Letter – Lucy Reavis, 6 December 1863

2015.002.137

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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.


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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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 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.


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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 – Lucy Reavis, 3 September 1863

2015.002.132

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis to her fiancé, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., from Norwood, AL. Reavis mentions that it took some time for Jackson’s last letter to reach her, possibly due to the 12-year-old postmaster at Fannsdale. She requests a photograph of Jackson, and recites a fantastically bad pun from her travels. Several generals are in town, including Hardee, Breckenridge, and Pemberton, whose name “was never mentioned without execrations.” She mentions seeing the defenses at Demopolis, the death and burial of a family friend, as well as her time at church. Though she has met several young men and soldiers, she promises that she will remain faithful to Jackson.


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No 5

Norwood September 3d/63

I was so glad my dear Major, to hear from you, yesterday, that I must answer your letter immediately – It is strange that it should have taken so long to some, only a few miles – But the fault may have been with the post Master at Fannsdale, who is a little boy of 12 years of age I believe – It has been so long since I left home, that I have forgotten many things I had to say to you – but must try to remember – Tuesday morning was very cool, even disagreeably so, but it was much better both for us and the ponies, we stopped at Mrs Gould’s to dinner as we intended and passed a couple of hours very pleasantly, although both Captain G- and one of his little daughters were quite sick – Mrs Goodey looked so sad. I wonder if she did love that old man – He left a very peculiar will – Altho’ so immensely rich, he left his wife only $50000 in money & six servants. To his adopted

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Son, $40000 & six servants – and all of his property besides, which amount to two or three hundred thousand, to be given to an asylum in South Carolina, provided no minister is allowed to have any thing to do with the institution – Isn’t that too bad? He was a Unitarian – Poor fellows! About Sun. set, we reached the place which so surprises all visitors & were cordially received by Misses Innes & Butler – And now I must tell you that I was exceedingly disappointed in the beauty of the former – Uncle John said she was a model, a perfect Venus – and you were scarcely less warm thought her features so regular & delicate. She has a very ugly mouth I think & can not compare in beauty to Kate but I admire her character more. I think she is lovely – There were three Missourians there, from the Camp at Demopolis, and it was beautiful to see, how she addressed herself to them, trying to put them at their ease, and make them forget that they were strangers – Then too she is more anxious to do something for all of her guests than Kate & Butler – In fact she is sweet as can be, and

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I admire her very much, but like Kate the best, She is so good tempered, & full of fun & mischief – I saw more of her too – We were in the same room, all the time & talked until 12 every night – Whenever I was still a moment, she would say in the most comforting, soothing way – “Don’t you be blue, the Major is well” – She wanted me to tell her all about our affairs & asked me if she might not be one of the Attendants One thing I did not like; I heard her asking Mr Dobb, if we were not engaged & when we were to marry – He told her it was certainly to be, tho’ no day or special time had been appointed – He is very wise, Isn’t he? Capt: Carpenter was there the night we arrived, looked very well & natural, raved about you just as usual – said he should write you the following day – He is still devoted to you & says although he is so nicely fixed, he would gladly resign to be the least of your clerks. He says, he is not in love with Rosa Lightfoot, but the Thorntons say he is – I asked Kate if she thought he would be successful, she said no – but that he would not be rejected, while we was such a convenience-

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They are constantly receiving articles from their home at Pass Christian & Capt: C – being at D- receives & forwards them – I sang for Butler & then she sang for me – I was delighted with her voice – The upper notes are splendid, and if she practiced a good-deal, the lower would harmonize – As it is – her voice is like two persons singing, in one part so low & even feeble & in the other so powerful & melodious – She plays beautifully – She expressed her delight at my delightful & beautifully cultivated voice – If I had her voice, I know, I would sing divinely – But it matters little – You do not care much for music – and I do not care a great deal about pleasing any one else – You have no idea of how frequently my thoughts are with you and how truly I long to do something for your pleasure – Do tell me, is there nothing I can do? It would make me so happy – You will not be surprised to hear that we remained at Col: Thorntons until Thursday morning – I did not see a great deal of Mrs T- she was with her little sick grand child – but the Colonel is such a fine old man. We talked about our relatives & he thinks we are certainly

