Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1862 February 11

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Date: 1862 February 11
Item: Letter
To: Rev. Dr. Francis McFarland
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Winchester, Virginia
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Feby 11th 1862

My dear Doctor

Your very kind and Christian letter respecting my proposed withdrawal from Field Service has been received, and be assured that it met with a cordial reception. My desire to serve our cause is undiminished, but I am in active service not because it is more congenial to my taste, but from a sense of duty. The moment that my services are not required in the field I desire to return to the Institute.

After God had restored to us the county of Morgan East of the Big Capon River and the most valuable portion of Hampshire County, and was still driving the enemy from this Military District, the Secretary of War without consulting me upon the subject, sent an order to me stating that he has information, that Genl. Loring's command is in danger of being cut off, and directs me to order him back to Winchester immediately, thus unnecessarily abandoning to the enemy what had been restored to us. If such a policy as that was to be pursued by the Secretary at his desk far removed from the theatre of war, ruin must result to our cause, and I feel called upon to utter my strongest protest against such a ruinous policy, and this I designed doing by offering to resign, rather than be the willful instrument of carrying out a ruinous policy. So far as the secretary may have shown indignity to me personally, that is not a matter to be considered in times like the present. I am satisfied that my course was a good one for our cause, the effect that it may injuriously have in the estimation of men respecting me, is of but little moment. I say it humbly but with the hope that you will live to see that my course has been what it should have been. I am every ready to remain in the field when I can have a prospect of being useful there. Pray that I may be useful.

I am sincerely your friend
T.J. Jackson

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