Monday, March 24, 2014

Brigadier General Thomas J. Jackson to Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, August 22, 1861

August 22d.

Don't you wish your esposo would get sick, and have to get a sick leave and go home, so that you couldn't envy sister Sue? Sickness may compel me for a time to retire from camp, but, through the blessing of God, I have been able to continue in command of my brigade. . . . Still much remains undone that I desire to see effected. But in a short time I hope to be more instrumental in serving my country. Every officer and soldier who is able to do duty ought to be busily engaged in military preparation by hard drilling, in order that, through the blessing of God, we may be victorious in the battles which in His all-wise providence may await us. I wish my darling could be with me now and enjoy the sweet music of the brass band of the Fifth Regiment. It is an excellent band.

Don't put any faith in the assertion that there will be no more fighting till October. It may not be till then; and God grant that, if consistent with His will, it may never be. Surely, I desire no more, if our country's independence can be secured without it. As I said before leaving my darling, so say I now, that if I fight for my country, it is from a sense of duty — a hope that through the blessing of Providence I may be enabled to serve her, and not merely because I prefer the strife of battle to the peaceful enjoyments of home. . . . Yesterday the enemy drove in our pickets, and General Longstreet sent me a request to move forward with my brigade, and the consequence was that after advancing beyond Fairfax Court-House six miles it turned out that the enemy did not intend to attack, and I had a ride of twelve miles for nothing; and my wounded finger suffered from it, but I trust, with the blessing of an ever-kind Providence, it will soon be well. I meet with a number of old army friends and some of my classmates, which is quite a pleasure. The country about Fairfax Court House is beautiful. As I came in sight of the place, the sun was near setting, and with its mellowed light greatly contributed to beautify the scenery. I am writing under a Sibley tent, which is of a conical form, so constructed as to allow fire to be used, having an opening at the top for the escape of smoke; though as yet I have had my fires in the house. The weather is quite cool at night. What do you think? This morning I had a kind of longing to see our lot — not our house, for I did not want to enter its desolate chambers, as it would be too sad not to find my little sunshine there.

SOURCE: Mary Anna Jackson, Life and Letters of General Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson), p. 184

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