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cousins. Kate calls me nothing but “little Pet.” she is very curious to see you & wanted to know, if I had your picture. The next time you go to Mobile, do have it taken for me – Mr Dobb read “Tannhauser” to me as we rode along – It is beautiful – I must read it again for myself – He was as witty as usual during our ride – As we looked around and saw nothing but corn fields, east & west – he remarked – “Verily, this is a Corn-federacy” I was so amused at Mr Bradshaw – After you all left, Mrs D. asked Uncle John to give us a passport. He said – “Just write Mr Dobb & Lady”- But I said “No such thing, put Miss L. Reavis & Attendant” – Mr B- thought it was too good, went off down the street chuckling & shaking –

We took dinner at Mrs Pool’s Thursday – she was not at home, but we had a pleasant time with her sister. The streets were crowded with soldiers & officers – There were several Generals in town also. Pemberton, Hardee, Breckenridge & one or two from Mobile. Mrs Hayden told us that the former’s name was never mentioned without execrations. I hear that his men are to be organized at Enterprise – You will have a full

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benefit. We saw the defenses at Demopolis – The only thing of the kind I ever saw – They were busy at work on them as we passed – What do you think of my stupidity? When we got to the road leading here, I forgot to tell George & never thought of it, until we were several miles out of our road. Then we had to go into highways & by ways & did not get to the house until nearly 11 at night – We rung the bell, but no one heard us, so I came to the back gallery & knocked at Mar Lou’s door – as it happened Mr Mine was not at home – and the girls were terribly frightened Liz says, “Is that you Lucy” & I replied “Yes, it is Lucy Reavis”- But although they knew my voice, they feared some one was deceiving them & would not let me in for some moments – But we were delighted to meet. Of course, they are much quieter & less cheerful than formerly, but we have a very nice time together – Kittie Christian is as lively and funny as ever – I have not seen her before since I left schoo – Mar Lou is the same sweet girl – I know you must like her, when you know her – If you do not, I shall be so put out – She says if you come for me, she will be glad

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to see you, but that am to stay a long time – I expect I shall go home the latter part of next week, or the first of the week after – Do you think it will be perfectly convenient for you to come? – & do you think it will be pleasant for you? I do not wish to give you any trouble & perhaps some one will come from home – The girls are as busy as can be, making up black dresses & Mrs Minge is dying some. She looks so sad seldom smiles – but of course, she can not feel cheerful yet when George has not been dead three weeks – They carry wreaths & bouquets to his grave twice a week – He is buried in the church yard – where they are obliged to see his grave whenever they go to church – I like it so much. We feel serious & more humble, after passing among graves & we are better prepared to confess our sins before God – Mr Dobb preached & pleased the congregation very much –

I met such a nice gentleman the other day. Colonel Saunders of Pemberton’s Staff – There are few young men in the neighborhood & no possible hope of Maj Adam’s return, so be at ease & know that my heart will not go astray. I do not

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mean to mention that it would under any circumstances, for no one can compare with you in any respect I think – Mar Lou says her cousin Carter is as much in love with me as ever, but even if it is true, it gives me no pleasure – I am very much obliged to your sister for her kind messages – give my best love to her when you write & say that I deserve no thanks or credit for “taking compassion” on you, for my love was involuntary – I could not keep it, moreover any girl ought to feel proud of loving & being beloved by such a man – Don’t you agree with me? Say yes. I do hope your Sister will like me – for I love every body that is dear to you – I am so sorry Willie is going in the army. A mother must suffer, when she gives up her only child – It was right funny that you should dream of me with my hair cut off, for Mar Lou & I are tlaking very seriously of shaving our heads – Wouldn’t it be nice? Then next Summer we would have such nice little short curls – I have not heard from home yet, but will write this morning. I expect Ma has returned by this time – What did you write to Ma about? You & she have entirely too much to say to each other – I know

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Uncle John will be delighted to be with you – What sensible person would not? I told [Jennie?] Thornton of the admiration she had excited in G- (Uncle John you remember) She was crazy to know who it was & said she should make him a tobacco pouch & knit him some socks when he joined the army – she said it must be a widower, that they frequently took a fancy to her & declared her the image of a poor dear, dead wife – I assured her the gentleman in question admired her for herself alone – I have written a long letter, but am convinced you will not be displeased – Do write to me soon, dear Major, for if you wait very long, it will not arrive before my departure – I dont know what to number my letter, but as yours is No 5. I reckon mine is also – I am so warm, I dont know what to do – have no idea what I have written – Goodbye my dear, dear Major –

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, 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, 1863

2015.002.130

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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.


