Letter – Thomas Jackson, 20 July 1864


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

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Office. July 20 1864.

My Darling,

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

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

You cannot think how glad I was to recover

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entirely & most affectionately yrs.


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 – John Daniels, 13 August 1863


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Letter written by Private John S. Daniels of Company B, 2nd NH Volunteer Infantry, to his siblings, from the camp at Point Lookout, MD. Daniels tells his siblings that he has time to write due to the current foul weather. A terrible thunderstorm came up the night before and blew over several tents. Daniels asks how the draft is faring in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and wonders if any of his family members have joined. He says that he has plenty of rations, and describes the food he has been eating recently. He also describes shooting “Grays” at Gettysburg, comparing it to shooting ducks. Daniels mentions that he will receive his monthly wages soon.

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Camp of 2nd N.H. St. Mary’s Co.

Point Lookout Md. Aug 13th 63

Dear Brother and Sister

As it is rainy, and I havent much to do I thought I would write you a few lines and let you know I am alive and about as cross as they make them.

Here I am in the land of milk and Honey, without a cent of money, every think a plenty, and pockets all empty only one old handkerchief an old jack knife and an old wallet with Mt in all the partings. but never mind. if I dont have it I wont spend it. for they wont trust the and with a Pint of Whiskey out of their sight. but I can fool them once in

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a while. make them believe I am a big mans son, or some big Generals waiter and then they will trust me, and I guess they will mistrust me one of these days if I milk their cows as much as I have since I came here but they are most all Secesh here and I dont know as there is any hurt getting their milk is there?

We had one of the awfulest thunder showers I ever dreamed of last night it Hailed and the wind blew and such thunder and lightning I never saw or heard. down came tents and away went things that were in them. the old Drs. tent blew over and he got as wet as a drowned rat. wernt I glad? some lay and hung onto their tents to hold them up, and some let them go and lay and took it. but mine is lik the wise mans house the wind and storm dont affect it.

Well Frank how is the draft going on in Mass and N.H. have they drafted in N.H. yet and who are the lucky ones I know that are coming? dont I hope it will be some of my

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Cousins! I wish I could pick the men from Hopkinton wouldnt I make some of the secesh start?

Well! I dont know as I have much news to write now. for it is only a few days since I wrote to you. My health is better than it was a week ago. I have got so I can eat a good share of my rations. if I can have plenty of [???] and milk to go with them. I went the other day and got about 4 Qts of damsons, and I go round and beg sugar to sweeten them, and it make very good eating. or would if I had some of Marms Butter, and some Pumpkin Pie to top off with—————— I heard from George a few days ago. he wrote me Father had a sore hand and couldnt work. have you heard any thing of it? I hope it wont be sore for long for it is a bad time to have sore hands now.

How is Tyler getting along now? did he go Trouting while he was in N.H. and did he shoot any Stripers while he was there. he aught to have been out at Gettysburg, and he could have had some Grays to shoot at. I had a

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good chance to try my skill there. got so I could fetch one nearly every time. I dont think I wasted as many shots as I have before now on a gray [duck] at Home.

I want you or Tyler to send me a box of Maple Sugar any where from 25 to 50 lbs I would send home but you can get it cheaper and better in Boston Market than they can there, and they have it all packed ready to send you might mail it over a little and mark on it Keep dry. and send it by express send a bill of it and what you pay per pound Express &c and I will send you the pay for it as soon as we are paid off. they say we are going to be paid next week. if we aint we will the first of Sept and then we will get four months pay.

Direct to John S. Daniels

Co. B 2nd N.H. Vols

Martins Brigade Washington D.C.

Point Lookout, MD

Love to all, write soon and remember your Brother, (write when you send the Box


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I will send you a shell or two that I picked up when I were out on picket would send you more if they were [dentures?]

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When you write home tell them I am well and shall write before long if I can get any paper and stamps. I sent the last stamp I had today but guess I can get one to send this, and I dont want to write any more till I get some answers.

John S. Daniels, age 21, from Hopkinton, NH, enlisted on August 9, 1862 at Hopkinton as a private in Company B of the 2nd NH Infantry. He was wounded on June 3, 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA, and discharged at Concord, NH on May 17, 1865. Later Daniels became a member of G.A.R. Post 120, Lowell, MA. He died March 12, 1910.