Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1845 November 25

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Date: 1845 November 25
Item: Letter fragment
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: United States Military Academy (West Point)
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West Point U.S.M.A. Nov. 25th 1845
Dear Sister

It has been but a few moments since I had the pleasure of receiving your affectionate & sister like letter with it came the blended feelings of satisfaction sorrow and remorse. Satisfaction to think that I still have an existence in the heart of an amiable and admired sister. Sorrow because of your delicate health. Remorse for the misfortunes of an uncle who has been to me a true friend.

As to your health it is my sincere wish that you may again recover it and of which I continue to live in hopes. My constitution as well as your own has received a severe shock but I believe is gradually recovering from its debilitated state. My exercises this year with the broad sword as well as the small are well calculated to strengthen the chest & expand the muscles so that I have some reason to believe that they will have the desired effects of restoring me to perfect health.

And I hope that the same kind providence which has preserved us as the remnant of a family up to the present period will again favor us with an interview although in its wisdom it has marked out for us (at least for a period) widely different spheres of action and different places of abode. But I look forward with no small degree of satisfaction to the period when my circumstances will allow me to settle down near you & among my relatives in order to share with yourselves the ineffable pleasures of domestic circles. For your kind advice, and well wishes, you have my hearty thanks.

Since my last letter I have been transferred to the first section in Ethics & I think that I have probably a mark in it which will place me among the first five in my class in this science & which I consider as preferable to any other in the course.

There is a young gentleman here by the name of Withers who is from the south he has told me that his father was formerly of Virginia & that he has relatives still living there & that one of them who is a doctor visited his father two or three years since. This youth is an associate of mine & I would be glad to know whether or no he is a relative of mine which I could do probably if I knew the given name of doctor Withers of Fauquier who I know visited the south sometime previous to my coming here. If you recollect the time of his passing through Weston as well as his name I would be glad if you would insert them in your next provided it will be convenient to you though I do not wish you to put yourself to the least trouble on that account as I can obtain them otherwise.

It is probable that you think hard of me because of my not writing more frequent. But I hope that the strict requirements of many duties as well as want of information & [_____] will prove a partial if not a complete excuse. Give my respects to Mr. Arnold & rest assured of my immutable attachment.

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450