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  (transcriptions only)

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Manuscripts of the American Civil War
John M. Jackson Letters

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: John M. Jackson
Date: November 8-9, 1862
Place: Camp Grover, Montgomery County, Maryland
To: Friends of John M. Jackson

Physical Description: Ink on paper; 4 pages (25 x 20 cm.) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN CW 5017-6

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Camp Grover. Cross Roads. Rockville District
Montgomery County Maryland U.S.A. Nov. 8th. 1862
To the friends of John M. Jackson Co. A. 23 Me.
Regt. Vols. residing in Lewiston. Androscoggin Co. Me.
Dear Friends.

     As usual I have nothing of interest to write you & there is not much prospect of my having any thing worthy of note to write about myself. I, of course, should like to be able to write of "some deed of daring" of my own but probably if we went into battle I should have a chance to record one of my brilliant "skedaddles" which I suppose would not be very fattering to my friends but as we do not boast "royal blood" I do not expect it would be so humiliating as it would be for some families to have their brave ones perform that most common feat. That richest blessing, health, is still granted me & this alone ought to be sufficient cause for continual gratitude to the Giver of all blessings. As I pass about among the tents & hear the shrieks of the poor fellows as they are burning with fever my heart aches for them. & then I remember those loved ones at home that, no doubt, feel as much interest & anxiety for their welfare & health as my folks whom, I do not doubt, do for mine I feel doubly pained for them. There are many sick in some of the Cos. though we have but few. Barton Field [i.e., Private Barton A. Field, Co. A, 23rd Maine Infantry] is the only one that we have at the hospital & three or four at their tent that are somewhat unwell. There have been quite a number of deaths in

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our Regt. but none in our Co. Health is not my only blessing. "A contented mind is a continual feast" which may acount for my being in so good condition I am as well yes, better contented here than I have been anywhere before for years. We know nothing yet of where we are to spend the winter. There is nothing to indicate our removal from here at present & it looks very winterish for the snow is some three or four inches deep & it is cold enough for any thing that one could wish for. Delora [i.e., Delora Jackson] I believe was expecting a storm when the last letter that I received from home was written, of course according to the general rule it did not come. "Father was singing "Child our father calls come home" rather loudly but his voice is insufficient to reach one of his children at present. but Father. I am coming home.
     Mr. Sargent "thought that there were many encouraging things." When was the time that he could not "see the way clear"? I think now if they will act according to "Abe's" Message & our Gens. will move with that energy that they should, that a brighter day is soon to dawn upon our country. "Grandmother sends her love." God bless her! I care more for her esteem than for all the girls in Lewiston & Greene. I hope she will remain with you for a long time but her "long visits" if I recollect are at most but a few days
     You little imagine the regret with which I hear of the girls getting married. no not so. I "rejoice with those that do rejoice" but think that I shall let them weep alone. I saw in the "Journal" that you last sent me that "the prayer of deeds" was much more likely to be answered than the "prayer of words" I like that thing particularly well.

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     John Loring came up here last Saturday eve. & went back to Washington this morn. he spoke of Mr. Longley as at Washington Saturday morn. & said that you sent me some things by him. I expect Mr Longley here tonight. I assure you it seems good to see a Maine man. Mr. Loring stopped in my tent considerable time last eve. & I enjoyed his call very much. Mr. Field came out to take care of Barton with Mr. Loring.
     Of course Alonzo [i.e., Alonzo Jackson] would be talking with Helen after services where else would I expect him to be. If I could be at home a few days I'll warrant the new sleigh runners would not "rust for want of wear" but as long as I see no one else sleigh riding I do not think much about it. Delinda [i.e., Delinda Jackson] I am glad of your prospect of a small school I hope that you will have more time to write to me. That does not look selfish at all does it? I like nearly all other philanthropic & patriotic persons, feel great interest in public improvements when my own benfit is also at stake.
     I suppose Emma is getting along well with her great school I should like to be there to aid her by my counsel. My best respect to her. Mr. Loring said that father engaged twenty five apple trees for me to have next spring I am in hopes to be at home in season to set them but I have not the least desire to go before we can all go together. My ideas of the principal aim & object of a man's life have been changed & I think improved since I left home. Yet there is room. The muffled drum in the distance tells us of the third funeral in our Regt. today. Poor fellows! their duty is done before ours yet no one knows how little before. The drum & bugle can no more arouse them nor the midnight alarm startle them from their troubled slumbers.

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Dec 9th morn.

During the night two of our boys have died they tell me. I cannot remember certainly whether I made allowances for my minister tax or not. you will see to that. You may set down the same amount for me to pay next year to Mr. Sargent "or any other man" I mean of course good man. I want you to send me "any quantity" of papers & among the rest a good share of agricultural papers. Charge me with the expense. I want to be learning something of practical value to me in time of peace. One of our tent boys, Barker [i.e., Private Albert A. Barker, Co. A, 23rd Maine Infantry], is a very ingenious & original fellow I wish you could see some of our contrivances. We have many interesting conversations as we are of somewhat similar tastes. I am treasuring up more fun than one would expect a solder to that I intend to "put into effect" when I get home. Mace [i.e., Private William H. Mace, Co. A, 23rd Maine Infantry] has been quite unwell but is now about as well as usual again.


     The mail came in & there was never a letter for John but when the papers were announced whose package is that? John M Jackson's. on opening said package behold two prs. hose, not stockings I mean. one pr. gloves, bunch of paper & two bunches of envelopes & above all two letters containing 9 stamps. Hurrah! Hurrah! Tiger! I expect Mr. Longley is not coming up here when he sent my package I expect to go on guard tomorrow so my new gloves will afford me comfort very soon. It appears as if it would be a fine day tomorrow. Our snow has been going off today some. Tomorrow will make a third of our time spent. I felt particularly anxious to be well three months. as long as the 1st Me. were out. Thank Emma from me for her letter. I shall write her soon. With a whole basket full of love to all--


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I ought to mention my new gloves are just the right things in the right time. Please write me hosts of letters "all hands & the cook."

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All the things you sent were very acceptable especially letter material. I was just played out. Since morn. there has one died from our Regt. & two or three more are reported as dying. It seems sad indeed I think it seems worse to have so many die with sickness than it would to have them killed in battle for then there would be something exciting & we should not realize so much about it.

Transcription last modified: 11 Nov 2004 at 11:05 AM EST

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