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John M. Jackson Letters

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: John M. Jackson
Date: July 16, 1864
Place: Near Petersburg, Virginia
To: A Friend

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

Number: MSN CW 5017-25

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In the woods near Petersburg Va. July 16 1864.
Dear Friend.

     I received your letter two or three days since and you may be sure I was glad to get it. I am glad that there are still a few young ladies that will take the trouble to write in answer to my letters. If the girls were not better to write than the boys are I should despair of getting any letters at all. That is not my only reason. I like to get letters from the young ladies better than I do from the men. That is natural isn't it? A few days ago I received a wedding card from a young lady that has always made great pretentions to being my particular friend. I thought that was rather cheeky, as there is also much else of the same sort. I am glad that the girls dont mean all they say for then they

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would not know how to understand the boys. I speak no more than the truth when I say that I think very much of the ladies as a class & a few of the young ladies in particular.
     I am yet well & there is nothing I know why I may not remain so. We have been building a fort near here for the last two days. It is now nearly done & I expect that soon our guns will open on Petersburg. If we do advance on the city there must many of us fall & no one can judge who it will be. I hope and trust that I shall be preserved to return home.
     It seems to me that my desire to live is very much stronger than it was a month or two ago. I do desire to return to my friends again. I dont expect to stop more than a year at any rate I believe that this is the last year of the war and I ardently hope that it

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is. If I should get wounded I should certainly go home if I could. I should not dread getting wounded half so bad as I should if I did not hope to have a chance to visit my friends. I tell you if I live to get home you will see whether I will be "Orderly" enough so that I will not come & see you. I dont think that if I was in your place that I should run after the boys much. if they dont care enough about you to seek your society I dont believe I would trouble myself about them any way.
     Strange why the boys at home are in such a hurry to get married. I dont see why any body wants to get married for it seems to me there must be more pleasure in going about with any body just as it happens than to be confined to go every where with one.
     I dont know why any one thought I should be an officer for I did not seek

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for it. There dont seem to be so much difference between the officers and men out here as there does at home. There it is a very pretty thing to be an officer & dash about with shoulder straps on, but here, it is quite another thing. I am in just as much danger as I should be if I was an officer for I am in command of the company & all the rebs can tell an officer by the sword. I believe they have tried their best on me two or three times when I was wholly exposed, but God has thus far kept me & I trust He will through.
     That is a pleasant thought, that we shall not always have "to talk on paper." I long for that time to come. You spoke of my table. It is simply my lap. We sit right up on the ground & take our plates (when we have any) on our laps, and put every thing right in together usually. But I must close. My respects to all your folks & please to write again soon.

Your sincere friend, J. M. Jackson.

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

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