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  (transcriptions only)

Technical Details
Manuscripts of the American Civil War
John M. Jackson Letters

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: John M. Jackson
Date: July 13, 1864
Place: Near Petersburg, Virginia
To: Delora Jackson

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

Number: MSN CW 5017-24

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Near Petersburg Va. July 13th 1864
Dear Sister Delora

     I have at last received a letter from you & I am certainly glad that you have commenced operations once more & I hope it will not be so long again that I shall not hear from you. I have to keep pretty busy the days we are out of the pits as you could judge if you knew what I have to do. If I should tell you what I have to do you are not well enough posted to understand what labor it is.
     I like to know what is going on at home. I cannot realize that it is haying time.
     Autumn will soon be here & then only a little while & it will be winter. Then we shall be in comfortable quarters if we live. I have no dread after this campaign is over.
     Each day I feel stronger & stronger in the opinion that this is the last year of the war.

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The "Johnnies" seem to be having things their own way over in Maryland. I wish Lee & seventy five thousand of his troops were over there. then if there was not life enough in that part of the country to stop him let him sweep Pa. & N. Y. perhaps by that time the North would get awakened. Cannonading is brisk today. I am looking for some great move soon I dont dare to guess where or which way it will be. Time will reveal it as soon as I shall be anxious for it. There are certainly great preperations going on here but what they are preparing for you will know in future whether I am permitted to tell you or not. When I was writing to Mother I let my feelings rule me so I got to the last of my sheet without saying hardly any of the things I was intending to. I rec'd one "Waverly" two or three days ago & one yesterday morn. this last dated July 16th. It seems good to get the papers by the time they are published. The "Waverlys" suit me first rate for there are no papers published with so many good & so few objectionable things in them as they have. I have rec'd two "Advocates" & one

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"Farmer" I am very glad to get them. Dont forget that I intend to be a farmer if my life is spared to get out of this "yere" "show." I should like to take a peep at the garden. I can think some thing about how the beds look but I cannot realize that my home is in so pretty & pleasant a place. that I can get just the things I love to eat & plenty of pure water to drink. I tell you I would give considerable to have a chance to drink what water I desired at one time from the well at home I dont know however but it would be purchasing the material to kill myself for I dont think I should be satisfied with any reasonable amount. You cannot think how set my mind has become about the Uncle Jepson place. It seems to me just as if I was going to live there some time if I live to get to Maine again & certainly it seems as if I was going to do that. You will laugh when I demonstrate the plan I have in my head about fixing up a part of that. I told you of some things when I was there but there are many things that I did not

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I wonder more & more that I never thought of the advantages of that place before, that I never noticed the neglected opportunity to make that a valuable place. That & mine certainly never ought to remain separated. I hope Delinda [i.e., Delinda Jackson] will be successful with the old man. If I get that I shall need one of you, for awhile certainly, to keep house for me. I should like if there was a little wider space in front of the house but on that side of the road it would hardly be suitable for flowers in front of the house even if there was any quantity of room. I hardly think I should be likely to have a road at the corner of the house thereby endangering that beautiful little maple. Just look down that way & notice wh[at] an improvement it would be to just remove a ill-looking piece of old "wall" & place some pretty fence in its place & have the gate above the elm tree. There are several very pretty points if they could only have a chance to show themselves. I dont think however that I feel any more anxious to get that in proportion to the value of it than I do the Harrison place. If I should be at home when the Harrison place sold I should have it for I do believe I can afford to pay as much as any one can If I lived where Uncle Cole does, however. I would have it, but they are too snug to pay much. I should like to have no reason to expect to see it this year at all, that is, I know of none. There are several possibilities that I may see it. Perhaps in the great battles that we must expect will soon come off I may get wounded & get home in that way. we (Our Co.) have lost very heavily in killed in proportion to our wounded but perhaps our fortune will change & we wont have any more killed. Then again, I have stood in very well to march, fight &c being the only one left in the Co. that has never straggled or been sick. I cannot always endure & perhaps if I am sick I can get home. I should try amazing hard at any rate. I dont want to get wounded or sick but I want to be able to stand my chance until this campaign is over & I hope that with this campaign will close the war. I tell you the soldiers on both sides are thoroughly sick of it & desire a settlement on some terms Yesterday we got quite a quantity of Sanitary stuff from Maine. Cider, (I did not taste of that), Cakes, dried apple, cheese & some splendid tea. I got a dipper (the size of my army dipper at home) full of as nice green tea as you ever saw. Your affectionate brother


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Just remind father & Alonzo that they have not written me yet & I should be most happy to get a letter from either or both together. I expect some of our officers soon & I shall be a glad boy to see them if there ever was a glad boy. I want them here before the next battle if they ever come. I want them to experience some of the pleasures of soldiering [?] I am glad to be remembered by Helen S. My -- my -- to her.

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My letters are so long & simple that you must get tired of reading them. but I wish you would take pattern for length by them.
I earnestly thank you for so long a letter as you sent me this morn. Please send them as often & as long as you have time to

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Of course, the officers took a large portion of the Sanitary stuff but there was quite a ration left for the men. I have no reason to find fault as far as I am concerned
I suppose we shall have the indescribable pleasure of going forward into the trenches again tonight.

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

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