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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: April 11, 1863
Place: Camp near Edwards Ferry, Maryland
To: Betsey Mower Jackson

Physical Description: Ink on paper; 4 pages (20 x 14 cm.) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN CW 5017-14

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Page 1      Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

Camp near Edwards Ferry.Md.Apr.11th 1863
Dear Mother.

     I feel just like writing this morn. We dont have to drill Satudays but the rest of the time we have some little exercise I reckon. It is a delightful day warm & just air enough stirring to make it pleasant. By the last mail I rec'd three letters from you & Delora [i.e., Delora Jackson] & one from Delinda [i.e., Delinda Jackson]. also one from Emma. the last mail before was delayed so we got two at one time. I was never so glad to hear from you & to hear so favorable an account of things at home. I regret that Hiram Loring [i.e., Private Hiram W. Loring, Co. I, 16th Maine Infantry] has chosen so dreadful a course. I dont consider his parents blameless. You talk as if you should oppose my enlisting again but you need not fear. I shall not come again unless I think there is need of men & in that case you could not oppose my coming, patriotism would rather cause you to send me

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I rejoice at the better state of things in Greene [i.e., Greene, Androscoggin County, Maine] & hope glorious things are in store for us. I feel very joyous in reference to the war I am expecting that soon if this delightful weather continues, we shall have the glad sound of victory to cheer our hearts & add to the courage of those now protecting the liberty of our people. I hope that within a short time we shall see the terminality of this most distressing of all wars.
     I will just tell you a bit of our duties for the present. We go on guard once in nine days & on picket about once a month. Order of exercises as follows: Reveille & roll call 5 1/2 oclk morn. Bugle call for breakfast 6 oclk For fatigue & sick 6 1/2 Guard mounting at 7 1/2 Drill from 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 & from 10 1/2 to 11 1/2 Dinner call 12. Drill from 1 1/2 P.M to 4 Dress parade 4 1/2 Supper call 5. Retreat & roll call sunset Tattoo 8 eve. Taps 8 1/2. Beside this we are required to wash every morn, wash our feet three times per week & our bodies once per week. sweep out our tent

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every morn & also sweep for considerable space around our tents. our blankets all to be hung out before 8 oclk. to air during the day. The Officer of the day inspects our quarters each day & we have an inspection of arms every night. Satuday is set apart for us to wash our clothes & do our mending. so do you see we have no great time to write except Satuday & Sunday. I think however, my picture will show that I dont look very thin for me to look. The boys say it does not look like me. I am always laughing & they dont have a chance to see how I do look when I look sober. This was taken after I had drilled all the forenoon & expected to all the afternoon. One of our boys has set up a saloon here. They have commenced a rifle pit a little way from our camp & I understand they are going to run a battery down here. The forces are to be with drawn from the other side of the river & we are to defend this point. I think their taking us to Poolesville is played out.

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I now think that the most probable thing is that we shall remain here until near time for us to go home. I hope you are having just such mild weather down or rather up in ME. the darker portion of the population are preparing to plant the corn here & nature itself seems teaming with life. Reckon I wont have to drive oxen much this spring. my substitute will probably have to do that if nothing happens. I'd like to do a bit of work on my land this spring if I could but it will all come out right in the end I trust. Perhaps you remember I thought I should not want to work after I got home & I dont know as I shall but it seems to me I will want to work more during the time I stop there than I ever have. I do want to make that place attractive as possible & I want to think of it as my home even though I may be situated several times as far from it as I am now. I dare not write more than this sheet for fear that with my picture it will be too heavy.

Your aff. son

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Accept my many thanks for your letters & please continue to write me

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

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