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Manuscripts of the American Civil War
John M. Jackson Letters

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Document Type: Autograph Letter

Author: John M. Jackson
Date: October 12, 1864
Place: St. Paul's Church Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia
To: Joseph Jackson

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

Number: MSN CW 5017-38

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St Paul's Church Hosp. Alexandria, Va., Oct 12th 1864.
Dear Mother.

     I am still at the Hosp. where I have been since I came to the city as you see. Since I wrote before I have been to Washington to try to get my pay, but Maj. Gardner, our paymaster was absent, so I returned minus money as I went. I intend to try it again next Saturday if nothing happens to prevent. And I hope I will be more successful. Yesterday I got a "pass" and went about the city somewhat. I saw where I would probably have spent considerable money if I had had it. I hanker for the nice looking grapes & apples and as soon as I get paid off I reckon I will indulge my appetite to considerable extent in that direction. I have been without money so

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long I expect I shall spend it very foolishly when I do have any again. I am getting pretty well again. I hear our Regt. have been taken almost to a man. Perhaps it is a mistake but if it is true I wonder where I will "report to the Regt" when I am able for duty again. I am getting to feel quite at home here. As soon as I get my money I shall be "as gay as a lark" I will try however not to be gay from the same cause that some present here now are. I have not rec'd any mail yet since I came here. I expect if I had any at the Regt. that it has been destroyed though I wrote them where to direct it. I thought that I should receive a letter here from home before this time I wrote how to direct very soon after I came here but I fear you did not direct right. I fear you mentioned the Regt. or Div. or something of the

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kind. Direct simply to John M Jackson St. Paul's Church Hospital Alexandria Va. and I trust it will reach me though no letter has yet been guilty of such a thing since I came here. There are several ladies visiting in here now but I claim no share of their notice. I am the roughest looking soldier here. I dont feel like having any one notice me if they just as lief keep away and most of them seem perfectly willing to do that. I cannot realize that I ever was at liberty and had almost every thing that I wanted. I have enjoyed a good degree of freedom since I have been out here and since I have been sick, that is, pretty free for Army life. Election is almost upon us. I hope our men will show by their vote that they are willing to fight it out, and then shoulder their guns and put their disposition into effect.

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I am firm in the trust that the war is near its close if the North remain firm and determined. I should be glad to see you all but I trust that it is somehow for the best that I cannot or I try to trust so at least. God has been so exceedingly good to me that I ought not to have the least murmuring feeling even if all things are not at present as poor short sighted me would have them. How many times the very things that I have fancied I wanted and even needed would have proved ruinous at least if I had been gratified in them! I shall be glad if I learn to trust Providence instead of my own foolish self. My love for you all was never stronger than now. Hurrah! the mail brings me a letter from home contaning eight stamps and one from Charley Goodwin [i.e., Private Charles Goodwin, Co. F, 32nd Maine Infantry] containing one dollar which Charley says is just half what he has by him.

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I think I shall write home again very soon. You cannot think how much the letters I got today cheered me. I feel like another man altogether.

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The letter I got this morn was dated Oct. 2nd so you will see by my diary that I was very well sheltered from the storm and I tell you it did seem good to be so.

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Charley tells me that old Co. D. has pretty much all "gone up". Got flanked as usual.

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Saturday. How little I saw when I commenced this what was before me!

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

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