Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1856 December 1

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Date: 1856 December 1
Item: Letter
To: Thomas Arnold (nephew)
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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Dec. 1st 1856
My dear Nephew,

Thanks for your letter. I am glad that your teacher has come on and that you are hard studying amo and that you came off so well at the exhibition and I trust that by the time I get to see you that you will know a great deal about Latin and those books which you have just purchased. Remember that this is the 1st day of Winter and that cold weather is the best time for study, and also the best time for taking much exercise and that the harder one studies, the more exercise he should take for it gives him a clear head and a healthy body.

I am much obliged to you all for sending those daguerreotypes & the sugar egg. I shall have much to talk about when we meet of the find paintings & sculpture, and beautiful countries through which I passed last summer. Tell Mr. Thomas when you have an opportunity that Mr. Lyle is much better and that he can walk about some in his room. And does your Pa like the new President Mr. Buch {Buchanan}.

While I was gone I saw some funny things too as well as pretty ones. I remember seeing in England in a town called Chester about 98 miles from Liverpool which I will mention presently as soon as I tell you that Chester is a town with a wall around it, and it and the city of York are about the only cities in England that are still walled and that the York walls are more recent than those of Chester and hence not so interesting as they don't tell us so much about the ancient Britons. It appears that the walls of Chester were built by the Britons in order to protect themselves from the Welsh who lived a little West of Chester. But now for that funny thing and what so you think it was. Well I went into their largest church (called a Cathedral) which once belonged to the Roman Catholics and there among many other things I saw a representation of the Devil in the shape of him swallowing a man feet foremost. I never knew before that Old Nick lived on men and I saw some other things which I would like to talk to you about.

Write to me soon. Give much love to your Pa, Ma, to Grace & Stark and remember me to all inquiring friends.

Your affectionate uncle, Thomas

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450