Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1853 June 6

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Date: 1853 June 6
Item: Letter
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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Lexington, Va.
June 6th 1853
My Dearest & only Sister,

Your melancholy letter has brought tears to my eyes. Yet I would never have you conceal anything from me because of the pain which it may cause me. If your health is really as you state, I would rather know it. My dearest sister, with tears in my eyes and a heart devoted to my God, I look into the future beyond the limits of this transient life of care; and see the dark gloom which is to exist throughout infinite duration. That whilst I am "to shine like a star in the firmament for ever and forever," you are to be assigned to unending misery.

What my dear sister is this life, and all its joys, compared to that which is to come. How happy would I be did I but know that beyond this probationary life we should be together for ever more, there with those who have gone before us, to enjoy endless happiness. My sister, do reflect upon my course of life, think and see if I have ever erred since arriving at mature age, and then consider how I could ever have been satisfied of the truth of the Gospel; unless it is true. Have I ever erred in the affairs of this life? Remember too what strong irreligious influences have been brought to bear on me and yet in spite of all opposing obstacles, I am one of the most devoted of Christians.

Will you not have some faith in the prayers of a dying mother & brother? My dearest sister, do throw yourself into the hands of God. Throw yourself upon his mercy, repent of your sins and believe that the father will accept your prayers, and forgive your transgressions, for the sake of his son's merits. Remember that he hath said that they who come unto him he will in nowise cast off.

I shall leave here as soon as my vacation shall permit and hope to be with you by the 12 of July if not before. I had designed making you a visit this summer, but did not know whether it would be before or after my return from the North. I have business which calls me to New York City this summer and I was desirous of going some more distant places.

You speak of Dr. Bosworth's son. I wish that it was in my power to do him a service but being here as Professor, I ought not to abuse my trust in any way. I wrote to the Doctor in reference to his son, but I believe omitted to state that in his letter to the superintendent of the Institute he should state that he was unable to educate his son himself. When he calls to see you, I wish that you would mention this to him & also tell him that Col. Samuel L. Hayes is on the new Board of Visitors for your place.

I most sincerely hope that his son will get the appointment and if there is anything which I can do for him consistent with my duty as Professor, it shall be done with a great deal of pleasure.

Your brother, Thomas

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450