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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

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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

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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

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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

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much love to all your dear family

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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 – Lucy Reavis, May 1863

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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 – 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 – Joseph Younger, 18 August 1864

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Letter of Lieutenant Joseph G. Younger of Company F, 53rd VA Infantry (Armistead’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division), to his cousin. Younger writes that his brothers are well, but he has been ill. He remarks on how hardened soldiers have become to suffering, observing that they hardly care if someone dies as long as it is not a relative. Younger inquires on whether his cousin has found him a “sweetheart.” Younger describes shelling at Petersburg, VA. He hopes the war will soon end. He thinks the Confederacy should conscript African Americans to fight for them like the Union has.


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Cousin August the 18th 1864,

Your long looked for letter has come at last. It has been duly perused it finds Marion & Nathan well but I am quite sick and have been for some time. I do not think I shall be able to finish this epistle on account of my head swimming so bad it seems to me the paper is turning round all the time. Cousin it is so bad to be away off here sick, where no Femenine hand is to feel of ones fevered pulse. nor any kind and affectionate sister, mother, relative or friend to watch one as he lays and suffers upon the ground, soldiers have become used to so many suffering that they have no sympathy for one that is sick, so long as they can keep will if one die it makes no difference with them so the

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unfortunate one is no relation of theirs if one gets killed in battle it is the same case. This indeed is a hard time. People are bound to become better or I think they will be cut off and perish all over the land. I think it has rained all over the state by this time we have had quite a nice shower since I have been writing and it looks like coming down down again shortly. So you have not picked me out any particular young Ladie for a sweet heart you say that there are several nice young Ladies in that neighborhood but you will wait and let me come and pick for myself. Cousin I think I should be pleased, at any choice you would make for I am shure your fancie and taste would be perfect You speak of Miss Emma Womack as being a nice young Ladie I should

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Judge so for I have heard a good deal of talk about her but Mr W or Mr Younger is too far ahead for any of us to talk about her. Marion though seems satisfied about it so I must be too as I am not acquainted with her he says she is one of his best friends and he is certain she will let him know when she is going to get married. There were terrible terrible shelling at Petersburg this morning before day I have not as yet heard the cause of it. We will have hot time here soon I think, a good deal of sickness are getting among our soldiers I am in hopes the war will end soon I have thought it would end this winter but I do not know how it will end nor when I know this much it cannot end too soon for us I think it had as well end this winter as

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to go on next spring for it will never end by fighting no-how, We have to fight negroes now driven up to us by the white yankeys our men fought them at Petersburg & also on the other side of the river a day or so ago our boys allways slay them when they get a chance at them but it is a shame for our good young white men to be killed by a yankey negro, I think if they fight negroes against us we ought to conscript some of our to meet them I reckon our negroes would fight as well as theirs. I must close as I am getting so weak I cannot sit up write soon I remain Your affectionate Cousin

J G Younger


Joseph G. Younger enlisted as a private on July 10, 1861 at Union Church, VA in Company F of the 53rd VA Infantry. He was promoted corporal August 14, 1861; sergeant December 15, 1861; but was reduced to private on May 5, 1862. He was hospitalized August 18, 1862 at Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, VA with diarrhea, then marked as ‘absent’ and sick at home in September of 1862. He was present December 15, 1862, then hospitalized again on February 28, 1863 at Lynchburg, VA. Present once more April 15, 1863. He was appointed 2nd lieutenant on April 4, 1863, but on November 12, 1864 he requested a transfer to the artillery “due to a lack of respect shown him by the men of his company.” Younger was duly transferred into the Halifax VA Light Artillery Battery on December 15, 1864. He survived the war, and later lived in Mississippi County, AR until his death April 13, 1916. His brothers Francis Marion, and Nathan, served at least through the end of 1864, both being issued clothing at Fairfax, VA on December 31, 1864. However, no further military documents could be found for all.

