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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: June 25th, 1864
Place: Near Petersburg, Virginia
To: Betsey Mower Jackson

Physical Description: Ink on paper; 4 pages (21 x 13 cm.) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN CW 5017-20

(Please click on our Technical Details button at left
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In the field near Peterburg Va June 25th 1864
Dear Mother

     I wrote a long letter home day before yesterday & this morn. I was made glad by receiving a very short letter from home. Dont send any more paper & envelopes in letters if it is to take from the length of my letters. I have nothing to write today but I like to keep talking to you & now I remember that when I am at home I tire you almost to death by my continual talking. I reckon it bothered you to tell who the last letter I wrote was directed to but I thought that the outside & inside compared well for the inside was perfectly Family. The letter I got this morn, was mailed the 21st. I wish letters would go from here home as quick they will come from home here there would be some fun in it I am glad to hear from home though my letters

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are so short. I hope you will write longer letters to me but I am thankful very for any seems to me I should die if I did not hear from oftener than some of the boys do. still I suppose their friends pretend to love them dearly & to feel all interest in their welfare. It seems to me that "faith with out works is dead being alone" (I dont know but that is profane but I believe it would be allowable in that case if any) I cannot believe in persons feeling any great love or interest in soldiers situated as we are, if they realize our situation, if they dont write them & that pretty often too. Certainly they dont realize the thrill of pleasure it sends to the soldier's heart to hear his name called on the list of letters or the disappointed feeling if he fails to hear it, as he turns away, with "Well I guess nobody cares for me" or "I should think some of them might just write one" or some such expressions, No, they never have seen the sorrowful, downcast & disheartened

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look while they feel those they love are unmindful of them in their danger & suffering. I dont feel just so about my folks when I dont hear from them often I know it is because you are so busy & do not realize fully how badly I want to hear from you. Do you want to know who the soldiers speak of the oftenest? It is not a hard question at all. It is of their mothers. Soldiers think of their mothers & like to talk of them & it is always or most always with tears almost starting from their eyes. We love to praise the good qualities of our friends & I hope that what there are of us left may again see our dear homes & friends but we cannot all go home. Some of us each day go to that long home we shall never leave again but, thank God, there are no wars there but peace, everlasting peace reigns. I have no love for fighting but if it is my duty, & Dea Barrell says it to fight do not wish to avoid it let it come as it will

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some how I cannot feel that I did wrong in coming here & it seems to me if it had been wrong I dont think God would have protected me as he has for none but an Almighty power could have protected me in the places where we have been. I was on as Leut. of the picket yesterday & came off unharmed. We are again in the trenches where we were that I wrote about in my last letter. I expect we will be relieved again tonight & go to the rear to rest for two days if nothing happens. We are entitled to a rest if we get any thing like justice. Yesterday there was a very heavy sounding charge on our right & all accounts agree that we got the best of it but we cannot judge from the reports how well we did do. We of course hope for the best. Continue to pray for me. I want to hear from the last letter I wrote & then I shall have more questions about home that I shall want answers if nothing happens.

Your Affectionate son

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I am in want of a little money will you send me a small account book soon?

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It is very hot here now or it has been for two or three days. I hope our nigs are going to make a charge tonight. I have only had time to write any where but home until today

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I have written five letters today & it is time for the mail to go out. All hands write me often. My love to you all.

Envelope, front     Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

Envelope, back     Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

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

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