsburg –

The Company commanded by Capt Matthews at Iuka & now used as artillery can at this moment be of great value to me as Cavalry

Capt Matthews could again resume the its Artillery Drill when the emergency is not so great – I have no information to report further than the Confirmation of the fight at Pittsburg yesterday & send you a dispatch from Col Mouton. I learn but not reliably, that they have been fighting at Savannah, your Obt Svt [Obedient Servant]

March 2nd/62 Chas Baskerville

Major Comd’g 2nd Batt

Miss Cavalry

(Over)

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Capt Reeves, the Bearer, from Noxaber Country Mis has today reported to me, that his command wish to join me.

I would be gratified, sir if you would Sanction it

C Baskerville

Majr Comdg


Letter – John Downes, 22 April 1863

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Letter of Private John Downes of Company E, 35th IA Infantry, to his friend John W. Walton, from a camp at Milliken’s Bend, LA. Downes reports that Governor Yates is reviewing troops in the department. He has heard rumors that Vicksburg is being evacuated, and that there is a possibility of peace. All soldiers were recently ordered to send their personal fire arms home, or else they will be confiscated. Downes is not in favor of this order. Neither is he in favor of the current officers; noting that they are disgraceful and at risk of being shot by their own men. Downes writes that there is talk of Ulysses S. Grant moving the infantry down to Vicksburg, though he fears it will fail. He has also heard that they have thousands of prisoners quartered on the island below Vicksburg. At the finish, Downes has received marching orders for the next morning.


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Camp at Miligens Bend April the 22 1862

kind friend I send this for information

Governor Yates is here to day from Illinois he is Reviewing the troops in this Department the Report is that Vicksburg is being evacuated we hear a report from northern letters that there is a prospect of peace but I dont credit the Report I notice that most of the troops have sent there money home some fools have went in to Gambling and have lost all there money and they go about trying to borow of there fellow solders but i have no sempathy for such fools I notice the Oficers can get Whiskey and a large share are drunk the Order has come for all soldiers to send there side arms home or else they will be seized by the government oficials now i think that damned hard the boys has paid for there Revolvers and they aught to be alowed to keep them the Codfish bas done this mean trick i should not wonder if the soldiers would kill a few thousand codfish oficers the shoulder straps had beter not put on to many airs or by god some of them will get shot they have been playing the fool long enough i am geting tierd of those little ticy ass codfish oficers they are a disgrace to the army

April the 23th heavy firing was heard all the later part of the night in the Vicinity of Vicksburgh and there is an odd shot this morning once in a while

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My kind friend I must mention one thing yesterday I was to the Cattle Corell [corral] and took a peep at the beef Cattle they was all so poor they could not shit for bones Such beef as that is as a disgrace to the American Army I shal play my hand out on a stranger and go into some other Regiment On thing is certain this codfish plan of taking the side arms from the soldiers will have a bad tendency It gives the Rebels a decided advantage over us in the field of battle because they go armed to the teeth and we will have nothing but our muskets to fight with god damn the codfish they will Ruen us what the caus of all this cod fish style i cant see there must be traitors at the head of the army somewhere when we made a flank movement on the Talahatchie last fall that would have been the time to have taken Vicksburgh but that would have ended the war to soon for the government leeches some people let it be who it will must sufer in hell for these cursed doings in the army one half of the oficers in service are no more loyal than Jeff davis and a great deal the largest half to[o] there is lying at the bank the Steamer Uncle Sam She is turned into a man of war she caries 10 guns on lower decks and two long mines on the bow and one small field peice on the haricane Roof with on Rifled gun mounted that caries 2 ounces of lead what that little one is for i cant tell there is 5 of those boats and they cary the Marine Brigade the whole concern is wooden

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I notice there is a good deal of style put on those marine boats I have an idea there is some codfish on them what good they will do I cant tell time alone will decide

April the 24th

it is now talked in military circles that Grant will make a flank movement with Infantry down the Arkansas side and cross the River and by so doing he will get in the Rear of Vicksburgh but I fear that it will prove a failure like the yazoo Expedition it is said that we have 5000 prioners safely quartered on the island below Vicksburgh but that is only a camp Report it needs Confirmation the Report in camp is that 2 of our transports was sunk while Running the Blocad [Blockade] but that needs to be confirmed also the boats sufered some of course they cant get through without some geting hit the other night I counted 315 shots in about 2 hours and then turned over and went to sleeep so you can give some Idea of the engagement it is said that Grant will knock down a couple of high church steples they answer for a good observatory for the Rebs to watch our movements if i had comand i would knock hell out of em in a minute 12 o clock

Orders has come for 3 days Rations to be cooked and to March to morow the 25th at 10 o clock it will be dificult for me to get any leters from this time until we stop I think the battle will not be delayed long I have Received some 4 or 5 leters from Ann

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the other day I sent Father 75 dollars by Express i wish you would tell him to see to it and if you please write to me when he gets it

I am well at this time and hope this leter may find you and yours enjoying the same previledges of this life I cary the Enfield Rifle and it shoots well it is made to cary 900 yards with Raising sights

I must close my letter with due Respect to John W Walton

from your friend John Downes

PS this is the last stamp I have got and i cant get any more

Yours J.D


John Downes was born c. 1824 in Ireland, moving to Allamakee, IA at some point. In the 1860 census he is listed as a farmer and had three young children; Mary, James, and John with his wife Mary. At the age of 38 he enlisted as a private on August 12, 1862 with Company E of the 35th IA Infantry. He mustered out on August 10, 1865 in Davenport, IA.