[CIVIL WAR]. JACKSON, Thomas J. ("Stonewall"), (1824-1863), General, C.S.A.. Autograph letter signed to "Dear Maggie," Centerville, 23 October 1861. 2 pages, 4to, small area in blank left-hand margin torn, otherwise in excellent condition.
"MY OFT REPEATED PRAYER IS FOR A SPEEDY TERMINATION OF THE WAR BY AN HONOURABLE AND LASTING PEACE!"
A fine letter, dated early in the conflict, just four months after he and his brigade won their "Stonewall" nickname at the battle of First Manassas. Two days prior to this letter, Jackson had been named to command the Valley District, where he would carry out a brilliant and successful diversionary campaign against the Federal Army. Jackson is elated at the recent Confederate victory at Leesburg (i.e., Ball's Bluff) and expresses gratitude for emergency provisions made for unidentified young relations, no doubt due to the outbreak of war. "I am much obliged to you and for the arrangements respecting Amy and Emma. Please have the kindness to go to Winny Bucks occasionally and see that Amy is well cared for, and that not only she, but also Emma, is well clothed. I am under special obligations for the religious instruction that you have given Amy, and hope that it may be in your power to continue it. Remember me to her very kindly...and say that I hope that she has rich-Heavenly consolation." He expects a visit from "the Rev. Dr. MacFarland and our own Pastor," and "will send some money by Dr. White for you to use as occasion may require for Amy & Emma, and I will so manage as to keep a supply in the Rockbridge Bank...subject to your order." He has received a letter from Maggie's husband, who may be coming to Centerville, where "I am anxiously expecting him...." In closing, Jackson turns to war news: "My oft repeated prayer is for a speedy termination of the war by an Honourable and lasting peace! God has given us another glorious victory near Leesburg...."
In early October, Major General Jackson was ordered by Judah P. Benjamin to proceed to Winchester and take command of the crucial Valley District, citing "your intimate knowledge of the country," and adding that "the people of that district, with one voice, have made constant and urgent appeals that to you, in whom they have confidence, should their defense be assigned." And, "although your forces will for the present be small, they will be increased as rapidly as our means will possibly admit, whilst the people will themselves rally eagerly to your standard...." Original Records, v.5, p.909.