JACKSON, THOMAS J. ["Stonewall"]. General, C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("T.J. Jackson") to Col. A.R. Boteler (an aide-de-camp and a delegate to the Confederate Congress), Caroline County, Va., 31 December 1862. 4 full pages, 8vo, closing and signature written vertically on page 1, small repair to fold affecting some letters text, a few neat marginal repairs, otherwise in good condition.
JACKSON, LEE AND THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY: "I AM WELL SATISFIED THAT GENERAL LEE DESIRES TO PROTECT THE VALLEY"
One of the most important Jackson letters to be offered in many years. Jackson, recently assigned command of the Second Corps, ANV, reveals his thoughts concerning the military situation in the Shenandoah (scene of Jackson's legendary Valley Campaigns) and his relations with R.E. Lee, now in command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Jackson discusses command and tactics in that critical theater, and explains his own connections to the region: "In reply to my communication to Genl Lee respecting the sending of troops to the valley, he expressed his desire to do so, if he only had the troops to spare. As he asked the question whether I thought that troops could be wintered there to advantage, I stated that [20,000] could be wintered near Winchester. Since then I have heard nothing more from him...I named the officer to whom the trust might be confided (Genl Early). I have repeatedly urged upon Genl. Lee the importance of protecting the Valley, and upon more than one occasion have apologized to him, from a conviction that I was apparently forgetting my position, and encroaching upon the prerogatives of my Commanding Genl. He has always kindly received what I have said; but I dont know that much more has been accomplished. I am well satisfied that Genl. Lee desires to protect the Valley. Since I was relieved from the command of the Valley District, and assigned to the command of the 2d Corps of this army, I have felt the liberty of saying to Genl. L. that the officer who may be sent to command the Valley Dist. should have the authority of a Department commander. This is important to the full efficiency of his command. I always shrunk from saying so to him...as such a statement from me at a time when I would have desired advantage from such authority might have done more harm than good, by giving occasion to suspect that my object was a personal one...It is but natural that I should feel a deep & abiding interest in the people of the Valley, where are the homes of so many of my brave soldiers, who have been with me so long, and whose self sacrificing patriotism has been so thoroughly tested. Apart from this, the tried loyalty of those who are still there and those many acts of kindness to me personally... gives me a special interest in that section of the state. As you are a member of my staff I write to you more freely than I would have further known. You must not think from what I have said to you at any time, that I desire to be sent to the Valley, even if it should be made a department. I would rather remain in a subordinate position, as long as the war lasts; provided that my command is kept near my Commanding Gen. this is my real feeling. When in the Valley I spoke to you about securing for me a Department, my command was so far separated from the Comd. Genl. as to render it desirable. I have never told you of all the difficulties under which I labored last spring in consequence of my limited authority..."