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The correspondence of Thomas J. Jackson in the Brockenbrough Library of The Museum of the Confederacy spans 16 years, from 1847-1863. Written in Mexico in November 1847, the earliest letter is from Jackson to Gen. Gideon Pillow, respectfully disagreeing about the distribution men. The last letter, written in April 1863, is somewhat unusual for Jackson—passing along a complimentary opinion of two colonels.
By far the bulk of the material consists of letters and documents in the hand of or signed by Jackson during his war service of 1861-1863, and reflects his official life in the Confederate army. Notable among the holdings are Jackson’s order book from Harper’s Ferry in 1861, and a letter of June 9, 1862, to Gen. Robert E. Lee informing him of the enemy’s repulse at Port Republic. Maj. Gen. Jackson could be an advocate for others, writing Adjutant and Inspector Gen. Samuel Cooper in November 1862, urging that Brig. Gen. Jubal Early be promoted to major general, and again in February 1863 pushing Col. Bradley Johnson for brigadier general. More common were his charges and specifications brought against Brig. Gen. Richard B. Garnett in March 1862, and those preferred by him against Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill in the fall of the same year. In the midst of such rancor, Jackson took the time to write Gen. Cooper in March 1863, deploring the lack of chaplains for his men. Ephemera holdings include a May 10, 1863 telegram—the first sent on Jackson’s death—by aide James Power Smith to his sister.
A complete inventory and guide for the Thomas J. Jackson Document Collection is available.
Click on the year to see a gallery of letters written during that year.