The 53rd VA Infantry was one of the most prominent of Virginia regiments, serving from December 1, 1861 until April 9, 1865. As a part of Armistead’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, it was among the foremost in the famous “Pickett’s Charge” at Gettysburg, led by Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead over the stone wall at the Angle during the height of the assault on July 3, 1863. Here the regiment lost 34 killed, 140 wounded, and 150 prisoners or missing, total of 314. It is believed all three Younger brothers were present and survived this ordeal.

Letter – Anonymous, December 1862

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Letter written by an unknown Vermont soldier, to his possible sweetheart Mary Cory of Suffolk, VT. The soldier tells Mary that all was well, but that he was sad that she “could not think that I was the one for you.” He writes that he will always be there for her as a friend, and hopes that her rejection was not because she has found someone else. He mentions working on the fort that day.


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De the 1862

Dear friend i now set down to let you [know] that we are all well i ricived your letter and was glad to her from you but it made me feel bad to think that you could not think i was the one for you but hat[tie?] hunt is not the one for me but it is for you to say but I shall allways mete you as a frind whare evry i met you as whare i be but it cant be that your as mad but you i gess have found one

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that suites you better but i hope that you haint i have been on the fort to work to day but i did not work long two ours then i went to Camp and i though that i would write you a few linds but you did not say for me to write but i thought i would to let you no that i recived your letter and i hope these few linds will find you well give my love to all tell Adline And Nelson that i shall be home in the spring if i live this is all that i can think of now my love to you this from your friend now and forevry write soon

To Mary Cory,

W A C

Suffolk Ver

Letter – William Morse, 28 July 1861

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Letter written by Private William H. Morse of Company C, 3rd MI Infantry, to his wife Lucy, from Camp McConnell in Arlington, VA. Morse requests that his wife apply to get money from the county, and asks if she is getting enough to eat. He has seen men offer a dollar for a drink of water on the battlefield, and observes that it has been hard for poor people to make a living during these times. He writes that his friends at home should rethink any decisions to join the army, as “the privations of camp life are far worse than the chance on a battlefield.” Morse mentions being in the battles of Blackburn Ford and Manassas, but writes that he doesn’t think he was any more afraid of dying than if he was at home, and that the 3rd Michigan was highly praised after Bull Run. He concludes by asking his wife to tell their son that his father is “fighting for the Constitution.”


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Headquarters Arlington Regt., third Camp McConnell Co. C

July 28 1861

Dear Wife

I again sit down to write a few lines to you when I wrote the other day I was in such a hurry I could not write much and as I have plenty of time today I thought I would write another I dont know as you will accept of another so soon but I will send it at a venture when you write again I want you to tell me wether you have received any

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money from the County if you have not you had better apply for some for you may as well have it as other families I know of other families drawing money that dont need it any worse than you do and if you have drawn any how much I should like to know how you get along wether you have enough to eat or not tell me wether you have heard from our stears or not. I sent you a little money the other day it was all I had but it may do you a little good money is no object here I have seen men offer a dollar $ on the battle field for a drink of water I shall have some more money before long I hope and I will send you some more poor folks can hardly get a living here it is very hard times for them I tell you

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tell Joseph V fairchild I should like their company very much but they had better stay at home for a soldier here and a soldier in michigan the privations of camp life are far worse than the chance on a battle field they may say I am homesick or afraid but I am neither a soldier has to put up with all kinds of fare durin time of war. I have been in two battles and I dont think I had any more fear of being killed than I would at home I have seen many brave men fall by the cannon and musket and I could pass by them without scarcely looking at them all the boys that came from around where we live are well we are in camp now near the City of Washington and I think

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we will stay here for some time I hardlg hardly think they will take us to battle again for a good many of our officers have resigned our old Captain got scared and left us just as we were going into battle and we fought a battle of four hours length without any captain the Michigan third ranks as high as any other regiment in the united states service We got all the praise of the first battle July 18 I wish you could been here and heard them hurrah for the Michigan third as we returned from bulls run back to Washington, I shall have to close for my paper is used up be a good girl and dont be scared about me kiss bud for me and tell him his pa is a soldier fighting for the Constitution and the laws. good bye Lu write soon

no more from Bill this time


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.