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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: August 22, 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 5017-29

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2nd Div. Hospital 9th
Corps Near Petersburg.Va.Aug.22nd 1864
Dear Mother.

     Yes. I am at last in the hospital. I hated to tell you for you will think I am quite sick which is not the case. I have got sort of tired out. All I need is a chance to rest and I will be all right in a few days. I am not so sick as most of our boys have to be to get to the rear. Our Regt. has moved since I wrote you but I have not been quite up with the Regt. since they got down here. I should think I was some three miles from where I was when I wrote before, to the left.
     Yesterday I was out here by the amputating table when many of the wounded were brought in. And I saw them cut off any number of hands and feet. Poor fellows. Several of them died right away

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after having been operated upon. For awhile yesterday the cannonading was truly terrific. I miss the sound of musketry. I can hear the cannons here if they have an engagement. The quiet seems rather good on the whole. still it seems a little lonesome. The 5th Corps did some good fighting and took a pretty good lot of prisoners, mostly S. Carolinians and stout hard looking fellows. Pretty much the whole of the 16th ME. were captured Col. Tilden [i.e., Lt. Col. Charles W. Tilden, 16th Maine Infantry] among the rest. I dont know any in particular that were taken. I saw Mr. Balkan their Chaplain yesterday. As regards the war news you get that by the papers long before a letter gets there. I will just say that we have the Weldon railroad and if old Lee gets it back he has something of a job before him. The 5th Corps were fortifying very strongly on the railroad and a part of the 2nd Corps came down

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as a support yesterday, and I was told that Butler's corps was back of us but I think that a mistake. I came here today but before I came I got six letters. One from you and Delinda [i.e., Delinda Jackson] and one from Sergt. Arnold [i.e., Sgt. Lloyd Q. Arnold, Co. D, 32nd Maine Infantry]. those were all I cared for at all. the others were business letters and business has but few charms for me as I feel now. I feel all the interest in the business at home that I ever did but this business here is not of a kind to make one love it. I was very pleased as usual to hear from you -- to get a letter written by your own hand. I dont know what I should do if I did not hear from home oftener than a great part of our boys do. I am here to fight for those at home that I love and if they did not prize my services, and life it may, sufficiently to write to cheer me I fear I should sink. I agree with you that it is mostly unpleasant here but there are some pleasant things even here sometimes There never was such a campaign before

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since the creation of the world as we have been passing through this season. I trust it is the last such one the world will ever know like it. I hope to be spared to return to you and I feel as if I should but this world is not intended as a state of perfect bliss. Thank God. He has prepared a world of perfect bliss and I trust we will both enjoy it. We will if I am not deceived in my hope. I love to look forward to our meeting on earth. I shall be so glad to see you and clasp you in my arms once more. Every thing about there seems pleasant by contrast to think of even those that I used to dislike. I wish they would rush the men down here and I believe this thing might be settled up pretty soon. I expect to be able to go back to the Regt. in a few days but I dont intend to hurry. I dont feel that our Regt has been used right. that makes a difference with me.

Your affectionate son

Please write often. remember how well soldiers love to hear from their mothers.

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

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