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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: October 19, 1864
Place: St. Paul's Church Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia
To: Joseph Jackson and Betsey Mower Jackson

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

Number: MSN CW 5017-39

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Page 1      Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

Oct. 19th 1864
Dear Father,

     I have not written you for some little time but I dont suppose my letters home are private at all. I thought certainly you would write me again before this time. I feel all the interest in your welfare and happiness that I ever did and I dont think you can accuse me of lack of interest in your prosperity while I was with you. It has been a great relief and comfort to me to feel that my dear Father was praying for me and I believe it is in answer to the prayers of my friends that I have been preserved through danger, by bullets and illness. I cannot be thankful enough that I have so many praying friends. I had a queer dream the other night. I thought you and I were disputing which one's life had been among the strongest temptations. Perhaps you remember that we sometimes have been known to dispute but if all commenced and ended with as kindly feeling as we do there would not be so much harm done by disputations, I reckon.

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     Seems to me you have done remarkably well in the way of work this summer according to your crew. I take an interest in your progress and they do pretty well in telling me how you are getting along. I always want to know. I am gaining very fast indeed, shall soon be well I trust, and able to try on the "Johnny Rebs" again. It is interesting to notice the difference between the men as they lay here sick. Some will lay and swear as fast as they can, others suffering equally, will not so much as groan and yet others will make night (and day even) hideous with their noise. They seem to be very quiet in front of Petersburg, I expect they are waiting for me to help them. I am good for one Reb, that is, if he dont get the start of me, I trust God is going to preserve me to return to the friends I love so well. but Dear Father, I trust if we are not permitted to meet again on earth that we will meet where we shall never know parting more.
     Hoping that you will soon write me, I remain your aff. son

John M. Jakson

I am waiting with considerable interest for Election

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Oct. 19th
My Dear Mother.

I am sorry to be obliged to say that the mail brought me no letter from home. It brought one of my dear Aunt McKenney's good letters and a business letter from Augusta. I thought I should get one from home but there is some good reason for it. I have so little to do I dont realize how much labor it is to write when a body has work to do. I am busy all the time but it dont amount to any thing. I spend about all my wages here and then send home for help. I know a great number that spend much more than they make. In the paper that I send it mentions a young lady that was waiting on her brother, that I think I wrote about from City Point. They came there a few days before I came away. The Drs. were very attentive to them especially to the lady. I dont believe that there ever was a more despicable set of block heads collected than the array of medical men at City Point, 9th Corps Hospital. I honestly believe I should have died if I had been kept there very much longer.

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I long for the time to come when I can be with you again. Perhaps I shall not be able to settle so near there as I would like to, that is, not at present but to be at liberty to go when wish to I shall like it much better. Some here believe we will have at least four years more war but I dont see it in that light exactly. I hope the war will close by next forth of July and somehow I believe it will. I wish I knew where I should be sent from here whether directly to the front or by way of Camp Distribution I dont think I will stay here long enough for my things to reach me if I thought I should, I would have them sent here. A box will not follow one so well as a letter will. It is pleasant to think of the past. I love to think of my dear Mother as I used to see her except as she was tired working for me. I dont believe there is another soldier in the army that has so good friends as I have. I know I love them as well too. even though I cause them considerable trouble,

Your aff. son

I've got a "pass" and am going to see if I can do any thing about getting my dress coat. I dont expect I can here but it is no harm to try.

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There is another boy here that I think will not require more than two or three days to die. And there is yet another that I should be spared much teasing if he would die. I cannot have any thing whatever but he wants to beg some of it. I have been tempted to give him some queer things but the poor fellow is sick.

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

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